Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in Groups

Don’t miss Annie Peters’ workshop, “Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in Groups,” at our upcoming annual conference!

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a “third-wave” (mindfulness based), cognitive-behavior therapy approach created in 1986 by Steven Hayes. “ACT. . .uses acceptance and mindfulness processes and commitment and behavior change processes to produce greater psychological flexibility” (Hayes & Strosal, 2004). Grounded in its own basic research program in human language and cognition – Relational Frame Theory (RFT), ACT has 30 years of empirical data to support its effectiveness. The primary goals of ACT are to:  1) create a meaningful life, while accepting the pain that inevitably goes with it — “Living life on life’s terms,” and 2) take effective action guided by desires, wishes, and values. This presentation will provide an introduction to the basic assumptions and core processes of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and will demonstrate ways in which ACT can be applied in group therapy. Particular emphasis will be placed on understanding the significance of experiential avoidance and cognitive fusion in human suffering and learning how to incorporate mindfulness, acceptance, and values skills into your group practice.

Dr. Annie Peters completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Colorado Boulder. She began her career in addiction treatment at Hazelden-Betty Ford Foundation as a staff psychologist in 2006, and then as a professor in their Graduate School of Addiction Studies. She joined the Harmony team in 2014 as Chief Clinical Officer and supervises Harmony’s clinical program, including addiction counseling, mental health services, and clinical case management.