Listening with ACT Ears, Seeing with ACT Eyes: Experiential Case Conceptualization - Wilson - (Clinical, Research, Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)

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Listening with ACT Ears, Seeing with ACT Eyes: Experiential Case Conceptualization


Workshop Leader:
Kelly G. Wilson, Ph.D., University of Mississippi
(student assistants: Olga Berkout, Solomon Kurz, Lindsay Schnetzer, Kerry Whiteman)

Dates & Location:
Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center 
9:00-5:15pm on Saturday July 21, 2012 
9:00-5:00pm on Sunday July 22, 2012 

Continuing Education Credits Available: 13

Workshop Description:
The psychological flexibility model has become increasingly well developed and as a means of understanding psychological difficulties and guiding treatment. This workshop will be guided by chapter four of the Second Edition of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and by the psychological flexibility worksheets found in Mindfulness for Two. Solid case conceptualizations are critical to guiding therapy, but there is a problem with case conceptualization--they are often too conceptual. At times we clinicians can become too caught up in concepts and lose the persons in the process. In order to bring vitality and presence to the making of case conceptualization, we will engage in training activities that will intentionally move between conceptual and experiential components.

ACT does not allow a neat division between people doing treatment and people needing treatment. It is hard to get what is important about ACT without confronting the fact that in a very deep sense, we are all in the same boat. The purpose of this workshop will be to increase the depth and integration of knowledge about ACT case conceptualization, but, more importantly, to learn some things that are not well transmitted in written form. The workshop will contain a mix of didactics and experiential work. Through didactics and experience we will teach you to see with ACT eyes and to hear with ACT ears.

The workshop will begin with a very brief introduction to the hexaflex multidimensional diagnoses, assessment, and treatment and to the psychological flexibility worksheets. This fully dimensional model allows clinicians to examine psychological difficulties across a wide range of presentations. For example, examining fusion/defusion, we will see how it is possible to view problems in thinking ranging from full-fledged thought disorders seen among psychotic patients to the “thought disorders” of everyday life. The linkage between assessment and intervention on these various dimensions will be examined throughout the workshop in the context of a series of experiential exercises and observation of these exercises.

Exercises will be completed in groups and the results will be processed both within the small group and in the workshop as a whole. Psychological flexibility worksheet conceptualizations will be applied to both the therapist and the client in the exercises. Therapist fusion and non-acceptance is often as much an obstacle as client fusion and non-acceptance. Both observing and participating pairs will work out case conceptualizations. Through the series of exercises, we will examine a variety of interventions stemming from the psychological flexibility model.

About Kelly G. Wilson
Kelly G. Wilson, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of psychology at the University at Mississippi. He is Past President of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. Wilson has devoted himself to the development and dissemination of ACT and its underlying theory and philosophy for the past 20 years, and has published numerous articles and chapters, as well as 6 books including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: An Experiential Approach to Behavior Change and his newest books Mindfulness for Two and Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong. He has central interests in the application of behavioral principles to understanding topics such as purpose, meaning and values, therapeutic relationship, and mindfulness. Wilson is the founder of Onelife Education and Training, LLC and has presented workshops and provided consultancy in 20 countries.

Learning Objectives:
1. Participants will be able to make client case conceptualizations using the psychological flexibility model
2. Participants will be able to conceptualize therapist obstacles using the psychological flexibility model.
3. Participants will be able to create mindfulness interventions for their clients stemming from the conceptualization.
4. Participants will be able to create values and commitment interventions for their clients stemming from the conceptualization.
5. Participants will be able to name and discuss the six facets of the psychological flexibility model.  

Target Audience: Clinical; Beginner; Intermediate; Advanced

Components: Conceptual analysis; Experiential exercises; Didactic presentation; Role play

Package Includes: A general certificate of attendance, 1 boxed lunch (July 21), and AM & PM coffee/tea break on site. Lunch break on first day is 1 hour; lunch break on second day is 1 hour and 15 minutes.