Acceptance and Commitment Therapy SIG

ACT & CBT: Bridging the Divide

In Community, London Network, Training Events on February 19, 2010 at 10:57 am

The ACT SIG had an excellent turn-out for the first London networking event, "ACT and CBT: Bridging the Divide", hosted by University College London on Friday 29th January 2010.

Fifty people, made up of ACT SIG members as well as others interested in ACT, heard three speakers discuss how ACT fits within the CBT tradition, and incorporating ACT techniques within cognitive behavioural practice. The three talks looked closely at the theoretical and philosophical similarities and differences between ACT and CBT, while considering the actual practicalities and how these might play out in therapy and in the therapy relationship.

  • Eric Morris presented a history of the development of ACT (.pdf), from radical behavioural roots and research on verbal behaviour, and some context for understanding the role of rule-governed behaviour in the development of Relational Frame Theory and the techniques used in ACT.
  • Sue Watson discussed the similarities and differences between ACT and cognitive approaches (.pdf), outlining her development as a CBT therapist and discussing the advantages of cognitive defusion over thought challenging.
  • Joe Oliver outlined an approach of using ACT within CBT, being clear about the function of the interventions you offer, and highlighting areas such as values work, which can serve to enhance goal-setting in CBT.

Time at the end of the afternoon was given to talking about future events. The consensus was that such events would be welcomed, particularly if there were opportunities for further practical training and supervision development.

Further networking events are being planned, with a view to making this a regular fixture in London.  Watch this blog, the UK ACT listserv and BABCP jiscmail for details.

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