Life invites obstacles, problems, and pain. There is no escaping this simple truth. But for many, the pain of life is neither a teacher nor a friend, but instead the enemy and source of considerable suffering, hardship, and despair. Mental health professionals know this all too well. The pain may take psychological, emotional, or physical forms, but it's there and people are desperately seeking a way out and a way forward.
But what if the pain of life could be had just as it is? What if there was a way to nurture the conditions for our own genuine happiness and peace of mind, even when life is (or was) hard? Suppose even, that we could empower those we serve to develop a new relationship with the difficulties they carry and move forward with those difficulties in ways that dignify the pain and support what truly matters. In this intensive workshop, we will learn about one particular approach and set of practices that aims to do just that. It's called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
ACT is an evidence-based approach that balances mindfulness and acceptance processes with commitment and behavior change in the service of living a more vital life. Acceptance and mindfulness-based practices, including ACT, are rapidly making their way into mental health care, medicine, and society. This body of work offers a fresh perspective on psychological suffering and powerful clinical strategies to cultivate transformative life changes.
You will learn powerful strategies to help your clients:
Gain freedom from suffering
Let go of unhelpful struggles
Cultivate peace of mind and self-compassion
Show up to life as it is
Get unstuck and moving
Live a rich and meaningful life
Led by a dynamic husband and wife team, this workshop will introduce ACT, both as a model and intervention technology, and illustrate its use across a broad set of problem areas that are commonly seen in mental health settings. This work can be challenging for both therapists and clients alike, for much of ACT work involves contacting difficult and painful psychological content without defense and for a purpose other than psychological relief. Thus, understanding the application and integration of the ACT model of psychological health and suffering is essential for effective ACT work.
Through lectures, live and video demonstrations, and practical experiential exercises, we learn ways to help our clients live well, richly, and meaningfully, without first having to eliminate sources of emotional and psychological pain. We will also learn how ACT can be integrated effectively into your mental health practice. Clinical worksheets and other practical tools will be provided.
Mental health professionals, including graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, are invited to attend. Familiarity with ACT is not required.
Why It's Hard Being Human: Getting Inside the ACT Approach
Confronting the System of Stuckness: Making Space for Something New
Contacting the Sweetness in Life: Clarifying What Matters and What Gets in the Way
Cultivating a New Relationship with the Difficulties We Carry: Skillfully Disarming & Transforming Forms of Suffering
Empowering ACTions that Matter: Stepping Openly, Mindfully, and Wholeheartedly
What Alumni are Saying...
"John and Jamie embody the work they teach really well. The two of them are very different from each other in personality and style and they navigated their inevitable conflicts with good grace, affection and impressive flexibility. Their enthusiasm for the work they were sharing was palpable, despite this being one of hundreds of workshops they’ve presented. Overall, a pleasure." - 2022 Participant
"Great presenters! Excellent anecdotal info on cases to illustrate efficacy of ACT." - 2022 Participant
"It was an excellent course. The speakers moved at a good pace and had a good balance of videos, demonstrations, and lectures." - 2022 Participant
Learn more about the Cape Cod Institute from former participants
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