Can You Get a Certification in Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)?


Recently, PESI sent an email offering a Certificate Course in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) featuring Dr. Steven Hayes, co-developer of ACT, and Dr. DJ Moran, president of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS). The purpose of this course was in no way to establish a certification in ACT, rather to offer a certificate of completion to provide recipients continuing education credit and recognition for advanced intensive training. 

Our email and offer created tremendous confusion, leading us to pull the course from our product offerings. 

The Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS), the international ACT organization, does not offer a certification in ACT. According to the ACBS, as a community, they have decided to forego this, as it could create a hierarchical and closed process which would be antithetical to their values. Rather, ACBS aims to foster an open, self-critical, mutually-supportive community which, working together, builds a progressive psychology more adequate to the challenges of human suffering. 

To balance the need to protect and foster the high fidelity of ACT training with the need to keep the community open to new and innovative ideas, ACBS uses a multi-faceted peer-review process to identify ACT trainers. ACBS requires that ACT trainers stay abreast of the scientific data and requires that they do not market their ACT work in proprietary way. The ACBS is also dedicated to providing tools to practitioners for self-evaluation and the evaluation of client progress within the ACT model.

The ACBS notes that there are many ways professionals can learn or strengthen ACT skills, including: books, peer consultation groups, formal academic training, participation in a chapter or SIG, the ACBS Annual World Conference, and therapy DVDs or online courses featuring ACT Peer-Reviewed trainers.

Like the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science organization, PESI’s mission in offering ACT training supports the dissemination of ACT knowledge in an effort to support all members of the mental health community to achieve their goals of alleviating human suffering and advancing human well-being.

At PESI, we greatly admire the mission of the ACBS and ACT community and apologize for the confusion we may have caused. You can learn more about the ACBS and their vision and mission by visiting their website
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