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The Heart of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

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The Heart of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Developing a Flexible, Process-based, and Client-Centered Practice

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Life contains suffering. But acknowledging this truth is only the first step on the path to transcending it. It is in this transcendence that vital and meaningful lives are born. As ACT therapists, it is hoped that we can assist our clients in this process. Helping them to acknowledge and hold pain while continuing to take steps, each day, each moment, that are connected to personal meaning. This is done, as is often said in ACT, with head, hands, and heart. So verbal knowledge, an intellectual understanding of the intervention is needed. The work of the “hands” is about behavior; physical movement and taking action are fundamental. ACT’s heart however appears to be more elusive. Done with intention and presence, ACT links us to the very qualities of what it means to be alive and whole, to be a conscious and experiencing being. ACT may be learned and understood at many levels, but may remain challenging to implement in a flexible, consistent, process-based, and effective fashion. Multiple levels of process are present in any therapy, including those processes beyond ACT’s 6 core. Moving beyond simple technique and into a fluid ACT intervention requires attending to intrapersonal, interpersonal, and overarching and ongoing processes in the context of the psychotherapeutic relationship. Engaging in an on-going functional analysis feeds these processes and informs the case conceptualization. Connecting workshops participants to on-going functional analysis and the multiple levels of process found in ACT from a more in-depth, experiential, or heartfelt place will be the focus of this workshop. Didactic presentation, role-play and experiential exercises will be used to convey the material.


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Organizer Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Organizer of The Heart of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

The Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences is committed to improving the health of our local, national and global communities through excellence in teaching, research, service and engagement.

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