An Experiential Introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (not just for beginners) - Kelly Wilson (CLOSED)

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wilsondkw127-small.jpgAn Experiential Introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (not just for beginners)

**This workshop has closed.**

Workshop Leader: Kelly G. Wilson, Ph.D., University of Mississippi, Onelife LLC

Dates & Location: June 19 & 20, 2010, 9:00am - 5:00pm at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Continuing Education Credits Available: 14

Workshop Description: In this workshop we will explore a question that is at the heart of ACT. The question is embodied in the six ACT processes described in the Hexaflex.

In this very moment, (present moment) Will you (self-as-context) Accept the sweet and the sad, (acceptance) Holding lightly stories about what is possible, (defusion) Be the author of a valued pattern of living, (values) And turn gently, in kindness, toward your own life? (commitment)

As a treatment, ACT is based on a model that does not draw hard lines between sick and well, between client suffering and therapist suffering. We are not a different species than our clients. This is not to say that some lives, some struggles, are not harder than others. They certainly are. However, you can look deeply at your own lived suffering and struggles and find kinship with your most distraught client.

There is a source of suffering that is shared by language-able humans. The source of that suffering can be found in language itself and the way language works. This is not the only source of suffering, of course, but evidence is mounting that language processes are capable of compounding suffering. Humans seem to be the only creatures on the planet that don’t just suffer but also suffer that they suffer. Humans suffer that they have suffered in the past, and they suffer that they might suffer later.

How do we “save” ourselves from this abundance of suffering? We apply problem-solving mode of mind. This mode of mind has been marvelously fruitful in helping us to produce food, shelter ourselves from the elements, and avoid predators. Problem-solving mode of mind allows us to categorize, evaluate, and tell stories about anything and everything—including anything that exists, that did exist once, that might exist, and even things that could not possibly exit.

Many of our stories are quite useful. Consider stories about how to preserve food for the winter or stories about the value of vaccinations in disease prevention. Some are benign. I have been reading science fiction for decades. But some stories we tell about ourselves about the world around us narrow the place we get to inhabit. Some stories describe limitations and necessities that squeeze us into tiny little life spaces. And once our stories effectively downsize our world, we try to make the best of those cramped quarters.

Have you ever looked deeply into your client’s eyes and seen someone who once dreamed that there would be more to life? Seen someone who just stopped dreaming because the world is just not that kind of place? Seen someone who stopped dreaming because they knew that they did not deserve more?

The people we call clients represent a subset of a greater human condition. Many, many of us live much, much smaller lives than we need to. ACT is based on a basic science that suggests that we can loosen the grip that these stories have us and, in doing so, make possible richer and more varied lives.

Join me for a couple of days and learn about ACT from the inside out. We will take an experiential walk around the hexaflex. We will learn ways to bring ourselves into the present moment. We will learn ways to accept the sweet and the sad. We will learn ways to let go of limiting stories about ourselves and about the world around us. We will learn to intentionally author a valued direction. And, finally, we will practice the lovely human art of returning in kindness to our own lives.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Attendees will be able to identify the six dimensions of the ACT model of psychological flexibility.
  2. Attendees will be able to describe two major obstacles to valued living from an ACT perspective.
  3. Attendees will be able to describe an ACT approach to negative cognition about self.

Target Audience: Beginner through Advanced.

Registration Rates: Note: Onsite registration is not available for the pre-conference workshops

  • Students: $170
  • Professionals: $305

Above prices include 2 lunches, coffee/tea on site, as well as transportation to/from the conference hotel.