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Psychology - Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Psychology - Acceptance and Commitment Therapy


By: Matthew McKay PhD, Patricia E. Zurita Ona PsyD

Mastering Key In-Session Skills for Applying Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

If you are a mental health professional who is already familiar with the acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) model, you may be looking for advanced strategies and exercises to improve the quality of your client sessions. This eight-hour training program by psychologists Matthew McKay and Patricia Zurita Ona provides key, in-session skills for navigating the six core ACT processes (hexaflex), as well as practical tips for moving past common roadblocks that arise in therapy. In addition, you will learn specific adaptations of the ACT protocol for use in treating an array of disorders, such as anxiety, depression, chronic pain, eating disorders, and more.

These professional training DVDs feature:
  • Useful demonstrations and experiential exercises
  • Practical tips for increasing client cooperation and motivation
  • Strategies for helping clients build a worldview based on values
  • Treatment scenarios for a variety of professional settings
  • Cutting-edge research not found elsewhere

    DVD / 2013

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    By: Matthew McKay PhD, Patricia E. Zurita Ona PsyD

    Learning and Applying the Core Principles and Techniques of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

    The evidence-based acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) model is a powerful treatment for clients struggling with depression, anxiety, chronic anger, eating disorders, chronic pain, and other problems. In this eight-hour introduction to ACT theory and technique, psychologists and ACT trainers Matthew McKay and Patricia Zurita Ona explain and demonstrate the ACT treatment processes in detail and offer all the guidance you'll need to integrate mindfulness and acceptance strategies into your client sessions, spurring on lasting behavior change and values-based action.

    These professional training DVDs will show you how to:
  • Conceptualize cases from an ACT perspective
  • Use all six ACT treatment processes
  • Help clients change the patterns at the root of emotional disorders
  • Experience key ACT techniques and interventions for yourself
  • Develop an order of treatment tailored to your client
  • Combine ACT processes for maximum outcomes

    DVD / 2011

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    With Steven C. Hayes, PhD

    In Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dr. Steven C. Hayes illustrates this empirically supported intervention. The goal of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is to increase psychological flexibility, or the ability to enter the present moment more fully and either change or persist in behavior when doing so serves valued ends. Therapists and clients work to establish psychological flexibility through six core ACT processes, including acceptance, the opposite of experiential avoidance; cognitive defusion, in which negative thoughts are observed mindfully instead of avoided or reasoned away; chosen values; and committed action.

    In this session, Dr. Hayes works with an African American woman who is dealing with multiple health issues and is struggling with anger and guilt from not living up to her mother's expectations. Dr. Hayes teaches the client skills to accept her emotions, to mindfully observe her thoughts, and to recognize that her actions can be determined by personal values instead of guilt.

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2008 / Approx. 100 minutes

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    by James Bugental, PhD

    Existential-Humanistic Psychotherapy in Action shows this legendary clinician and teacher conducting two actual psychotherapy sessions with the same client. Witness Bugental put into practice the concepts he has written about in numerous classic texts and over 100 journal articles and chapters:

  • Facilitating client and therapist presence
  • Working with resistance (to fuller living, not just to therapy)
  • Balancing confrontation with support
  • Reinforcing client subjectivity as fertile ground for true depth work
  • Guiding clients into the search process Each session is followed by a thoughtful group discussion with Dr. Bugental; further insight is added when the client shares her reflections. The depth and sensitivity of Dr. Bugental's approach are such that you'll want to study them again and again - they are the perfect training videos for beginning and experienced therapists alike

    2 DVDs / 2006 / 144 minutes

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    By Steven Hayes

    In this video, you will learn about the core ACT principle of cognitive defusion-a process of de-fusing from your thoughts and learning to accept them without struggle so that you are free engage with life more consciously and intentionally.

    In these sessions with clients struggling with depression and anxiety, ACT founder Steven Hayes and master ACT clinician Rainer Sonntag, demonstrate a variety of cognitive defusion techniques that therapists can easily integrate into clinical practice.

    Using "deliteralization," Hayes helps his client separate words from their meanings, examine her automatic thoughts and create some space between her thoughts and emotions. And in a session with an anxious and resistant client, we learn about "physicalizing" thoughts-giving them shape, form and definition so that clients can more easily disidentify from them.

    Synthesizing both mindfulness and cognitive behavior techniques, cognitive defusion is a therapeutic tool that every therapist should have in their tool box. As you watch these master clinicians help their clients move from depression and anxiety to hope and authentic engagement in the work of therapy, you will no doubt want to learn more about ACT.

    By watching this video, you will:
  • Gain a deep understanding of cognitive defusion.
  • Observe a number of different techniques for introducing and explaining cognitive defusion.
  • Learn about common pitfalls with cognitive defusion, as well as skills to recognize and remedy them.

    DVD (With English Subtitles, Instructor's Manual) / 124 minutes

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    By Steven Hayes

    In this video, you will learn how ACT takes on the power of our unruly thoughts and unwanted feelings.

    Working with a client who struggles with intense social anxiety, ACT founder Stephen Hayes, PhD, demonstrates the principle of accepting what we cannot control. Though his client believes eliminating his anxiety is that path to freedom, Hayes helps him understand that he may never eliminate his anxiety, because he cannot control his inner world. Instead, he can choose to accept it without struggle and live in accordance with his highest personal values.

    However, there's also a risk of falling too quickly into what Hayes calls "pseudo-acceptance," which is what we see in the next session with a teacher struggling with panic disorder. With Hayes insightful commentary, you'll learn to identify the signs and manage this pitfall with your own clients.

    Then in a poignant session with a mother suffering from depression, Hayes introduces us to the classic principle of cognitive defusion, which he employs to help his client detach from her thoughts and engage more deeply in therapy.

    By watching this video, you will:
  • Learn how to help clients accept their thoughts and feelings, releasing the need to control or eliminate them.
  • Begin to understand cognitive defusion and learn methods for introducing it to clients.
  • Learn to seamlessly integrate ACT "eyes closed" techniques into your sessions with powerful effects.

    DVD (With English Subtitles, Instructor's Manual) / 104 minutes

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    By Steven Hayes

    In excerpts of sessions with several different clients, Hayes introduces us to creative hopelessness-a process unique to ACT, in which clients examine how controlling and avoiding difficult feelings has diminished the quality of their lives.

    You will meet Steven Hayes, PhD, founder of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), who will guide you through the core processes and principles used in this evidence-based approach.

    Hayes first works with Jerry, a man suffering from significant social anxiety who has very little access to his emotions. Using the concept of creative hopelessness, he helps Jerry drop into his feelings and sensations and begin to more deeply engage in the work of therapy.

    You'll get to watch several ACT therapists demonstrate techniques and interventions used in the opening stages of therapy with a variety of clients, including a young mother struggling with anxiety and depression, a teacher with panic disorder and a woman who suffers from chronic pain. Offering commentary throughout, Hayes illustrates the key concepts of ACT as they are unfolding moment-to-moment in these riveting therapy sessions.

    By watching this video, you'll learn:
  • The core theory and principles of ACT.
  • How creative hopelessness lays the groundwork for ACT to be effective.
  • How to incorporate your personal style in the early stages of ACT.

    DVD (With English Subtitles, Instructor's Manual) / 117 minutes

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    By Steven Hayes

    In this video, you'll learn about the mindfulness components of ACT.

    In a session with Tony, a client in recovery from addiction, ACT founder Stephen Hayes demonstrates techniques for helping clients slow down and connect with themselves at the beginning of sessions so that they can engage more deeply in the work of therapy. Utilizing an "eyes-closed" exercise, Hayes helps Tony contact his observing self-the transcendent awareness that resides below thoughts and emotions and can serve to ground us in troubled times. With commentary throughout, Hayes offers a script for bringing mindfulness practices into the therapy room.

    ACT co-founder Kelly Wilson then conducts a powerful piece of clinical supervision with a struggling ACT therapist. Seeking support for her work with a hostile, resistant and demeaning client, the therapist quite convincingly role-plays her own client, while Wilson introduces several brilliant techniques to help her manage her anxiety and engage more deeply with the fear and loneliness behind her client's hostility.

    By watching this video, you will:
  • Learn several different eyes-closed exercises you can immediately integrate into your work.
  • Increase your confidence at using mindfulness exercises in session.
  • Understand and learn to facilitate awareness of the observing self with your own clients.

    DVD (With English Subtitles, Instructor's Manual) / 106 minutes

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    By Steven Hayes

    Psychological flexibility-or the ability to make contact with our experiences in the present moment fully and without defense-is the theme unifying the constellation of client issues presented in this video.

    Incorporating concepts from the previous 5 videos in this series, ACT founder Steven Hayes demonstrates how to integrate various ACT processes into actual treatment scenarios.

    We first meet a mother having trouble letting go of her adult children. In session with a gentle and caring ACT therapist, she comes to some realizations about her own values and sees new ways to move forward. Then Maggie, an ACT therapist, is the client in a session conducted in a "fishbowl." Utilizing a brief-therapy model of ACT, master ACT clinician Kirk Strosahl helps Maggie come to terms with her difficult relationship with her brother.

    Hayes then conducts a compelling session with a man diagnosed with OCD. Beginning with a detailed explanation of how exposure is integrated into ACT, Hayes carefully guides the client through the exposure, keeping him open to his own experience rather than letting him shut down.

    You won't want to miss this final installment in the series, as it beautifully ties together the components of the ACT model for use in a variety of contexts by therapists of every orientation.

    By watching this video, you will:
  • Learn ways to adapt ACT in brief-therapy settings and situations.
  • Learn how exposure therapy is used within the ACT paradigm, and how to help clients get the most benefit from it.
  • Learn ways to incorporate relational work within the ACT model.

    DVD (With English Subtitles, Instructor's Manual) / 120 minutes

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    By Steven Hayes

    In this video, we learn about the importance of values in therapy and how to incorporate them into clinical practice.

    In his customary active and engaged style, ACT founder Stephen Hayes uses a series of mindfulness techniques to help Tony, a client in recovery from addiction, come into contact with his most deeply-held values and beliefs. Once these values are clearly established, Hayes works experientially with Tony to uncover the link between his values and his emotional pain, creating the groundwork for Tony to create goals imbued with meaning and purpose.

    We also get to see how the ACT model is applied to working with chronic pain patients in sessions with a teenager and an adult, each of whom struggle with severe daily pain. The "Acceptance" aspect of ACT is fundamental in working with these clients, since they cannot connect with their deeper values without squarely facing the reality of their chronic pain conditions. And in an impressive session with a depressed young mother, master ACT therapist Rainer Sonntag quickly and deftly helps her define her values as a parent and set goals for herself.

    In this video you will learn:
  • How ACT distinguishes values from goals
  • What ACT defines as the Pain-Values Connection
  • Ways to modify ACT techniques for increased effectiveness with adolescents

    DVD (With English Subtitles, Instructor's Manual) / 99 minutes

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    By Daniel Wiener

    We frequently struggle to help our clients get out of their heads and into the present moment. Improvisation is a powerful tool in the therapy room to help people let go of their fixed identities and experience more freedom, spontaneity, and aliveness. It is especially useful with couples, who often get stuck in limiting relational patterns. In this video, you get to see the transformation of a married couple as they participate in various theater games that help them creatively explore common themes that most couples face, such as: power, competition, dealing with differences, vulnerability, conflict, mutuality, and sex. Dr. Wiener will show you how to create a safe space for your clients to experiment with different ways of being and how to facilitate insight-oriented discussions about the exercises, so that they can discover a host of options and possibilities they never knew they had.

    Although many innovators in our field claim that their approaches work for all populations, Wiener freely (and refreshingly) admits that many couples are not open or interested in trying out these exercises; but these improvisations techniques are indeed a valuable resource to have in your therapy toolbox. If you find yourself feeling restless with therapy as usual, this video may add some creative spark to your practice.

    By watching this video, you will:
  • Understand the components of Rehearsals for Growth™ and how to apply these improvisational techniques to assessment and therapy with couples.
  • Learn how to facilitate discussions that will enrich each couple's understanding of their relational tendencies, enabling them to try out new ways of being.
  • Find more ease in transitioning between action methods and talk therapy.

    DVD (With English subtitles, Instructor's Manual) / 99 minutes

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    By Marsha Linehan

    Watch Marsha Linehan, founder of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), in action in this session with a middle-aged man with a significant personality disorder struggling with suicidal depression and anger after being left by his girlfriend.

    Perhaps no therapist of the last several decades has so influenced current practice as Marsha Linehan. Though she does a great deal of teaching and training, opportunities to see her practicing with a client in a full-length session are few and far between. Therapists, DBT practitioners, and newcomers alike will relish this rare opportunity.

    In this initial session, Linehan works with a fascinating and difficult client. He makes it clear that he is actively suicidal, has little faith in therapy, and is not necessarily committed to treatment. He bobs and weaves as Linehan works with him, concealing some of the most damaging aspects of his own past behaviors and painting himself as an angry and wounded victim. With her upfront and frank style, Linehan defines the client's goals, makes clear to him which behaviors must change immediately, and gets him to agree to postpone suicidality in favor of further investigating her treatment. Throughout the session, Linehan gives voiced-over explanations of why she made certain choices and what compelled her towards different interventions. Prepare to be fascinated, both by the client and by Linehan!

    By watching this video, you will learn:
  • How to conduct an initial behavioral assessment using DBT
  • How to implement elements of DBT style and strategy with your own clients
  • How a DBT therapist assesses for suicidality and obtains commitment to therapy

    DVD / 108 minutes

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    By Jon Kabat-Zinn

    In an era of smartphones, Facebook, and endless distractions, practicing mindfulness is a radical act. Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as purposefully and non-judgmentally paying attention to the present moment, as if your life depended on it. Preoccupied with planning for the future or ruminating about the past, the present moment so often gets completely overlooked, robbing us of the opportunity to be fully, consciously, and responsibly alive. Mindfulness is the antidote to this tendency to sleepwalk through our days, and an invitation to reclaim our lives.

    Mindfulness-based therapies have been empirically validated as highly effective for reducing stress and preventing relapse in depression and addictions. Furthermore, research indicates that therapy outcomes are much improved when the therapist practices mindfulness. Whatever your therapeutic approach, cultivating mindfulness will enable you to be more fully present with your clients, while enhancing empathy and strengthening the therapeutic alliance. Whether you're wanting to cultivate your own awareness of that of your clients, this video will point you in the right direction.

    By watching this video, you will be able to:
  • Define mindfulness and understand the significance of practice
  • Explain how mindfulness applies to parenting
  • Describe how mindfulness is used in psychotherapy

    DVD (With English subtitles) / 43 minutes

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