Experiential introduction to Acceptance And Commitment Therapy (ACT)

This workshop is intended as a an introduction into ACT as a participant in the ACT therapeutic process working, live, with one’s own ‘psychological unsatisfactoriness’, ‘inflexibility’ – or ‘suffering’. It is  then, at the same time, both personal and professional development and is thus consistent with the widely held view amongst the ACT learning community that in order to facilitate therapy from an ACT perspective, a therapist will need to ‘know’ the model from their own experiential application.


09:00 Registration/Tea and Coffee
09:30 Workshop starts (there will be a 30min break for lunch)
17:00 Workshop ends

"This was the best day I've been to in years. Just when you feel your practice is becoming jaded a workshop like this comes along to reawaken your enthusiasm for clinical work!" - 2011 delegate.


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an empirically based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behaviour change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility means contacting the present moment fully as a conscious human being - and based on what the situation affords - changing or persisting in behaviour in the service of chosen values. ACT also applies Relational Frame Theory (RFT), a well developed theory for understanding how human language contributes to how we think and suffer. Relational Frame theory is based on the philosophical roots of functional contextualism, it focuses on how humans learn language through interactions with the environment. Functional contextualism is an extension and contextualistic interpretation of B.F. Skinner's radical behaviourism, and emphasizes the importance of predicting and influencing psychological events, such as thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, by focusing on manipulable variables in their context.

Prior to attending this workshop, participants will be asked to engage with some recommended study of Relational Frame theory, RFT, Engagement with an informed consent document which includes creating an inventory of one’s own psychological inflexibilities

This workshop will be of interest to Psychologists – Chartered and in training, wishing to include 3rd wave skills into their work. Integrative practitioners looking to develop a trans-diagnostic and trans-theoretical model ‘tailored to fit’ their personal style will also benefit from this workshop.

Learning outcomes and objectives 

  • To know and understand  the six core processes of ACT
  • To have applied the 6 core processes  to (previously identified) aspects one’s own psychological inflexibility
  • To have identified at least one bold move in the direction of a personal life-affirming values
  • To have made a start on an ongoing process of life-values articulation and associated goal setting

Facilitators: Martin Wilks, C.Psychol and Henry Whitfield

Martin's interest in mindfulness began with Tai Chi and yoga in the early 80s. Daily mindfulness practice began after his first ten-day day retreats in 1984. Around the same time he became involved with the co-counselling community and began to develop an interest in integrating these two distinct modalities of personal development. Formal counselling training began in the Person centred tradition; he subsequently trained in experiential group facilitation and worked for a as a tutor on PC diploma courses. He has worked in the prison system for years; as a visiting Buddhist Minister to prisons (93-07), and as a manager and supervisor of the counselling services at Brixton prison (94-ongoing). Now Chartered counselling psychologist, he completed via the Independent route - attending retreats with Jon Kabat-Zinn & associates as a component of post-Masters training. Currently also an ACT therapist & trainer & MBCT facilitator in private practice.Certified trainer & teacher trainer, Co-counselling, Certificate in Experiential Group facilitation, 3yrs person-centred diploma trainer, 15yrs trainer in human potential movement, 2 yrs Act trainer (10 weekend workshops and many day trainings)

Henry’s research interests include the theoretical and practical integration of mindfulness with cognitive behavioural theories, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy processes and in case-formulated applications of mindfulness. After 4 years as a trauma specialist and supervisor for Victim Support Lambeth, Henry is now conducting empirical research for City and Hackney Mind, investigating the process of values within different approaches to trauma counselling. He also works in private pratice, and teaches widely on the subject of Mindfulness-consistent therapies. He has been training counsellors/psychotherapists since 2004 teaching courses on a monthly basis for seven years. He is experienced as a trainer of REBT, CBT, TIR and ACT. He has also completed a formal training qualification in TIR (Advanced TIR trainer). He also has been running supervision groups regularly since 2005.

Booking information


  • Concessions: £90 + VAT
  • DCoP Members: £105 + VAT
  • Society members: £130 + VAT
  • Society non-members: £195 + VAT

Persons eligible for concessionary rates are student members of the Society, graduate members registered under Rule 15.ii, Rule 21 members, and members who are unemployed. For evidence of unemployment, we will require a copy of your job seekers allowance book.

How to book:

To pay by cheque or request an invoice complete and return the registration form.

Please note that we are only able to accept invoice requests more than 6 weeks before the event date.

Fri, 02/03/2012 (All day)
Contact Information: 

BPS Learning Centre

Tel: +44 (0)116 2529925

Division of Counselling Psychology & BPS Learning Centre