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Showing up for class:. Danielle N. Moyer, MS Daniel S. Steinberg, MA Melissa L. Connally, MS Amy R. Murrell, PhD. Examining a doctoral level course on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. The growth of ACT has lead to an increased need for quality training. Workshops Supervision

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showing up for class

Showing up for class:

Danielle N. Moyer, MS

Daniel S. Steinberg, MA

Melissa L. Connally, MS

Amy R. Murrell, PhD

Examining a doctoral level course on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

the growth of act has lead to an increased need for quality training
The growth of ACT has lead to an increased need for quality training
  • Workshops
  • Supervision
  • Conferences
  • Books
  • Graduate coursework
act workshops have been empirically shown to have several positive outcomes
ACT workshops have been empirically shown to have several positive outcomes
  • Improved knowledge
  • Increased psychological flexibility
  • Decreased burnout
dr amy murrell s act class at unt
Dr. Amy Murrell’s ACT class at UNT
  • Advanced psychotherapy series
  • Clinical, counseling, and clinical health graduate students
  • Mixed-methods learning class


some advantages to teaching an act course
Some advantages to teaching an ACT course:
  • Dissemination of knowledge
  • Behavior analysis and RFT
  • Introduction to community
  • Dispelling rumors
  • Treatment selection discussion
  • Live therapy observation
but this type of experience is unique
But this type of experience is unique!
  • Different from other graduate courses on therapy
  • Different from other ways of teaching ACT
some major obstacles to teaching an act course
Some major obstacles to teaching an ACT course:
  • Didactic versus experiential
  • So much to cover
  • Limited practice
  • Loud minds!
  • Ethical considerations
an opportunity to collect data
An opportunity to collect data!
  • AFQ
  • MASS
  • VLQ
  • PSS
  • Pre
  • Mid
  • Post
  • Follow up
so many questions yet to answer
So many questions yet to answer!
  • Barriers to research
  • Structured data collection
  • Comparison groups
  • Competency
there are many opportunities for improvement
There are many opportunities for improvement
  • Informed consent
  • Improving efficiency around foundations
  • More experiential activities
  • Know yourself!


course structure
Course Structure

“Coming in with little understanding of the material it was too much to soak in all of these terms all at once. Instead, perhaps addressing the elements of the hexaflex first, and then talking about FC and RFT?”

“First half of course (theory) was very difficult for me to understand. Second half was much more digestible. I wonder if the class would be better if these were flipped.”

“I would have liked to learn about values earlier in the semester.”

“The next time this course is offered, it might be best to start the ACT processes with values.”

“I felt the structure of the first half of the class was very difficult. I LOVED the second half of the class.”

course content
Course Content

“I loved the course material; I tried to apply what I learned in the therapy room.”

“Overall, I enjoyed the subject matter. I was happy to have taken the class and to learn more about ACT. I think it will be helpful in the therapy I provide in the clinic. I think more emphasis on what it looks like in the room would have been fun.”

“If time had allowed, more discussion on ACT conferences and workshops may have been appreciated.”


“At first I thought the instructor shared too much personal information. Later, I interpreted such behavior as modeling multiple aspects of psychological flexibility. Ultimately, I find your self-disclosure inspiring.”

“While I appreciated the reasons for self-disclosure, it sometimes seemed unnecessarily detailed and long-winded. Nonetheless, the instructor’s passion for the subject was evident, and I appreciated how she conveyed the importance of the course, and her dedication to doing a good job for the sake of students’ learning and living consistently with her own value of being a good educator.” 

“I felt a bit uncomfortable during some of the instructor’s self-disclosures.”

“I appreciate the instructor’s openness and passion for the subject.”

“I thought that the instructor shared a lot of difficult personal content that eventually led to students feeling as though they could do the same.”

self evaluation
Self Evaluation

“I put in significant effort during this course. I don’t know if there’s anything I could have done to improve my learning except be more present during those times when class got boring.”

“My effort this semester was the best I could have given. I have no regrets and am presently happy with what I have accomplished.”

“I worked hard to get as much as I could out of this class.”

“I have learned so very much from this course and I am incredibly grateful to have been able to participate.”

“I do feel that I have worked hard and been able to integrate my studies into my therapeutic work effectively.”

“I could have utilized other students to understand the material better. I did a good job of reading all of the material assigned in trying to understand the course material.”

“At times I was under-prepared for class discussion with respect to completing the readings. However, I sought to be emotionally and intellectually present and engaged within every class session.”


Thank you!

Danielle N. Moyer, MS

University of North Texas

[email protected]