Acceptance & Commitment Therapy: An Overview
An exciting development in contemporary clinical psychology is the exponential rise of an evidence-based approach called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Based in learning theory, ACT bears remarkable similarity to Eastern philosophy in its emphasis on staying in the present, pursuing valued action, and abandoning the struggle to eliminate problematic thoughts and emotions. In outcome studies, ACT has generally been found to be either equivalent to or more effective than traditional cognitive-behavioral therapy in its impact on adult clinical disorders ranging from depression to psychosis. This workshop will offer a brief overview of ACT including its major concepts (e.g., psychological flexibility, experiential avoidance, cognitive defusion). We will talk about how it overlaps with other contextual therapies and spiritual philosophies, describe some of its most commonly used therapeutic techniques, and provide an update on its empirical status. Improv exercises will NOT be part of this year’s session
Participants will be able to:
- Learn the basic theory of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) including the assumption of destructive normality, as well as tracing the origins of human suffering to cognitive fusion with symbolic language systems and experiential avoidance
- Learn about the core features of contextual behavior therapies and how they relate to ACT
- Understand major ACT processes and the Hexaflex: Contact with present moment, acceptance, defusion, self-as-context, values, committed action
- Review what psychological flexibility means and why it can be helpful
Frederick J. Heide, Ph.D. is Adjunct Professor at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University in the San Francisco Bay Area. There he was a member of the core faculty for 37 years and won both the Master Teacher and Teacher of the Year Awards. He earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from Pennsylvania State University in 1981 and has presented at MCW’s Door County Summer Institute for 22 seasons. Dr. Heide received the Outstanding Research Contribution Award from the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy (AABT) for his work on relaxation-induced anxiety and has published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Psychophysiology, Mindfulness, Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, Behavior Research and Therapy, Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts, Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training and elsewhere. He served as associate editor of the APA online journal PsycCRITIQUES and is co-founder of and performer for over four decades with Door County’s Northern Sky Theater, which was 2012 recipient of the Wisconsin Governor’s Award for Arts, Culture and Heritage. There he has co-authored 20 shows including Packer Fans from Outer Space and Belgians in Heaven (both with Lee Becker and James Kaplan), as well as the deer-hunting musical Guys & Does (with Lee Becker and Paul Libman). Dr. Heide has taught acceptance and commitment therapy for a decade.
ACCME Accreditation Statement:
The Medical College of Wisconsin is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
Designation of Credit:
The Medical College of Wisconsin designates this live virtual activity for a maximum of 3 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
APA Accreditation Statement:
The Medical College of Wisconsin is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. MCW maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This activity contains content or processes that may be potentially stressful.
- 3.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™
- 3.00 APAAPA credit.
- 3.00 Hours of ParticipationHours of Participation credit.
- 3.00 NASW
Tuition for graduate and medical students and resident physicians is $90 with a letter from the training director.
Refunds, minus a $20 administrative fee, may be obtained if requested in writing no later than 15 days prior to the beginning of each session. There will be no refunds thereafter.