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Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) Proficiency Course: Master the Core Components & Skills of ACT Across Diagnoses

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Michael C. May, MA, LCPC
6 Hours 22 Minutes
Dec 11, 2019
Product Code:
Media Type:
DVD - Also available: Digital Recordings


This Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Proficiency Course recording is essential for any clinician with a difficult-to-treat client on their caseload!

ACT has long been established as effective in treating clients with a variety of clinical diagnoses.

Now, you can master the core competencies and skills used by ACT clinicians!

Watch ACT expert and clinician, Michael C. May, MA, LCPC, and he’ll walk you step-by-step through using the six core processes of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in session. For each of the six components, you’ll learn interventions and strategies that you can use in your practice immediately.

You’ll have plenty of opportunities for practice through in-depth case studies and targeted experiential exercises – allowing you to really hone your skills.

Clinicians new to ACT will find this course transparent and easy to understand, while experienced ACT clinicians will discover new, in-depth insights that will solidify comprehension of ACT concepts and expand your repertoire of ACT interventions.



This online program is worth 6.25 hours CPD.



Michael C. May, MA, LCPC's Profile

Michael C. May, MA, LCPC Related seminars and products

Compassionate Psychological Care, LLP

Michael C. May, MA, LCPC is a psychotherapist in private practice and an ACT Trainer. He is a founding partner of Compassionate Psychological Care, LLP, a clinic that provides a wide-range of psychological services with offices in Chicago and Highland Park, IL.  Within his private practice, his clinical work is focused on anxiety-related presenting concerns, primarily Panic Disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Michael is also co-founder of Enriched Couples LLC, a company focused on utilizing applied behavioral science in conjunction with financial literacy training to aid young couples in undermining toxic experiential avoidance and building vital and valued relationships.

Michael has received advanced training in various contextual behavioral approaches to psychotherapy including Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and regularly provides workshops and professional trainings on Acceptance & Commitment Therapy. Michael is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the State of Illinois.  He is a member of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science and the Association for Behavior Analysis International.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Michael May is the founder of Compassionate Behavioral Healthcare, LLC and the founding & managing partner of Compassionate Psychological Care, LLP. He is the co-founder of Enriched Couples, LLC. Michael May receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Michael May is a member of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science and the Association for Behavior Analysis International.


  1. Perform a clinical assessment using the Inflexahex diagnostic model to inform clinical treatment interventions.
  2. Utilize acceptance exercises in session to increase client willingness to engage in values-consistent behaviours.
  3. Analyze the efficacy of mindfulness meditation for clients on a case-by-case basis, and demonstrate alternative mindfulness interventions for clients who find meditation aversive or unhelpful.
  4. Utilize clinical strategies to assist clients in clarifying their values as it relates to case conceptualization.
  5. Implement clinical treatment interventions, such as behavioural activation strategies or social skills training interventions, to improve client engagement in values-consistent behaviours as an approach to managing symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, personality disorders or depression.
  6. Utilize metaphors and exercises to explain self-as-context in session for purposes of client psychoeducation.


ACT Foundations: What You Need to Know

  • Context: Why it is Fundamental to ACT
  • How to determine the functional purpose of behaviour
  • What is language: Relational Frame Theory
  • The source of psychological suffering
  • The ACT model of psychopathology
  • Experiential avoidance, cognitive fusion & the toxic cycle
  • Psychological Flexibility: What it is & why it’s important
  • The Inflexahex diagnostic model
  • Limitations of the research & potential risks


Acceptance: Combat Experiential Avoidance

  • What is “acceptance” in ACT?
  • Experiential avoidance: The “Control Agenda”
  • Client control over unwanted thoughts & feelings
  • How to confront the control agenda
  • Interventions for fostering acceptance
  • Acceptance Exercises: The “Unwanted Party Guest;” “Barriers to Writing”

Defusion: Break Down Thoughts as Barriers

  • The problem with cognitive fusion
  • Weaken unworkable language functions
  • Should thoughts always control behaviour?
  • Build an environment of defusion within session
  • Strategies for building defusion skills
  • Defusion Exercise: “Having vs Believing” our thoughts

Self-As-Context: Aid Clients in Distancing Themselves from Their Thoughts

  • What is self-as-context?
  • Self-as-content vs. self-as-context
  • Mitigate attachment to the conceptualized self
  • Help clients understand self-as-context
  • Interventions to foster self-as-context
  • Self-As-Context Exercise: The “observer self”

Contact with the Present Moment: Mindfulness Strategies to Reduce Worry about the Past & Future

  • Mindfulness: A core feature of all human psychopathology
  • What “mindfulness” means in ACT
  • The goal of mindfulness practice in ACT
  • How to train mindfulness with flexibility
  • Overcome obstacles in teaching mindfulness
  • Address relaxation-induced panic
  • Formal & informal mindfulness interventions
  • Contact with the Present Moment Exercise: Mindfulness without Meditation

Values: Guide Clients in Identifying & Clarifying What Matters

  • The importance of values in ACT
  • How values can be transformative in human behaviour
  • Values & goals
  • How to evoke values from clients
  • From instant gratification to pursuit of values
  • Values Clarification Exercise: The Eulogy

Committed Action: Establish Values-Consistent Patterns of Behavior

  • The relationship between values & committed action
  • What’s considered committed action?
  • Address persistent inaction, impulsivity or avoidance
  • Interventions
    • Exposure-based approaches
    • Behavioural activation strategies
    • Social-skills training interventions
    • Problem-solving barriers to committed action
    • Behavioural homework
  • Case Study: Engaging in committed action with depression

ACT in Action: Utilize ACT with Specific Clinical Populations

  • PTSD
  • Anxiety
  • Personality disorders
  • Depression

Target Audience

  • Social Workers
  • Counselors
  • Psychologists
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Psychotherapists
  • Case Managers
  • Nurses
  • Mental Health Professionals
  • Therapists



Overall:      5

Total Reviews: 2


Kathryn U

"Michael was a fantastic presenter! He had a passion for the topic which made a complex subject matter accessible and his presentation style, energy and personality made this a fun as well as clinically enriching experience! "

Donielle P

"Great seminar"

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