Acceptance and Commitment Therapy SIG

Archive for the ‘Training Events’ Category

Mastering the Language of Therapy: How to empower your ACT practice with Relational Frame Theory – Matthieu Villatte (Workshop, April 2013)

In Relational Frame Theory, Trainer, Training Events on November 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm
BABCP ACT SIG workshop
Mastering the Language of Therapy:
How to empower your ACT practice with Relational Frame Theory

Matthieu Villatte

18 & 19 April 2013, 9am-5pm Canterbury Hall, University of London

There is a strong connection between psychological research and practice in ACT and RFT, but it is not always easy for clinicians to see how RFT is relevant to their daily practice. This is partly due to the complexity of RFT and its experimental procedures. The workshop will demonstrate how it is possible to gain a quick and practical knowledge of the fundamental theory of RFT and how it applies to clinical problems and interventions. For clinicians who already use an experiential approach like ACT, mastering RFT principles can improve the way experiential techniques are developed, delivered, and debriefed, because it promotes using language itself as a process of change. It can also help clinicians identify when and why a treatment is not working and how to modify it to increase effectiveness.

Using examples from everyday life and clinical practice, clinicians will be shown how to conduct a functional assessment and build a case conceptualization based on the main contributors to psychopathology from an RFT perspective. Concepts will be grounded in therapy demonstrations, role-plays, and clinical cases analyzed step-by-step. The aim of the workshop is to help clinicians understand RFT, not simply to satisfy their intellectual curiosity, but to gain more flexibility in their practice and produce better clinical outcomes.

Presenter: Matthieu Villatte is an Assistant Professor in clinical psychology at the University of Louisiana, USA. After obtaining his PhD in France where he conducted RFT research on perspective taking, he joined Steven Hayes’ lab at the University of Nevada, Reno to take part in an ACT randomized controlled trial for prevention of suicide among college students. He is currently an ACBS recognized ACT trainer who facilitates workshops focusing on the application of RFT in clinical practice. He co-authored the first French ACT manual and is currently completing the writing of an RFT manual on the use of language in psychotherapy, co-authored by Jennifer Villatte and Steven Hayes.

Workshop rates: BABCP Members £180 Non members £210

Email to register:


Workshop – ACT: Taking The First Steps, with Martin J. Brock, Nottingham, May 2011

In Community, Trainer, Training Events on April 9, 2011 at 10:04 am

The ACT SIG are pleased to be hosting this May 2011 workshop, run by Martin Brock, ACT Trainer and SIG Branch Liaison Rep.

Workshop Introduction:

Clients frequently come to therapy wanting to eliminate or reduce their symptoms – to feel less depressed, have fewer panic attacks, and have fewer cravings to use drugs and alcohol. Many of them are waiting to feel better in order to live better.

Traditional treatment approaches are designed exactly for this purpose – to assist in symptom reduction. But what if there were another way of approaching our clients’ difficulties in living? What if it were not the thoughts, memories, and feelings that are the problem, but instead that individuals presenting for treatment have lost touch with what is important to them? That they are not living a life in support of those things that they truly value? Often, we find that years of disappointment, disenfranchisement, and avoidance have led our clients to make choices based on attempts to feel good, rather than based on building a life that is meaningful to them.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is based on the view that much of psychological suffering is caused by experiential avoidance and cognitive fusion. Rather than trying to change difficult thoughts and feelings as a means of coping, ACT alters the relationship between private experiences and life choices. This workshop will discuss and demonstrate techniques designed to change the ways that one relates and responds to challenging thoughts, feelings, and memories. Specific case material will be welcomed to facilitate learning, with a significant focus on ways in which ACT can be targeted for anxiety, depression ,OCD, problems in living, and a variety of other common life difficulties.  The workshop will also include a strong emphasis on the ACT therapeutic stance and relationship.

This is the “classic” ACT workshop that has been developed over the past two decades to provide a strong foundation enabling adherence and competence in ACT. Major ACT metaphors and exercises in the areas of willingness, defusion, present moment awareness, self-as-context, values, and committed action will all be covered. This workshop will deliver a combination of didactic training, demonstrations, and participatory experiential exercises, with the goal of providing attendees with both a strong understanding of the principles of ACT and a clear experience of what it is like to participate in the types of exercises and activities commonly encountered in ACT. Thus, attendees who register for this workshop should be aware that portions of this workshop will be highly experiential. This workshop teaches ACT by creating a context that models the therapeutic, and sometimes intense, nature of ACT as it is applied in practice.

Places are limited to ensure an optimal environment for experiential learning and therefore booking early is recommended.


Martin is an experienced clinician having well over 30 years clinical experience in the NHS. He has an MSC in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy and he is a BABCP Accredited Psychotherapist. Martin was the first in the UK to be peer reviewed as an ACT Trainer and he regularly presents workshops both internationally and here in the UK. He is well known for his creative and dynamic workshops and his ability to engage people  from various clinical backgrounds into his unique style of training.

Martin is a committed teacher and he has a Post Graduate  Certificate in Learning  and Teaching in higher education.

When: 26th & 27th May 2011

Where: Nottingham Voluntary Action Centre, 7 Mansfield Road, Nottingham, NG1 3FB


BABCP Members: £140

Non-members: £170

Further details available by email to:

“The Psychologically Flexible Workplace”: London ACT Networking Event, March 11 2011, UCL

In Community, London Network, Training Events on February 13, 2011 at 5:39 pm

The next London Acceptance & Commitment Therapy Networking event is going to be held on Friday 11th March from 2 – 5pm at UCL (Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, Gower Street, UCL, WC1E 6BT).

This event is titled “The Psychologically Flexible Workplace”, and our invited speakers are Jo Lloyd and Paul Flaxman, who will be presenting their research on ACT as a workplace training intervention.

The first half of the session will involve a comprehensive review of research on ACT and psychological flexibility in the workplace. Studies which have examined ACT as a workplace training intervention, and psychological flexibility as a predictor of mental health and behavioral effectiveness outcomes, will be presented.  The occupational contexts of the different studies range from large media organizations to local government services. As well as reviewing published research, findings from current investigations will be presented in order to allow attendees insight into the most recent developments in the field.

In the second half of the session, Paul will provide an overview of the three-session ACT at work protocol that he has been implementing and evaluating in recent years. Paul and Jo will also jointly discuss some of the challenges that can be faced when implementing ACT in the workplace.

Our speakers:

Jo Lloyd is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer in work psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London.  Her PhD examined the effectiveness of ACT as a training intervention to improve health, performance, and attitudinal outcomes in human service workers, and how psychological flexibility related to these improvements. Jo is a chartered occupational psychologist and a member of the British Psychological Society (BPS), the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP), and the Association for Contextual Behavioural Science (ACBS). Jo is currently the scientific sub-committee chair for the ACT special interest group with the BABCP.

Dr. Paul Flaxman is a senior lecturer in organisational psychology at City University London. Paul has been delivering and evaluating ACT as a worksite intervention for the past 10 years, and has personally delivered ACT training to hundreds of workers across the UK. In recent years, Paul has directed an ESRC-funded research programme which involved using ACT to improve staff well-being in various public sector organisations. In 2010, Paul and his collaborators (Joe Oliver and Eric Morris) were awarded additional funding from Guy’s & St. Thomas’ Charitable Trust to deliver ACT and mindfulness workshops for London-based NHS staff.

There will also be devoted time to discuss practice and network for peer supervision.

The event is free, and hosted jointly by UCL and the BABCP ACT Special Interest Group. Please RSVP to give us a sense of the numbers for the afternoon: .

We hope to see you there!

Addendum 16/3/2011

Thanks to everyone who attended this event: lots of great questions and discussion, with our speakers Jo and Paul bringing us up-to-date with the current research on ACT in the workplace.

Jo Lloyd’s presentation can be downloaded here.

Paul Flaxman’s presentation can be downloaded here.

July 2011 event: “ACT Made Simple: Developing Your Skills in Acceptance & Commitment Therapy” with Russ Harris

In Trainer, Training Events on February 13, 2011 at 5:21 pm

The BABCP ACT SIG is very pleased to announce a 2-day intermediate workshop with Russ Harris, a leading international ACT trainer and author of “The Happiness Trap” and “ACT Made Simple”. The workshop will be held in central London, 6-7 July 2011.

This workshop will provide the opportunity to further develop your skills in ACT; due to the experiential and skills-based nature of this workshop places are limited.

Details are below.

ACT Made Simple: Developing Your Skills in Acceptance & Commitment Therapy with Russ Harris

Wednesday 6th – Thursday 7th July 2011

Central London

This two day workshop is both didactic and experiential, and assumes that you are familiar with the ACT model. Ideally you will have attended at least one ACT introductory workshop before attending this one.

The workshop will cover case conceptualisation; depression and anxiety; working with mandated or coerced clients; ‘selling ACT’ to your clients; getting to values when your client says ‘I don’t know’; overcoming resistance and motivating the unmotivated; suicidality and trauma; anger and addiction; compassion and forgiveness.


Russ Harris a medical practitioner, psychotherapist and one of the foremost ACT trainers in the world. His workshops are highly acclaimed and he is renowned for his ability to make complex ideas simple, clear and accessible. Russ is also the author of the very popular self-help book, ‘The Happiness Trap’ and the treatment guide, ‘ACT Made Simple’.

Workshop prices:

BABCP Members: £180

Non – Members: £210

Student: £120 (limited places)

For more information email:

The Future of Cognitive Behavioural Therapies Debate, 23rd September 2010 – Audio + presentations

In Community, London Network, Training Events on November 6, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Pictured: Prof Steve Pilling, Prof Steve Hayes and Dr David Veale.

On Thursday 23rd September the ACT Special Interest Group and University College London had the pleasure of hosting an evening debate on the “Future of CBT”, featuring three distinguished speakers: Dr David Veale, Prof Steve Pilling and Prof Steve Hayes. The debate was chaired by Eric Morris, Secretary of ACT SIG. The debate attracted an audience of 300, who had braved the wild weather to attend UCL that evening.

Each of our speakers presented their perspective on how CBT may change in the future, and what research strategies are likely to progress the scientific development of evidence-based behavioural and cognitive approaches. The evening resulted in some lively discussion, as our speakers debated the points made and commented on questions from the audience.

If you would like to listen to the debate the audio is available for download (50mb mp3: Future of CBT Debate).

The presentations from Dr David Veale and Prof Steven Hayes are also available: David Veale Future CBT.ppt Steve Hayes ACT CBT talk.ppt

Many thanks again to our speakers, University College London, and those who attended this unique event.

SIG Committee Activity for 2009-10, Upcoming Events and Elections

In Community, London Network, Members Issues, Training Events on June 11, 2010 at 7:07 pm

By Joe Oliver & Eric Morris, ACT SIG Committee

The last couple of years have been a busy time for the ACT SIG Committee, with a range of activities undertaken in the interests of promoting and developing ACT clinical practice and research in the UK.

2009 started with our ACT SIG members’ survey, in which we asked members to give feedback about training and research priorities. The response to the survey was excellent and based on the results, we were able to effectively plan events for 2009-2010. Training events that were hosted by the ACT SIG included:

  • ‘ACT Research in the UK’ symposium held at BABCP national conference in Exeter (July 2009)
  • The ACT SIG Annual General Meeting held at BABCP 2009 National Conference in Exeter (July 2009)
  • UK ACT Research highlighted – ‘ACT & Psychosis’ ‘ACT & Chronic pain’ ‘ACT and Organisations’, “Measuring Defusion” symposia delivered at the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science World Conference in Holland (July 2009)
  • ‘ACT in groups’ workshop by Mark Webster (November, 2009)
  • First networking event held for London based clinicians interested in ACT (January 2010), followed up by a second event in May 2010.
  • ‘2 day experiential’ ACT workshop – Sheffield – Nic Wilkinson/ Joe Curran / Giselle Brook/ Declan Walsh / Lisa Newton, May 2010
  • ‘Experiential Introduction to ACT’ workshop – Martin Wilks, March 2010
  • ‘Mindfulness Day-Retreat for ACT Practitioners’ workshop – Martin Wilks, May 2010

In addition we have several events proposed and planned for late 2010 and into 2011, including:

  • ongoing quarterly London Networking Events held at University College London
  • A SIG Annual General Meeting to be held at the Manchester BABCP National Conference, 22 July 2010
  • ‘Developing ACT Skills’ workshop – Steve Hayes – 23rd/24th September, London
  • A Proposal to the BABCP for a UK ACT Conference (planned for early 2011)
  • Intermediate ACT workshop – Martin Brock (date tbc)


The ACT SIG membership has steadily grown over the past year and we currently have just over 1200 members, making us one of the largest Special Interest Groups in the BABCP.

Accreditation issues

In responding to issues highlighted by members, members of the ACT SIG Committee have been involved in the current review of the BABCP accreditation processes (initiated by the Accreditation Committee). This review has aimed to appraise the process by which therapists become accredited with the BABCP, parrticularly the types and modes of training that that are sufficient to become accredited as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist. We have been working hard to ensure that ACT and other contextual Behaviour Therapy training counts as accreditable CBT training , and to contribute to the development of a Core Curriculum for BABCP CBT Therapists. Hopefully a number of issues will be clarified in 2010 around accreditation for CBT therapists who have a behaviourally-based training and focus.

ACT SIG Committee 2008 – 2010

All of these activities would not have been possible without the contributions of ACT SIG members who have served on the Committee, following the elections in June 2008:

Mark Webster – Chair 2008 – 2009

Eric Morris – Chair 2009 – 2010

Martin Brock – Training Sub-Committee Chair/ Treasurer 2009-2010

Paul Flaxman – Treasurer 2008 – 2009

Joe Oliver – Secretary

David Gillanders – Scientific Sub-Committee Chair

Fiona Kennedy – Branch Liaison

Sue Hart – Newsletter Editor

Joe Curran – Ordinary Member

Nic Wilkinson – Ordinary Member

Jo Lloyd – Ordinary Member

Martin Wilks – Ordinary Member

Rob Mellors – Ordinary Member

Frank Bond – Ordinary Member

Elections for a new committee

It has been a privilege to work on the SIG committee, representing members’ views to the wider BABCP and organising events to enable UK ACT therapists to develop their skills and knowledge. Over the past 2 years we have seen a huge increase in interest in ACT in the BABCP, and with all the local research and training developments happening it seems that ACT is growing as an evidence-based approach in the UK.

The election for a new SIG committee commences today – members will receive nomination forms in the post – if your values are about representing fellow SIG members and helping ACT to grow in the UK, then please consider nominating for a position. It is a rewarding committed action!

Third Wave CBT Approaches at the BABCP Conference 2010

In Community, Members Issues, Training Events on June 11, 2010 at 11:33 am


Going to the 2010 BABCP Conference in Manchester next month? We’ve been looking over the conference programme, and there’s plenty of third-wave CBT on offer, with what promises to be some interesting presentations of new research and developments in the field.

Check out the following (highlighted from the programme):

At this year’s BABCP conference, we are delighted to be able to offer a range of workshops, keynotes and symposia relating to third wave approaches:


Places on these full-day workshops, which take place on Tuesday 20th July, are limited, please register early at

    Workshop 9. Distinctive Features of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT): Using DBT to treat clients with Personality Disorder, Multiple Comorbidities and High Risk
    Michaela Swales, School of Psychology Bangor University & Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
    Workshop 22. Acceptance, Mindfulness and Values for CBT Therapists
    Eric Morris, South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust/ King’s College London and Joe Oliver, South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust


Third Wave Therapies for People with Intellectual Disabilities

Professor Chris Cullen

Keele University and North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust


Mindfulness and Acceptance Approaches with people with Psychosis: New Research

Convenor: Joe Oliver, South London & Maudsley NHS

Clinical Roundtable: A case of Chronic Anorexia Nervosa: Can we offer something new?

Convenor: Lucy Serpell, North East London Foundation Trust & University College London

Panel Discussion: What should we use? NICE Recommended Treatments for Depression

Convenor: Heather O’Mahen, University of Exeter

Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Substance Abuse in Individuals

With Borderline Personality Disorder: State of The Art

Convenor: Thomas R. Lynch, University of Exeter


Teaching Core mindfulness skills in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

Mark Williams, University of Oxford

If you’d like to download the flier of what’s on at the conference third-wave wise, click here.

Also, the ACT Special Interest Group Meeting is on Thursday 22nd July at 5.15pm (listed in the conference programme also). It’d be great if members came along: we are announcing the results of the SIG elections for the new committee, discussing forthcoming events, and the strategic direction of the  SIG in promoting ACT in the BABCP. We’re also hoping that this will be an opportunity to meet up with other SIG members, and once the formalities of the meeting are over, we will move on to a suitable venue to socialise. If it is part of your valued direction, commit to coming to the meeting!  It’s your SIG, and what makes it work are the great contributions from members (all 1200 of them!).

Hope to see you in Manchester at the BABCP Conference.

Steve Hayes’ “Developing Skills in ACT” workshop, London – September 2010

In London Network, Trainer, Training Events on May 9, 2010 at 9:44 am

The ACT SIG committee are very pleased to announce an upcoming 2-day workshop with Steve Hayes, to be held in London in September 2010.

In response to ACT SIG members’ requests for training events that are a step after introductory workshops, this event will enable therapists to further develop their skills and confidence in using ACT.

This workshop promises to be a unique and inspiring opportunity to learn experientially from Steve Hayes, one of the founders of ACT, on the process of doing ACT and the latest developments in the model. 

Details below.


Developing Skills in Acceptance & Commitment Therapy with Steve Hayes


Thursday 23rd – Friday 24th September 2010

University College London, Gower Street, London


This two day experiential workshop will focus on incorporating the ACT model into your practice, to provide both treatment strategies for clients with a wide range of clinical issues and also to enhance the therapeutic relationship. The workshop is aimed at therapists with some familiarity or experience with ACT who are looking to advance their knowledge and skills.


Steven C. Hayes is one of the founders of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Relational Frame Theory (RFT). Steve is author of 32 books including the best-selling self-help book Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life. He is currently Nevada Foundation Professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada.

Early Bird registration fee (closes 1st August)

Student: £90

BABCP Member: £180

Non Member: £210

Late registration fee

Student: £120

BABCP Member: £210

Non Member: £240


For more information go to:

or email:

London ACT Networking Event – 7th May 2010

In Community, London Network, Training Events on April 18, 2010 at 10:29 am

The next London Acceptance & Commitment Therapy Networking event is going to be held on Friday 7th May from 2 – 4.30pm at UCL (Pearson Lecture Theatre – North East entrance, Pearson Building, Gower St, WC1E 6BT map: ).

Our invited speaker is Mark Webster, who will be talking about “The Heart of ACT: Transformation of Functions”. There will also be devoted time to discuss practice and network for peer supervision. (please click here for details, .pdf)

The event is free, and hosted jointly by UCL and the BABCP ACT Special Interest Group.

Please RSVP to give us a sense of the numbers for the afternoon:

We hope to see you there!

May Event: A 2 day Experiential Introduction to Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Sheffield

In Community, Training Events on March 12, 2010 at 10:07 am

This introductory event is being held on 20th and 21st May 2010 at Sheffield Hallam University (City Campus); Furnival Building.

This training workshop will be an opportunity to meet and understand the six core processes of ACT by applying them to your own clinical and personal experience.

Participants will learn:
•  The psychopathological impact of experiential avoidance, and how to relate that process to modern research in human language;
•  How to formulate cases in terms of experiential avoidance and cognitive fusion, with direct treatment implications for these formulations;
•  How to use the major steps in ACT; and
•  How to use supportive materials and homework to support change

The workshop presenters are: Giselle Brook & Joe Curran (Cognitive Behavioural Therapists, Sheffield Health & Social Care NHS Trust) Lisa Newton, Declan Walsh & Nic Wilkinson (Clinical Psychologists, Sheffield Health & Social Care NHS Trust).

Workshop rates are:

BABCP members £85

Non-members £105

Details and registration forms are here, and on the BABCP website under Training & Events: Branch CPD events and on the ACT SIG page.

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