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Upcoming workshops:

Introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is growing in popularity and there is increasing research support for a large range of diagnoses and life problems. It combines mindfulness and behavioural principles to help clients make space for painful thoughts and feelings, bring their focus to the present and take steps towards the life they value.

This fun and engaging two day experiential workshop will:

  • Teach strategies to help your clients hold their painful thoughts and emotions gently and with compassion.
  • Demonstrate ways for you and your clients to identify values and actively move towards these.
  • Draw on mindfulness strategies to increase awareness of the present moment.
  • Review the theory and research base for ACT.
  • Focus on the therapeutic relationship so support can be provided in a compassionate and flexible manner.
  • Practice formulating life struggles from an ACT perspective.
  • Provide many opportunities to practice ACT exercises and relate the concepts back to participants’ own lives and clinical experiences.

Lunch and Morning/Afternoon teas are included.

Monday 2 November - Tuesday 3 November, Front + Centre, Wellington. Tickets available here

Sharpen Your Skills: Intermediate ACT workshop

Monday 14 Sept - Tuesday 15 Sept

You've learned about ACT assumptions and processes, and used ACT with clients in your clinical practice. Now it's time to develop your skills further to use ACT with more precision, flexibility and compassion.

This two day workshop is available to clinicians who have already completed our 2 day Introduction to ACT workshop (or a 2 day equivalent by another ACT trainer).

Front + Centre, Wellington. Tickets available here



Stuff That’s Loud

Integrating ERP and ACT for Youth with Anxiety and OCD

Do you feel unsure about how to treat the children and adolescents who come to your practice with anxiety or OCD? Are you hesitant to use exposure therapy because it’s tough to ask youngsters to face their fears? Or do you find young people with anxiety getting stuck in treatment, and you’re not sure why? If so, this course is for you.

Youth with anxiety and OCD are often overwhelmed with “stuff that’s loud,” or thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations that can be terrifying. Thus, they get stuck in spirals of avoidance that lead to deep social, academic, and family costs. Without effective therapy, this can go on for months or years. Despite the need for intervention, it often takes families years to find clinicians trained in exposure-based treatment, a potent and effective approach. However, many clinicians are hesitant to engage young people in Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) because it’s challenging to help individuals face their fears; a significant proportion of youngsters refuse treatment; of those who engage, 20-40% fail to make or maintain gains.

During this course, Lisa Coyne and Ben Sedley will teach you how to use exposure-based treatment from a process-based perspective, tied to evidence-based principles. You will learn about exposure from the bottom up, to look at the barriers in using exposure in your own practice, and to use this approach for young people flexibly, with various anxiety disorders, OCD, and across commonly comorbid conditions. They will show you how to integrate ERP with basic acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) so that you can help transform the lives of young people who are suffering with OCD and anxiety.

Based on strong scientific evidence and delivered by two master clinicians with years of experience in work with anxiety and OCD in outpatient and residential levels of care, this 8-week course will empower you to help young people with anxiety and OCD in their struggle with the “stuff that’s loud” through shaping curiosity, willingness, and flexibility. Lisa and Ben will show how to motivate and engage clients, how to address common stuck points in exposure, how to teach youngsters to do exposure therapy well, and how to support robust generalization. This course will help you to strengthen and expand your practice with children and teens with OCD and anxiety, especially when they feel stuck, or are difficult to motivate, or are moving slowly through treatment.

During this course, Lisa and Ben will:

Help you understand exposure-based treatment in terms of behavioral principles, based on the most current research.

Address best practices in assessment for child anxiety and OCD to support developing effective treatment plans.

Help you develop a strong therapeutic alliance that supports engagement in exposure-based treatment.

Teach you how to conduct exposure-based treatment with various presentations of anxiety and OCD for children 4-19 years old.

Demonstrate how to integrate specific ACT interventions into flexible exposure.

Show you best practices for working with families, which is essential to supporting the progress of young people.

Address your own barriers in conducting exposure-based treatment.

Support robust generalization and maintenance of gains.

Troubleshoot tricky, difficult-to-treat cases, and address comorbid conditions.

You will get a chance to learn experientially through exercises, role- and real-plays, and case discussions in which to practice the principles taught. You’ll leave this course with helpful resources to guide your assessment, treatment, and track progress of young clients in your sessions and beyond.

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