Advanced practice in acceptance and commitment therapy

  • Joe Curran & Nic Wilkinson
  • May 16th 2014

Summary of workshop

Acceptance and commitment therapy, or ACT is a branch of behavioral therapy. It is an empirically based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies mixed in different ways with commitment and behavior-change strategies to increase psychological flexibility. ACT differs from traditional cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in that rather than trying to teach people to better control their thoughts, feelings, sensations, memories and other private events, ACT teaches them to "just notice", accept, and embrace their private events, especially previously unwanted ones. ACT helps the individual get in contact with a transcendent sense of self known as "self-as-context" — the you that is always there observing and experiencing and yet distinct from one's thoughts, feelings, sensations, and memories. ACT aims to help the individual clarify their personal values and to take action on them, bringing more vitality and meaning to their life in the process, increasing their psychological flexibility.
This workshop will specifically help participants with some prior ACT training to consider and develop their practice skills. The workshop will use a range of methods moving quickly into experiential and practice based exercises for the majority of the day.


The workshop is suitable for anyone who has previously undertaken introductory ACT training and wishes to develop their practice skills further.

About the workshop leaders

Joe Curran currently works as a Consultant Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist for Sheffield Health & Social Care NHS Foundation Trust. For the last 10 years he has also been the course director for the post-graduate diploma in cognitive behaviour therapy accredited by Sheffield Hallam University. Joe has a long-standing interest in contemporary behaviour therapies of which ACT is one. He developed a regional interest group in ACT and was a founding member of the British Association of Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) Special Interest Group for ACT. Joe has delivered many workshops on ACT across the UK and internationally.
Nic Wilkinson currently works as a clinical psychologist in the NHS in Sheffield. He has been using mindfulness in his clinical practice for many years and has been active member of local and national interest groups for Acceptance & Commitment Therapy and mindfulness.

Workshop learning outcomes

1. To reflect on your own understanding of the principles of acceptance and commitment therapy.
2. To be able to practice and develop a range of ACT treatment methods.
3. To experience a range of ACT methods yourself.



Useful resources

Hayes, Strosahl (2004) A Practical Guide to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Springer. - for the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, a professional organization dedicated to ACT, RFT, and functional contextualism. Also helpful for training opportunities for professionals interested in ACT.


Quaker meeting house, 10 St James Street, Sheffield, S1 2EW


9.30am to 4.00pm


£99 per person
£66 for students/trainees
Refreshments and are provided.