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Seminar Detail

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT): 3-Day Master Class

Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - Thursday, December 5, 2019

This event is not currently available for purchase.

For more information: Call (800) 844-8260
Course Description:

We’ve all had clients stuck in a state of paralyzing emotional pain and fear. You’ve tried everything, and you’re frustrated because nothing is working to help your clients begin to improve or reach their therapeutic goals. Sometimes you see success, but the next session, you and your client are back to where you started. You dread your next session because all your suggestions are met with resistance, or “what if I try, but get worse?”

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a transdiagnostic, evidence-based approach that offers a unique and effective way for you to achieve positive therapeutic outcomes with your most difficult-to-treat clients. You’ll leave this master class confident in your ability to interact ACT skills into your practice.

Dr. Jennifer Patterson, Psy.D., LCPC, will teach you the ACT skills you need to help your clients who are struggling to make difficult behavior changes due to the presence of painful thoughts, feelings and memories. You’ll learn how ACT weaves mindfulness strategies with cognitive-behavioral change strategies to revolutionize client outcomes.

You’ll learn how to apply ACT skills such as acceptance, mindfulness and values clarification to the treatment of clients suffering from PTSD, anxiety, trauma and personality disorders, as well as how to use a variety of ACT extension models in multiple other clinical situations.

Full of thought-provoking lecture, engaging case studies, video examples and guided instruction, the ACT Master Class will teach you the essential ACT skills that you need to help your clients move forward in living meaningful and fulfilling lives. You will leave this course armed with tools you can use in your very next session.

Enroll now to revolutionize your client outcomes with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy!

  1. Summarize the theoretical and philosophical foundation of the ACT model to help clients increase psychological flexibility.
  2. Articulate how ACT is a contextual behavioral science and how it differs from cognitive behavioral therapies as related to clinical treatment
  3. Communicate to clients why the acceptance of painful thoughts and feelings is more beneficial for symptom management than trying to eliminate them.
  4. Formulate ACT-consistent case conceptualizations to understand avoidance in individual clients and how it relates to encouraging and maintaining values-inconsistent behaviors.
  5. Utilize ACT case conceptualizations to prepare evidence-based treatment plans to assist with a cohesive treatment approach.
  6. Utilize the six processes of psychological flexibility in ACT to facilitate emotional openness and increase values-consistent behaviors in clients.
  7. Analyze how ACT attempts to undermine problematic language obstacles and implement clinical skills to assist clients with becoming defused, or “unhooked”, from their thoughts.
  8. Use metaphors, analogies and experiential exercises to improve clients’ understanding of self and increase value-based behaviors.
  9. Implement evidence-based ACT protocols and processes into treatment for specific disorders including depression, anxiety, PTSD and personality disorders.
  10. Analyze the efficacy of the 12-week protocol for depression and anxiety as it relates to treatment planning.
  11. Utilize ACT interventions, like contacting the present moment, to assist with developing observation and awareness skills for your client.
  12. Explore the role of self-compassion in the ACT model and utilize exercises to help clients build self-acceptance.
  13. Establish an effective and valued therapeutic relationship through the use of compassion-focused processes.
  14. Develop an understanding of the ACT extension models and integrate core ACT techniques to use with trauma, children, adolescents, groups, couples and other dyads.
  15. Incorporate awareness training from the Crosshairs model to reduce the likelihood of the development of PTSD in traumatized clients.
  16. Implement the core skills from the DNA-V youth model, like mindfulness and action, to support personal growth and reduce problematic symptoms in child and adolescent clients.
  17. Demonstrate to clients how to implement choice point skills in order to respond flexibly to the situations that occur outside of therapeutic sessions.
  18. Integrate core self-compassion techniques and awareness training to assist your clients with effective interpersonal functioning and increased satisfaction in interpersonal relationships.
  19. Utilize the ACT Matrix in session with groups and individuals in order to improve client engagement and strengthen commitment to values-consistent behaviors.

The Core Skills & Competencies of ACT

The ACT Model
  • What is ACT
  • The core focus of ACT
  • Why the myth of healthy normality is destructive
  • The ACT question
  • Limitations of the research & potential risks
ACT: The Foundation Philosophy & Theory
  • Language: The double-edged sword
  • Thoughts & actions: Functional or non-functional?
  • The importance of context
  • Don’t believe everything you think
  • The happiness trap
  • Values vs. goals
ACT Treatment Model: Six Core Processes to Increase Psychological Flexibility
  • Acceptance
  • Mindful decision making
  • Values clarification
  • Value-based behaviors
  • Understand sense-of-self
  • Defusion
Assessment: Intake Considerations when Using the ACT Model
  • Inflexahex diagnostic model
  • Suggastaflex: Determine the treatment starting point
The ACT Clinical Interview
  • Quality of life: What’s getting in the way?
  • Experiential avoidance: The short-term solution
  • Unhealthy behaviors: What’s the client hooked to?
  • Identify “attached-to-self” statements
  • Recognize a regretted past or feared future
  • Values assessment

ACT in Action

Trauma & PTSD: Mobilize Clients to Detach from Fear
  • Clinical concerns with experiential avoidance in PTSD
  • Creative Hopelessness
  • Assessment considerations: Reliving trauma, hyperarousal & client explanation of trauma
  • Assessment tools
  • Key ACT questions for trauma/PTSD
  • Teach defusion skills: using imagery
  • Undermine reason giving as an avoidance method
  • Trauma-informed techniques
  • Grounding techniques for flashbacks & dissociation
  • Psychological flexibility as it relates to trauma
Anxiety Approach: Help Clients Learn to Experience Anxious Thoughts & Feelings in a Less Frightening Way
  • Assessment considerations: Rigidity in avoidance
  • Assessment tools
  • Foster willingness as an alternative to control
  • Help clients turn off the “struggle switch”
  • Anxiety-specific metaphors
  • 12-week protocol for anxiety: Step-by-step
  • Exposure therapy in ACT: FEEL Exercises
  • Barriers to the 12-week protocol
  • Relapse prevention plan
  • Post-treatment plan
Personality Disorders: The Dynamics of Interpersonal Problems
  • Strategies to increase emotional tolerance
  • Assessment considerations: Unique coping behaviors
  • Tools for assessment
  • Integration with Schema Therapy
  • Homework for clients
  • The interpersonal experience diary for mindfulness
  • Applications of imagery
  • Appropriate use of self-disclosure
  • Help develop committed action: Role play
  • How to manage countertransference
Depression: Cultivate Acceptance & Hope
  • Assessment considerations: Motivational analysis & the functional purpose of depression
  • Tools for assessment
  • Strategies to reduce rumination
  • The role of values in treating depression
  • Self-compassion & the damaged conceptualized self
  • 12-week protocol for depression: Step-by-step
  • Defusion exercises for excessive literality & evaluations of depression
  • Barriers to the 12-week plan
  • Suicidality
  • Post-treatment plan: Continuing the process
ACT Extension Models: Utilize Simple Models with Specific Situations& Clinical Populations

Groups & Individuals
  • Two formats for groups & individuals
  • Engage people in the ACT process
  • Key question: Is the behavior working for the life you want to remember?
  • Help clients develop awareness & insight
  • Mental vs. physical experiencing
Outside of Client Session: The Choice Point Model
  • In-session, intervention & outside of session
  • Help clients become aware of choice points
  • Develop clients’ skills & strengths
  • Values consistent & values inconsistent behaviors
  • Integration of mindfulness & the Choice Point model
  • The role of the therapist with Choice Point
Children & Adolescents: The DNA-V Model
  • Special clinical considerations for youth clients
  • Integrate Positive Psychology & ACT
  • Guide youth clients with “trying on” values through experience & play
  • Help young clients develop mindfulness skills
  • Develop language skills & draw on previous experience
  • The influence of family context
Couples & Other Dyads: The ID Model
  • Help clients with interpersonal relationship issues
  • Key questions for case conceptualization
  • Targets of treatment
  • The influence of self-compassion
  • Emotional avoidance & attachment to emotions
  • Awareness as essential to relationships
  • The critical self’s impact on relationships
First Responders & Military: The Crosshairs Model
  • The importance of awareness training
  • Proactive care after trauma
  • Moving away from or toward pain
  • Develop acceptance & willingness
Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Case Managers
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Therapists
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Other Mental Health Professionals


Jennifer Patterson, Psy.D., LCPC, has a mission to offer evidence-based psychotherapy to help others live full and abundant lives. She is the founder of JPI Psychological Solutions in Mokena, Illinois and specializes in treating obsessive compulsive behaviors, anxiety and depression. At JPI she uses ACT and other third-wave models to assist clients with increasing quality of life.

Dr. Patterson is an ACT trainer and has led over 500 ACT workshops across the US and internationally. She has served as vice-president of the Chicago Chapter for the Association for Contextual Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Patterson was a featured psychologist on The Learning Channel (TLC) and former co-author for Psychology Today’s blog “When More Isn’t Enough.” Dr. Patterson received both her master’s and doctoral degrees from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology. She is a formally trained ACT clinician and is very skilled in mindful-based therapies and empirically-supported treatments.


Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Jennifer Patterson has an employment relationship with MidAmerican Psychological Institute. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Nonfinancial: Jennifer Patterson is a member of the American Psychological Association; and Illinois Psychological Association.
Addiction Counselors
This course has been approved by PESI, Inc., as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for 19.0 CE in the Counseling Services skill group. NAADAC Provider #77553. PESI, Inc. is responsible for all aspects of their programming. Full attendance is required; no partial credit will be awarded for partial attendance.

This intermediate activity consists of 19.0 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. Please save the course outline, the certificate of completion you receive from the activity and contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements.

Texas Counselors: PESI, Inc. has been approved as a continuing education sponsor through the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. Provider #: 2477. This course qualifies for 19.0 continuing education credits.

Marriage & Family Therapists
This activity consists of 1140 minutes of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. You should save this course outline, the certificate of completion you receive from the activity and contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements.

Texas Marriage & Family Therapists: PESI, Inc. has been approved as a continuing education sponsor through the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists. Provider #: 503. This course qualifies for 19.0 continuing education credits.

Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and Clinical Nurse Specialists
American Nurses Credentialing Center Logo
PESI, Inc. is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Nurses in full attendance will earn 19.0 contact hours. Partial contact hours will be awarded for partial attendance.

Texas Psychologists: CE credit is available. This course consists of 19.0 professional development credit hours for Texas Psychologists. Pursuant to Board rule 461.11, the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists accepts programs by formally organized groups providing professional development that is directly related to the practice of psychology; and professional associations relating to other mental health professions such as social work. PESI is a formally organized group dedicated to providing professional development programs for psychologists, social workers and other mental health professions.

Social Workers
PESI, Inc., #1062, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. PESI, Inc. maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: January 27, 2020 - January 27, 2023. Social Workers completing this course receive 19.0 Clinical Practice continuing education credits. Course Level: Intermediate. Full attendance is required; no partial credits will be offered for partial attendance. A certificate of attendance will be awarded at the end of the program to social workers who complete the program evaluation.

Other Professions
This activity qualifies for 1140 minutes of instructional content as required by many national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations. Save your course outline and certificate of completion, and contact your own board or organization for specific requirements.

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