ACT with Compassion: a Masterclass in using ACT with Self-Criticism and Shame

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Sep 14 2017 - 9:30am - Sep 15 2017 - 4:30pm
World Region: 
United Kingdom
Jason Luoma and Jenna LeJeune

Thursday 14th and Friday 15th September, 2017
 Workshop times: 9.30- 4.30pm both days
 Presenters: Jason Luoma and Jenna LeJeune


Persistent self-criticism and shame are two of the most difficult issues in working with stuck clients.

By their very nature, shame and self criticism bring about high levels of experiential avoidance and resistance. Defusion techniques don’t touch the sides. Values work can feel like up hill work. Our standard therapy techniques just fall short of the mark!

If you’ve struggled yourself in working effectively with shame and self-criticism (and who hasn’t!), then this workshop is designed for you. Join world leading ACT trainers and researchers, Jason and Jenna, from the highly acclaimed Portland Psychotherapy Clinic, as they take you through the cutting edge ACT clinical skills and research in working with shame and self-criticism.

Jason and Jenna are internationally renowned for their work and training in this area – don’t miss this valuable opportunity to see them in action.

What You’ll Learn

This workshop comes full of learning opportunities, both through watching Jason and Jenna work and your own skills practice. You’ll learn how to use defusion, acceptance, mindfulness, self compassion and perspective taking to effectively target shame and self-criticism. You’ll be given the unique opportunity to experience these interventions from the inside as you interact with your own experiences of shame and self-criticism. You’ll get the chance for experiential practice of ACT processes in small groups. You’ll also learning how to skillfully use measures to track and target processes. Guidance on how to sequence ACT interventions when specifically targeting these difficulties will be provided. At the end of the workshop, you’ll come away with both a deep and rich experience of this approach and also a solid practical understanding of how to do the work.

Learning Objectives

The attendee will be able to: 1) Understand a functional and evolutionary account of shame and self-criticism 2) Formulate problems with shame in terms of ACT and affective science 3) Identify ways in which they can work with shame in the present moment with clients 4) Explain how to sequence ACT interventions for chronic shame and self-criticism 5) Detect shame through nonverbal cues more easily 6) Gain better facility with defusion in treating clients with self-critical thoughts 7) Adapt ACT processes for use with highly self-critical and shame-prone clients 8) Understand compassion-focused interventions fit inside an ACT model 9) Use theory around flexible perspective taking to guide the implementation of compassion focused interventions 10) Develop a basic understanding of the use of chair work in an ACT approach to shame and self-criticism

 About the Presenters

Jason Luoma, Ph.D. is Director of Portland Psychotherapy Clinic, Research, and Training Center in Portland, OR where he also maintains a small clinical practice. Jason is an internationally recognized trainer in ACT, former chair of the ACT training committee, and past president of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. He is also an author of Learning Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, a book popular with professionals for its mixture of sophistication and accessibility. He has conducted research on interventions for shame and stigma for over a decade and recently published the first randomized trial of an ACT approach to shame in addiction at the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. His work on shame and compassion can be read at jenna_200x200

Jenna LeJeune, Ph.D. is the Director of Clinical Services at Portland Psychotherapy Clinic, Research, and Training Center in Portland, Oregon. In her clinical practice, Jenna specializes in working with adults who struggle with intimacy problems, trauma-related difficulties, problematic eating/body image, and others who tend to experience a high levels of shame and self-criticism. She also provides training in ACT to other professionals around the world. Her research interests include issues related to stigma and shame, specifically developing compassion-focused interventions within a contextual behavioral science framework for those struggling with chronic shame and self-criticism.


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