Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) from the Inside Out – Self-reflection and practice

This talk will introduce some of the basic ideas of CFT and what developing a ‘compassionate mind’ involves. Whilst holding working with clients in mind, we’ll also explore how the CFT model is used as an ‘inside out’ approach as a way of learning about how to use the model with others, via our application of it to ourselves.

Doing Experiential Therapy

While Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as well as other third wave therapy techniques have been widely disseminated over the past decade, their application within a truly experiential framework often remains a challenge for therapists. The desire for transparency, the need to make rapid progress, protocol driven EBP work, elevating technique over process, or simply the difficulty of transforming theoretical knowledge into concrete practice can lead therapists to be too directive and didactic, or conversely, abstract and confusing. The opportunity to develop the autonomy of clients in the sometimes subtle and pragmatic observation of their experience is thereby undermined. Experiential techniques lose their power of deep transformation; exchanges become less personal and meaningful; therapeutic work becomes less interesting and satisfying to the therapist and the therapeutic relationship is lost to application.

The goal of this training is to assist you developing or furthering your skill in experiential and process oriented practice. In this 3-hour workshop, we will build on the principles of contextual behavioral science to help you ground your clinical practice in experiential work. Didactic presentation, demonstrations and exercises will be used.

Bio: Robyn D. Walser, Ph.D. is Director of TL Consultation Services, Associate Director at the National Center for PTSD and is Associate Clinical Professor at University of California, Berkeley. As a licensed psychologist, she maintains an international training, consulting and therapy practice.

Dr. Walser is an expert in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and has co-authored 3 books on ACT including Learning ACT, The Mindful Couple and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress disorder. She also has expertise in traumatic stress and substance abuse and has authored a number of articles and chapters and books on these topics.

Dr. Walser is also a peer-reviewed trainer in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy recognized by the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS).

Matthieu Villatte PhD is an author and clinical trainer living in Seattle, WA in the United States. He is the author of numerous books and chapters on mindfulness, acceptance, experiential therapies, and contextual behavioral science, such as the first manual published in French on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and his new book, Mastering the Clinical Conversation: Language as Intervention, co-authored by Jennifer Villatte and Steven Hayes.

He is also a peer-reviewed trainer in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy recognized by the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS). He has facilitated over 90 clinical trainings in the US, Canada, Australia-New Zealand, South America, and Europe. Over the past few years, he has also run dozens of online trainings gathering participants from all continents.

10 Mistakes you don’t want to do as an ACT Therapist

What are some of the common mistakes we make as therapists? And once we get stuck in these, how do we get unstuck again? This presentation lists 10 common therapist mistakes in a compassionate and humorous way.

Through self-disclosure and role-plays we will explore these mistakes and ways of avoiding them.

Bio: Rikke Kjelgaard is a licensed psychologist and a peer reviewed ACT trainer. She is an experienced and highly popular public speaker who captivates her audience with her passion, enthusiasm and humour. Rikke speaks from her heart and her mission is to help people over the world to stand by themselves, to be brave and do more of what makes them happy.

Guiding Mindfulness/awareness Exercises for Patients with Somatic Conditions

Description will be added shortly

Bio: Graciela Rovner is known as a highly inspirational and fun workshop leader. She is a senior pain specialist physiotherapist, her PhD is in Medicine (Rehabilitation Medicine) and she has masters in clinical medical sciences, psychology and physiotherapy graduated in Sweden. She is the only physiotherapist that is ACBS-peer-reviewed ACT trainer. She has specialized in adapting and developing ACT for the inter-professional team and all the professions working in pain rehabilitation and mental health settings. Her clinical implementation research focuses on how to evaluate, select and allocate patients with chronic pain in different rehabilitation programs, and how to tailor these programs to meet the patients’ unique needs, even while delivering group-based rehab.

Process-based therapy – an RFT perspective

For the last 25 years or so the area of psychotherapy has seen an enormous increase in different models, many of them with an acronym of its own. CBT, DBT, MBCT, ACT, ISTDP, FAP, CFT, MCT just to mention a few. Anyone who takes the time to look in some depth at these models can see that there are many areas of overlap regardless of the fact that proponents of the models often stress their

Can the area of evidence-based therapy move towards an approach more focused on basic principles, rather than on a diversity of models? One recent effort in this direction is exemplified by the book published earlier this year: “Process-based CBT”, edited by Steven Hayes and Stefan Hofmann.

This workshop will use the results of modern research in human language and cognition, relational frame theory (RFT), to suggest what such basic principles can be and how to use them in psychotherapy. As ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy) has co-developed with RFT anyone familiar with ACT will recognize much. And at the same time these basic principles have a wider application than ACT and can be applied over the whole field of psychological treatment.

Bio: Niklas Törneke, MD, is a psychiatrist, and has worked as a senior psychiatrist in the department of general psychiatry in his hometown of Kalmar, Sweden, from 1991 until he started a private practice in 1998. He earned his license as a psychotherapist in 1996, and was originally trained as a cognitive therapist. Since 1998, he has worked mainly with acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), both in his own practice and as a teacher and clinical supervisor. His clinical experience ranges from psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia to common anxiety and mood disorders with high prevalence in the general population.

He is also a peer-reviewed trainer in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy recognized by the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS).

ACT for Psychosis Recovery

Do you work with clients who experience distressing psychosis? Are you wondering how acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and mindfulness in general can help?

Do you want to help your clients more effectively manage distressing symptoms so they can lead fullrich and meaningful lives?

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Psychosis (ACTp) is a powerful behavioral approach that incorporates acceptance and mindfulness techniques to help people to disentangle from difficult thoughts, feelings, or distressing experiences, to engage in behaviors that are guided by personal values.

Experiential avoidance, cognitive fusion, and a reduced capacity for perspective taking, all play major roles in the distress and disability associated with psychosis. ACT offers a pathway to better psychological health and wellbeing through the cultivation of experiential openness, self-awareness, engagement in life, defusion from hallucinations, delusions and other unhelpful cognitions, self-compassion, acceptance of pain, and actions based on personal values. Due to the emphasis on values-directed action and personal meaning ACTp is consistent with recovery principles, and is highly acceptable by clients.

In this workshop, Joe Oliver, PhD, will introduce the core skills and knowledge to help clients recover from psychosis, using ACTp.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Define how the challenges surrounding psychosis can be conceptualized using the ACT model
  2. Identify at least 3 main tenets of the ACT therapeutic stance and describe their relationship to working with people with psychosis.
  3. Define how ACTp can be a pragmatic treatment for people with early and established psychosis as well as carers of people with psychosis
  4. Describe how to adapt ACT metaphors and exercises for people with psychosis
  5. Learn the central acceptance and defusion skills in working with voices, paranoia and delusions.
  6. Describe how to safely and usefully use mindfulness and present moment exercises
  7. Summarize the main issues in doing values work in psychosis
  8. Demonstrate key skills in facilitating ACTp in individual and group-based settings

Bio: Joseph Oliver, PhD, is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and course director for the post graduate diploma in CBT for Psychosis at University College London. He also works within the UK public National Health Service (NHS) and is Director for Contextual Consulting, offering ACT-focused training, supervision, and therapy.

Joe is an ACBS peer reviewed trainer and regularly delivers teaching and training on both ACT and cognitive behavioral therapies, in the UK and internationally. He has run over 200 ACT workshops and trained mental health workers in the US, Uganda, Russia, Poland, Turkey and across Europe.

Joe is co-editor of the textbook Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Mindfulness for Psychosis ; co-author of ACTivate Your Life and ACT for Psychosis Recovery.

The Self in Practice

The Self in Practice workshop is designed for ACT practitioners at all levels of experience, once they have been introduced to the basic model. Arguably, nothing in human psychology is as important as the abilities to understand oneself and to take the perspective of others. The current workshop will help clinicians with clients who: Struggle with a negative self-image. Have an underdeveloped sense of self. Lack self-awareness and self-knowledge. Lack the ability to take the perspective of others, or to understand how others think and feel. Lack empathy. Exhibit narcissism. This workshop will cover both ACT and RFT (Relational Frame Theory – the theory of language and cognition that underlies ACT). It will provide a basic, easy-to-grasp introduction to RFT, and an understanding, in RFT terms, of how our sense of self develops, from infancy to adulthood. It will then look at when and how this process ‘goes wrong’ to create common problems of self. After that, the workshop will show participants how RFT links with ACT, and how you can use your RFT knowledge to enhance your clinical work, and to design ACT interventions that specifically target the unique self-related problems of your clients.


  • RFT made simple
  • Step-by-step tools and techniques linking RFT to ACT
  • Makes RFT clinically relevant and easy to apply to ACT Practitioners
  • A comprehensive guide to the main problems with self
  • How to apply basic principles to develop empathy, compassion and flexible perspective taking
  • A solid scientific approach to the spiritual experience.

Bio: Louise McHugh has published over 70 peer reviewed articles in major international journals with 1967 citations including Consciousness & Cognition, Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society and World Journal of Biological psychiatry.

Internet based therapy

ACT has now been tested for a range of problems and target groups and in addition to the traditional face-to-face format there are now studies using the internet to deliver ACT. A recent systematic review identified 10 controlled studies and, in the present, talk I will cover the work conducted here in Sweden but also mention other applications across the world. Internet delivery has several advantages including reach and cost-effectiveness. However, it can be argued that some of the experiential components of ACT might be hard to transfer to the internet as most studied have used text and not real-time interactions with clients. Internet-delivered ACT programs have however often been less text-based. A recent trend in internet treatment research is to blend face-to-face and internet components, which is less investigated when it comes to ACT. Blended treatments tend to be preferred by both clients and clinicians but is it unclear if the approach is better than guided self-help. A clear trend in the literature on internet-delivered ACT is to combine ACT with more regular CBT components and overall there is no contradiction in mixing components as long as it leads to effective interventions. In conclusion, there is a place for internet-delivered ACT and in particular for longstanding health problems, like pain and psychiatric conditions like dysthymia, ACT over the internet has a great potential.

Bio: Professor Gerhard Andersson, Ph.D. is full professor of Clinical Psychology at Linköping University and received his education at Uppsala University, Department of Psychology, graduated in 1991. His first Ph.D. was in Clinical Psychology (1995), and his second Ph.D. was in Medicine, Otorhinolaryngology (2000), post-doc at the Department of Psychology, University College, London (1996-1997), and has a B.A. in Theology.

He has a part-time position as clinical psychologist at the Department of Audiology, Linköping University Hospital, as a member of the Tinnitus team, where he has been working part-time with patients during his whole career.

Dr Andersson is trained as a CBT therapist and has a license and graduate diploma as a psychotherapist (2005). He has also completed teaching and supervision training in cognitive and behavioral psychotherapy (2016).

Professor Andersson has published over 580 research papers, 49 chapters and 20 books. In 2016 and 2017 Andersson was on the list of highly cited researchers.

Using the ACT Model in the Clinic and beyond

ACT is a flexible approach to therapy. This is evident in both the manner in which it is implemented and the breadth of targets to which it is applied. But what about beyond the clinic? Is the ACT model useful primarily as a therapeutic intervention or is it relevant in other contexts? In this talk, these questions will be explored by examining multi-level empirical evidence (e.g., clinical trials, laboratory studies, epidemiology, genetics, etc.) as well as practical experience.

Bio: Andrew Gloster is a professor at the University of Basel, Switzerland where he heads the Division of Clinical Psychology and Intervention Science. He has published over 70 scientific papers and several books and treatment manuals. His contextual behavioral science research program has empirically tested numerous aspects of the CBS model including clinical trials, public health, biological & genetic variables, pro-social behaviors in groups, and technological interventions. He is a licensed psychotherapist, a passionate mentor and trainer, and Secretary/Treasurer of ACBS.

Current Directions in Relational Frame Theory

Research and Application Relational Frame Theory (RFT) is a contemporary account of language and cognition rooted in behavior analysis.  Over the past thirty years RFT has grown a strong empirical base and affords new insights into the underlying behavioral processes involved in language and cognition. The current talk will look at conceptual and empirical advances in the area of RFT and illustrate how these empirical advances are yielding useful new applied insights.

Bio: Louise McHugh has published over 70 peer reviewed articles in major international journals with 1967 citations including Consciousness & Cognition, Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society and World Journal of Biological psychiatry.

Female, fierce and fabulous

Many women describe that they need to work harder than men to prove themselves or to be taken seriously. And females often compete against each other. In this workshop will look at the potential struggles, challenges and female strengths from an ACT and compassion perspective. Through discussions and exercises we will work on female empowerment and connection between women in compassionate, fierce and fabulous ways.

This workshop is run by Rikke Kjelgaard. She is a psychologist and peer reviewed ACT trainer and a popular public speaker in Scandinavia Rikke speaks from her heart and her mission is to help people over the world to stand by themselves, to be brave and do more of what makes them happy.

In this workshop participants will learn

  • To celebrate their womanliness and defuse from perceived barriers
    To turn struggle into strength, to stand by yourself and to connect with and empower other women