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"ACT For Life" - Group Intervention for Psychosis Manual

ACT For Life Intervention

The intervention consists of four, two-hour weekly group sessions. The intervention is based principally around the “Passenger on the Bus” metaphor (Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 1999), which is used to provide a consistent narrative thread throughout the groups. We use the metaphor to explore issues of workability, fusion, mindfulness, values and committed action in each of the sessions. We emphasise choice around participation, saying from the outset that, we would like people to participate as much as possible but it is an equally valid option to sit out of exercises. However, we generally find participants enjoy the interactive aspects of the group and often comment afterwards that the role playing is often one of the more memorable aspects of the group.

From the first group, we ask participants to be setting values goals that they can work towards throughout the week. However, we are careful to emphasise process goals here rather than outcome goals. As such, we frame this as an opportunity for participants to notice “passengers” or obstacles that arise as they approach the activity, and if the activity is completed, this is simply an added bonus.

We use PowerPoint presentations to make the groups more interactive and provide further structure to the groups. We have found this particularly useful in working with younger clients. The video vignette of the story of Tom can be downloaded from here:

The groups are designed to for approximately 8-10 participants. In each group we would have two to three therapists working with the group.

Each session follows a similar structure, which includes:
1. Warm-up exercise
2. Noticing (mindfulness exercise)
3. Discussion of the out of session activity from the previous week
4. Group discussion/ activity
5. Planning out of session activity

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