Acceptance and mindfulness-based practices are rapidly making their way into mental health care, medicine, and society both to alleviate human suffering and nurture psychological health and wellness. This body of work also offers a fresh perceptive on psychological suffering and a set of powerful clinical strategies that support meaningful life changes. In this workshop, we will learn about one particular approach and set of practices based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (or ACT, said as one word).

ACT is a newer third-generation evidence-based behavior therapy that balances mindfulness and acceptance processes with commitment and behavior change processes to (a) weaken the unhelpful influence of thoughts and emotional avoidance in guiding actions, while (b) promoting greater experiential and psychological flexibility in the service of (c) valued ends. It is both a form of therapy and an approach to living well, with evidence showing that it is useful for many forms of psychological and emotional suffering. In short, ACT teaches clients how to be with their hurts and do what works – to live well, richly, and meaningfully, without first having to defeat sources of emotional and psychological pain.

This 1-day workshop will introduce ACT, both as a model and intervention technology, and illustrate its use across a broad set of problem areas that are commonly seen in mental health settings (e.g., anxiety, depression, anger). The workshop will include a rich mix of didactic teachings, live and video demonstrations, and practical experiential exercises that will be done individually, in dyads, and small groups. Clinical worksheets and other practical tools will be provided.

John P. Forsyth, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized author, speaker, and trainer in the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and practices that cultivate mindfulness, loving kindness (Metta), and compassion. For over 20 years, his work has focused on developing ACT and mindfulness practices to alleviate human suffering, awaken the human spirit, and to nurture psychological health and vitality.  His personal journey and experience, balanced with practical insights grounded in scientific evidence, offers hope to those wishing to find a path out of suffering and into wholeness. 

Jamie R. Forsyth, M.A. is a gifted clinician and clinical supervisor, with extensive expertise the application of ACT with severe forms of mental illness (e.g., psychosis and personality disorders) and forms of psychological suffering in inpatient, outpatient, and college mental health settings. Beyond ACT, Jamie is a skillful researcher and clinician, with specialized knowledge in relational and process-oriented therapeutic work, addictions, motivational interviewing, including mindfulness and self-compassion practices.

A Practical Introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in Clinical Practice with Dr John Forsyth and Jamie Forsyth

  • October 1, 2016
  • Thompson Rivers University
    Kamloops, British Columbia