Reflections on ACT/FAP & Useful Protocols

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In the past, I would write about ACT and what I was doing at the College where I was a Director of Counseling, for example started a group on ACT and Depression in 2010, and it was wonderful.  It deeply resonated with the students. This led to other small workshops on mindfulness, ACT and "the Happniness Trap", and then I took a pause.

During this pause, I lost my husband, and moved on to another job as an Associate Dean at a sister college, but it turned out to be far  more stressful then the College Director position I had at Lehman College, due to the political turmoil in the college. Yet, despite the stressors, I loved managing different programs, all related to student support, psychological services, etc, and I loved writing grants to support the programs and working iwth the wonderful people that were loving and respectful to me. When I left, I knew I had set the ground for future growth.

During that time, I used all of my ACT knowledge to deal with both my grief and my loss, and my transitions, and began to ask myself "What really matters to you?", and I made a bold move to return to teaching. I had been a professor at NYU, and the experience there taugth me all that I knew about teaching, grant writing and research, but left me somewhat heart achy about academia, particularly if you are a woman, and a person of color. Despite that, I took a chance.

Touro College Graduate School of Social Work is a non tenured track, multiple year contract academic setting that has been just what I needed in my return to academia, to teaching, to research and writing. However, in the mist of this return, my psychotherapy practice and my interest in theories and their similarities never stopped. A focusing oriented, and trauma informed therapist, I trained in EMDR, and my interest in emotions and attachment and interpersonal neurobiology led me to Diana's Fosha's AEDP, but it was still ACT and FAP that helped me have a deeper understanding of AEDP and other theories.

In the meantime, I have used several ACT protocols that have been so  helpful to me, and would like to share these in the coming months. I want to thank this community for the wonderful sharing of resources and the unending support. I also want to thank a wonderful friend who has been a great inspiration to me and who will be presenting her work in Spain, The Four Paths to Psychological Flexibility  https://www.counseling.org/news/aca-blogs/aca-member-blogs/aca-member-blogs/2017/05/15/four-paths-to-psychological-flexibility

It is so important to share what we are doing with ACT/FAP and to create community. The summers are times when I can write, both academically and creatively, so I look foward to hearing what others are doing and sharing what I have been doing. Protocols that have been useful have been around:

Loss/grief/depresison/anxiety  and Trauma

Eating Disorder - Seen much growth using this protocol and very helpful to me.

Shema Therapy and ACT - has been more than a wonderful book and protocol. Last year, created an online group using this protocol, a pilot with very strong group of women, but with women who are more vulnerable would incorporate EMDR resourcing, breathing, mindfulness strategies to set the ground for the work to be done.

ACT and Christian client - The book and protocol has been useful, piloting a group in a local church to gain more insights as to their experience, used protocol with clients for whom mindfulness is an issue due to spiritual believes, but who long to learn more about it.

Art-based ACT with children and adolescent - I  teach Arts Intervention in Social Work Practice, and use this protocol to teach students about ACT from an arts perspective. Piloting a small group with children in a residential center, but not until spring of 2018.

I also facilitate an ACL group in Westchester County, NYC and I am completely impressed with the progress around awareness, courage and love, as I am with the use of the ACT matrix and FAP. https://www.meetup.com/Westchester-NY-Live-With-Awareness-Courage-Love/

Please do continue to share, as it is your sharing that has helped me grow as an ACT therapist, and your sharing is always a call to adventure.

With deep bows of gratitude.