2015 #1 Newsletter (February)

Printer-friendly version


ACBS Newsletter - February 2015

ACBS World Conference 13 in Berlin registration now open!


Registration for the ACBS World Conference 13 in Berlin is now open! This is your chance to participate in cutting-edge ACT, RFT, and CBS training and research in our rapidly growing and vibrant community. Use our members-only discounted rates, and register early for both the main conference, and the pre-conference workshops. The World Conference will be held in exciting Berlin, Germany, at the Estrel Hotel Berlin, 16-19 July, 2015 (pre-conference workshops 14-15 July). Don't forget to reserve your room for only €88 per night. Have something to present? Our call for submissions is open until 15 February, or 21 March for posters. We hope to see you there!

BBC Interview with Nic Hooper


ACBS researcher and blogger Nic Hooper appears on BBC Radio Bristol with Phil Hammond. Dr. Hammond is a general practitioner who has written or presented several medical problems for the BBC including “Trust Me, I'm a Doctor” on BBC Two where he highlighted medical disparity in the national health service. Our own Nic Hooper appears on a recent episode of Phil Hammond's radio program where he is joined by folk singer Norma Waters. The interaction between the three provides a great context for introducing ACT to a more general audience. Other topics discussed include the CBS approach to suffering, the differences between traditional CBT and ACT, and the various applications of ACT both in terms of clinical presentations and modality of treatment. Click here to listen to the interview, Nic Hooper comes on at the 1:07 mark. Listen soon as the episode is only available until February 15th. You can also visit Nic's blog here for more discussion of CBS topics written for a broad audience. .

Q&A with Jill Stoddard and Niloofar Afari authors of The Big Book of ACT Metaphors


In this Q&A Jill Stoddard and Niloofar Afari discuss their new Big Book of ACT Metaphors: A Practitioner’s Guide to Experiential Exercises and Metaphors in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. In particular they talk about the utility of metaphors within the ACT model, give examples of metaphors and exercises which target different processes, and briefly discuss how clinicians can build their own powerful metaphors in session. “In contrast to some other therapies, ACT focuses not on changing the content of internal experiences (i.e., thoughts and feelings) but rather on one’s relationship to them. Changing that relationship cannot be accomplished by using the very cognitive processes that resulted in psychological inflexibility in the first place. ... Metaphors and exercises, while comprised of language, are not critical, rigid, or literal; they are subtle stories that listeners can connect to their personal experiences to achieve a better understanding of the self.” Click here for the full Q&A.

JCBS article examines the utility of ACT processes in improving children's healthy food choice


Given the dramatic trend toward increasing childhood obesity and the subsequent rise in type II diabetes among younger demographics it follows that interventions which impact on the dietary decision making of children are highly important. Additionally the authors note the tendency among children to choose sweet or fatty foods and avoid novel foods which contributes to over 60% of American children do not eat enough fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains to satisfy nutritional guidelines, putting them at risk for nutritional deficiencies. An ACT-based intervention was designed which primarily focused on practicing mindfulness, present moment awareness, and defusion in a way that would engage with the 3 to 5 year old children and promote healthy food choice. Additionally, there was an ACT PLUS condition which constituted “the inclusion of an added emphasis on committed action and values via the addition of a reward contingency for eating any amount of the target food/s.” This proved to be necessary in order to increase consumption of low-preference health foods. This investigation suggests future directions in which the effects of removing the reward system are tested, the impact of the ACT alone condition in contributing to effects of the ACT PLUS reward condition are tested, and the role of choice in reinforcer effectiveness. Improving novel food choices in preschool children using acceptance and commitment therapy can be found in Volume3, Issue 4 of JCBS. ACBS members have complete access to JCBS by logging into the website and following this link. Simply click the ACBS Member JCBS Access button.

Chronic Pain in Maine: An integrated approach


A recent article from Maine’s NPR news source highlights a new ACT-based chronic pain treatment group that was designed and developed by Stephen Hull, MD, long-term pain specialist and physiatrist on the pain unit at Mercy Hospital in Portland, Maine. He has been interested in ACT for some time and currently President of the Pain Sig. The program was designed with multiple purposes in mind including to encourage a more behavioral and psychosocial approach to pain. Steve is current on the science of medical pain treatment and is well aware of the concerning data about long-term use of opioid pain medications, their poor record of effectiveness for chronic pain, and risks for both chemical dependency and hyperalgesia. Thus, the program was designed, in part, to permit a "soft landing" for patients tapering off of pain medications and to give them a set of tools for coping and support as they pursued another path forward. The groups, which were presented in detail at last year’s ACBS conference, focus on the ACT Matrix, differentiating hurt vs. harm, education about chronic pain, coping both with pain and lots of other comorbid and related conditions. Unique to this program are several adaptations of the ACT Matrix including a values card sorting task and relapse preparedness using the Matrix to envision what a return to previous patterns of coping might look like and then rehearse how to respond by Noticing and responding more from values and using the Toward moves and effective coping they have learned. The NPR article does a wonderful job of illustrating the journey many chronic pain patients follow before they end up being referred to behavioral treatment. Click here to read the full article and if you have an aligned interest in the domain, click here to join the Pain Special Interest Group.


Renew Your Membership in ACBS Today!