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ACT Made Simple Dr Russ Harris. You can download this presentation from the Therapists and Coaches page on:. www.thehappinesstrap.com. Workshop Aims. Understand the ACT model Experience the 6 core processes Learn practical tools and techniques Have some fun

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ACT Made Simple Dr Russ Harris

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Act made simple dr russ harris

ACT Made SimpleDr Russ Harris

You can download this presentation from the

Therapists and Coaches page on:

www.thehappinesstrap.com


Workshop aims

Workshop Aims

  • Understand the ACT model

  • Experience the 6 core processes

  • Learn practical tools and techniques

  • Have some fun

  • Leave here inspired to learn more


What is act

What is ACT?

  •  Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: an empirically- supported mindfulness-based therapy, created by Steven Hayes in 1986

  • Acceptanceof what is out of your personal control and Commitmentto taking action that enriches your life.

  • The aim of ACT is to create a rich full and meaningful life, while accepting the pain that inevitably goes with it.

  • Symptom reduction is not the goal


What is act1

What is ACT?

  • ACT teaches psychological skills (mindfulness skills) to deal with painful thoughts and feelings more effectively – in such a way that they have much less impact and influence.

  • ACT helps you to clarify what is truly important and meaningful to you (your values) - then use that knowledge to guide and motivate behavioral change, to improve your quality of life.


What is mindfulness

What Is Mindfulness?

  • Mindfulness: awareness with openness and curiosity

  • Buddhism is often cited as the origin of mindfulness practice, but actually you can find it in all the world’s great religions

  • ACT is not a religion. It is a scientific evidence-based behavioral therapy, based on applied behavioral analysis.


6 core processes of act

6 Core Processes of ACT

The Present Moment

Be here now

Acceptance

Open up

Values

Know what matters

Psychological Flexibility

Defusion

Watch your thinking

Committed action

Do what works

Self-as-context

Pure awareness


The mindfulness formula

The Mindfulness “Formula”

  • 1. Notice X

  • 2. Let your thoughts come and go

  • 3. Let your feelings be as they are

  • 4. Drift off, come back


The mindfulness formula1

The Mindfulness “Formula”

  • Alternatives to “notice”: observe, focus, pay attention to, be aware of

  • Alternatives to “acceptance”: allow it, open up, make room, create space, let it be, sit with it, drop the struggle, hold it gently, hold it lightly, soften up around it


Workability

Workability

  • Is what you are doing working in the long term to make life rich, full and meaningful?

  • If yes, keep doing it

  • If no, do something different

  • Don’t be a “mindfulness Nazi”

  • Fusion and avoidance are NOT inherently bad. We only target them when they get in the way of a rich and full life.


Creative hopelessness

“Creative Hopelessness”

  • AKA “Confronting the agenda”

  • Client’s agenda: I want to control how I feel

  • Control is the opposite of mindfulness

  • 3 questions:

  • What have you tried?

  • How has it worked?

  • What has it cost?


6 core processes of act1

6 Core Processes of ACT

The Present Moment

Be here now

Acceptance

Open up

Values

Know what matters

Psychological Flexibility

Defusion

Watch your thinking

Committed action

Do what works

Self-as-context

Pure awareness


Defusion techniques

Defusion techniques

  • Leaves on a stream

  • Let your thoughts come and go like passing cars, clouds in the sky etc.

  • Your mind is a story teller; thoughts are stories;

  • Your mind is like a radio - let it play on in the background

  • Use your hand as a “chatterbox”

  • “Hands as thoughts” metaphor


Defusion techniques1

Defusion techniques

  • I’m having the thought that …

  • I notice I’m having the thought that …

  • Sing thoughts, e.g. to Happy Birthday

  • Hear thoughts in silly voices

  • Put thoughts on a computer screen and play with font, color, case, format; or animate them; or add a karaoke ball


Defusion techniques2

Defusion techniques

  • Notice what your mind is telling you

  • How old is this story?

  • What happens when you get caught up in it?

  • Does it help you to hold this story tightly?

  • Does it help you to let this story run your life/ bully you around/ dictate what you do?


Defusion techniques3

Defusion techniques

  • Naming the story – if we put every thought, feeling memory linked to this issue into a book or movie, what would you call it?

  • Repetition

  • Pop-up thoughts:

  • Children should be seen and …

  • Blondes have more …

  • Every cloud has …


6 core processes of act2

6 Core Processes of ACT

The Present Moment

Be here now

Acceptance

Open up

Values

Know what matters

Psychological Flexibility

Defusion

Watch your thinking

Committed action

Do what works

Self-as-context

Pure awareness


The mindfulness formula2

The Mindfulness Formula

  • 1. Notice X

  • 2. Let your thoughts come and go

  • 3. Let your feelings be as they are

  • 4. Drift off, come back!


6 core processes of act3

6 Core Processes of ACT

The Present Moment

Be here now

Acceptance

Open up

Values

Know what matters

Psychological Flexibility

Defusion

Watch your thinking

Committed action

Do what works

Self-as-context

Pure awareness


Values

Values

  • You are 80 years old looking back on today. Complete these sentences:

  • I spent too much time worrying about …

  • I spent too little time doing things such as ….


Values1

Values

  • A value = a desired quality of ongoing action

  • Compass metaphor: a value is like a direction you want to move in e.g. West

  • Committed action is like actually travelling West

  • Goals are like the bridges or mountains or rivers you aim to cross.

  • To be loving and supportive = value

  • Marriage = goal


Values clarification

Values Clarification

  • Routine questions: what would you start/stop if this was no longer an issue?

  • What gives you a sense of meaning and purpose?

  • When do you feel most alive?

  • What really matters, in the big picture?

  • For suicidal clients: what has stopped you from killing yourself?


Values clarification1

Values Clarification

  • 80th Birthday

  • Magic wand

  • Role models

  • Childhood dreams

  • Values questionnaires

  • Documentary of you – now and later


Values clarification2

Values Clarification

  • Tombstone

  • Eulogy

  • Funeral

  • You know you only have one week to live,but you can’t tell anyone


The i don t know monster

The “I Don’t Know” Monster

  • What is the function of “I don’t know”?

  • If genuine lack of understanding: Explain values, and/or provide a list

  • If automatic response: Defusion

  • If avoidance: Defusion, Values & Workability. Facilitate willingness, then do experiential exercises


6 core processes of act4

6 Core Processes of ACT

The Present Moment

Be here now

Acceptance

Open up

Values

Know what matters

Psychological Flexibility

Committed

action

Do what works

Defusion

Watch your thinking

Self-as-context

Pure awareness


Committed action

Committed Action

  • Values to goals: short, medium and long term

  • What’s the smallest, simplest, easiest step you can take in the next 24 hours?

  • Live person’s goals

  • Specific goals

  • Break goals down into actions

  • On a scale of 0 – 10, how likely are you to do this? If client scores 5 or less, reassess!


Committed action1

Committed Action

  • Write yourself a personal goal, in line with a core value, that you will do in the next week

  • As you do this, notice what your mind says

  • Now commit to doing it: tell your partner what you will do – and as you do it, notice a) how you feel and b) what your mind tells you


Barriers to action

Barriers to Action

  • F.E.A.R.

  • Fusion

  • Excessive goals

  • Avoidance of discomfort

  • Remoteness from values


The antidote to fear

The Antidote to FEAR

  • D.A.R.E.

  • Defusion

  • Acceptance of discomfort

  • Realistic goals

  • Embracing values


6 core processes of act5

6 Core Processes of ACT

The Present Moment

Be here now

Acceptance

Open up

Values

Know what matters

Psychological Flexibility

Defusion

Watch your thinking

Committed action

Do what works

Self-as-context

Pure awareness


Self as context

Self-as-context

  • AKA self-as-perspective, the observing self, the silent self, the silent witness,

  • My opinion: the best term is “pure awareness”

  • The “part of you” that is aware of everything else

  • The “place” from which you observe

  • The chessboard metaphor


Self as context1

Self-as-context

  • Thinking Self versus Observing Self: playing tennis, watching a sunset

  • The stage show of life: on that stage is everything you can see, hear, touch, taste and smell, plus all your thoughts and feelings

  • You can watch any part of the show, or all of it at once

  • The show changes continually; the part of you that observes the show does not


6 core processes of act6

6 Core Processes of ACT

The Present Moment

Be here now

Acceptance

Open up

Values

Know what matters

Psychological Flexibility

Defusion

Watch your thinking

Committed action

Do what works

Self-as-context

Pure awareness


Acceptance

Acceptance

  • Observe it: location, size, outline, depth, temperature, hot spots, cold spots, movement, weight, vibration, pulsation

  • Breathe into it

  • Open up/ make room/ create space

  • Allow it: you don’t have to like it or want it or approve of it; just let it be

  • Physicalize it: if it was an object, what shape color, texture, temperature, weight, surface would it have?


Acceptance1

Acceptance

  • Choice: 1) no pain, but you lose your capacity to love and care or 2) you get to love and to care, but you feel pain when there’s a gap between what you want and what you’ve got. Which do you choose?

  • Place a hand on the pain

  • Soften up/ loosen up around the pain

  • Hold it gently, like a crying baby or a frightened puppy


Acceptance2

Acceptance

  • Normalize: this tells you’re alive and you have a heart; this is what humans feel when there’s a gap between what you want and what you’ve got.

  • Expand awareness: This pain is one actor on the stage – bring up the lights on the rest of the stage show


Conceptualization

Conceptualization

  • 1. What direction does the client want to take their life in?

  • 2. What’s stopping them?

  • a) What are they fused with?

  • b) What are they avoiding?

  • c) What ineffective actions are they taking?


Conceptualization1

Conceptualization

ACTION

ACTION

Mindless

Fused

Avoidant

Ineffective

Mindful

Valued

Willing

Effective

WORKABILITY


A c b s why join

A.C.B.S. – Why Join?

  • www.contextualpsychology.org

You can download this presentation from

the Therapists and Coaches page on:

www.thehappinesstrap.com


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