Human life is very challenging—and everyone suffers from highly painful emotions from time to time.
For example, feeling:
• Panicked when facing a fear, such as public speaking, spiders, or heavy turbulence on a flight
• Anger during an argument with a loved one
• Intense distress after being diagnosed with a serious illness
• High anxiety when contemplating issues of climate change, politics, or social justice
During such moments we can feel overwhelmed by painful emotions. Those painful emotions are related to our threat system activation. This system then tries to take over and lead us to reacting impulsively, based on experiential avoidance instead of what is in our best interests. Rather than being helpful, it can crank up our suffering and lead us to behaving in ways we
later regret. In this workshop, a model for adaptively facing highly distressing moments will be presented. Using an integration of acceptance and commitment therapy and compassion-
focused therapy (which some call compassion-focused acceptance and commitment therapy) you will learn how to:
1. Get off autopilot
2. Face difficult moments from a compassionate mindset
3. Choose responses to difficult moments that minimize suffering and maximize the potential for a positive outcome.
These skills can be invaluable for clients struggling between sessions with anxiety, panic, anger, and feeling overwhelmed with life.
This workshop is designed to help you:
1. Teach acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) processes to clients to help them respond to highly distressing emotions in an adaptive way
2. Apply key strategies from compassion-focused therapy (CFT) to help ease client suffering during emotionally challenging moments
3. Formulate an intervention that combines ACT and CFT strategies to help clients cope with and respond adaptively (less suffering and increased psychological flexibility) during emotionally turbulent situations