ACT with Compassion: Working with Highly Self-Critical and Shame-Prone Clients using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

The Boulder Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies is pleased to present:

ACT with Compassion: Working with Highly Self-Critical and Shame-Prone Clients using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with Jason Luoma Ph.D.

April 15th and 16th 2016

8am – 5pm Friday and Saturday

Hampton Inn Boulder:  6333 Lookout Rd, Boulder, CO 80301

Boulder, CO


Workshop Description:

Persistent self-criticism and shame are often central for our most chronic, interpersonally difficult, and stuck clients. Self-criticism and associated emotions such as shame and self-directed contempt have been shown to play an important role in a variety of psychological problems, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, eating disorders, schizophrenia, substance addiction, and others. It’s likely that self-criticism is a transdiagnostic process that, if targeted successfully, can improve outcomes across a range of mental health difficulties. Only recently have interventions for shame and self-criticism begun to receive scientific scrutiny and demonstrate evidence for their effectivness. One such intervention is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

This workshop will offer a functional evolutionary perspective on shame, which can be used to inform how ACT is implemented to uniquely target problems of shame and chronic self-criticism. A particular focus of this workshop is on the ACT theory of self and its centrality in working with shame, self-criticism, and the development of self-compassion. In looking at the role of both the conceptualized self and conceptualized other, this workshop will provide practical guidelines for incorporating compassion-focused interventions within an ACT model. The workshop will move from the theoretical to the applicable, exploring how ideas such as self as context and flexible perspective taking can have very practical applications in helping clients develop newer and more flexible ways of relating to themselves based on values of self-compassion, kindness, and caring.

Participants will have the opportunity to observe and experience a variety of defusion, acceptance, mindfulness, and perspective-taking interventions designed to target shame and self-criticism. They will also engage in experiential practice in small groups using ACT processes as applied to shame and self-criticism. Guidance on how to sequence ACT interventions when specifically targeting these difficulties will be provided. Participants will also receive instruction on specific measures useful in identifying and tracking shame and self-criticism and guidance on how these measures can be used as therapeutic tools. Attendees can expect to walk away with an increased experiential and practical understanding of how to use acceptance, mindfulness, perspective-taking, and values interventions with clients suffering from chronic shame and self-criticism.

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 theory

3) Identify ways in which they can work with shame in the present moment with clients

4) Understand how to sequence ACT interventions for chronic shame and self-criticism

5) Increase skills in detecting shame through nonverbal cues

6) Gain better facility with defusion in treating clients with self-critical thoughts

7) Describe how to adapt ACT processes for use with highly self-critical and shame-prone clients

8) Describe how 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 Jason Luoma:

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. After earning his doctorate, Jason spent four years at the University of Nevada, Reno studying ACT with its creator, Dr. Steven Hayes. Jason is an internationally recognized trainer in ACT, former chair of the ACT training committee, and current president of ACBS. 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.

Target Audience: This workshop is tailored for those with prior exposure to ACT and/or other Contextual Behavioral Science approaches.

Components:  Conceptual analysis, Experiential exercises, Didactic presentation, Case presentation, Role play

Package Includes: A general certificate of attendance, lunch, and AM & PM coffee/tea break on site.

Fees (does not include credit card and processing fees):

Professionals: $335.00 before 3/19/16, $385.00 regular fee

Students: $180.00 before 3/19/16, $230.00 regular fee

To Register: