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Digital Seminar

2-Day Advanced Acceptance & Commitment Therapy: Your Essential Guide to Clinical Application & Integration of ACT Across Diagnoses

Michael C. May, MA, LCPC
12 Hours 56 Minutes
May 05, 2020
Product Code:
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Digital Seminar
Never expires.


This program is the essential guide to actually using ACT with your clients.

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) has long been established as effective in treating clients with a variety of clinical diagnoses.

But learning about the six core processes of ACT and applying those concepts in session are two very different things. 

Buy this two-day experiential ACT training course recording, and instead of relearning the basic ACT processes, you’ll leave able to skillfully use ACT to treat your clients.

ACT expert and clinician, Michael C. May, MA, LCPC, will teach you how to overcome common issues clinicians have when using ACT, and he’ll address the most frequently asked questions he receives from other clinicians about implementing ACT in session.

You’ll hone your skills and finish this program able to:

  • Use ACT to treat your clients, regardless of diagnosis
  • Seamlessly integrate ACT with other modalities
  • Troubleshoot & resolve in-session issues
  • Create your own ACT metaphors & exercises to individualize treatment
  • Boost client engagement & reduce resistance

FREE Materials For Your Clinical Toolbox!

  • Psychological flexibility assessment
  • Go-to defusion exercises handout
  • Case conceptualization form
  • ”Undermine the Control Agenda” worksheet


- PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 13.0 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



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. Analyze the relationship between behavioral principles and the core ACT psychological flexibility processes as it relates to case conceptualization.
  2. Create a treatment plan based on the processes of psychological flexibility, rather than clinical diagnosis, to improve treatment outcomes.
  3. Evaluate client displays of cognitive fusion and experiential avoidance in a clinical setting.
  4. Construct metaphors to address psychological inflexibility and improve clinical outcomes.
  5. Integrate defusion and cognitive restructuring exercises in session to assist clients in handling automatic cognitions.
  6. Distinguish rule-governed behavior from values-based behavior to inform clinical treatment interventions.
  7. Evaluate the relationship between rule-governed behavior, cognitive fusion and experiential avoidance and its clinical implications.
  8. Integrate ACT processes, such as contact with the present moment, with exposure therapy to improve treatment outcomes.
  9. Utilize values clarification, defusion and acceptance exercises along with behavioral activation to increase values-aligned behaviors and improve client level of functioning.
  10. Demonstrate ways to integrate ACT processes with other modalities, such as skills training or habit reversal training, to improve clinical outcomes.
  11. Employ ACT exercises and metaphors to move beyond clients’ clinical “crisis of the week,” address psychological inflexibility and improve client level of functioning.
  12. Utilize ACT processes, such as acceptance and defusion, to address resistance and improve client engagement.



  • Functional Contextualism
  • Hexaflex & Inflexahex
  • Relational Frame Theory (RFT)
  • Empirical support for ACT
  • Limitations of the research & potential risks

FAQ 1: “How would I use ACT for…?”

  • Convert the DSM® into psychological inflexibility
  • Differentiate topography & function of behaviour
  • Attend to the ABCs of behaviour
  • Spot the toxic twins: Fusion & avoidance
  • Which ACT process are you targeting in session?
  • Exercises & Demonstrations
    • Exercise: Functional analysis as mindfulness
    • Video demo: PTSD
    • Skills Training: Spot experiential avoidance

FAQ 2: “Does ACT have any metaphors or exercises for…?”

  • How metaphor functions in ACT
  • Experiential learning vs. psychoeducation
  • Key components of ACT metaphors
  • Create your own metaphors
  • Exercises & Demonstrations
    • Exercise: Confront the control agenda
    • Exercise: Use of embodied metaphors
    • Exercise: Flexible perspective-taking
    • Video Demonstration: MDD
    • Skills Training: Create an ACT Tool-Box

FAQ 3: “Can I use ACT with CBT?”

  • Cognitive restructuring vs. defusion
  • How to bring restructuring & defusion together
  • Create experiential learning for your client
  • Recognize rule-governed behaviour
  • Foster behaviours that are in line with values
  • Pick go-to defusion exercises & metaphors
  • Exercises & Demonstrations
    • Exercise: What your words evoke for clients
    • Exercise: Having vs. wrestling with thoughts
    • Video Demonstration: OCD
    • Skills Training: Spotting cognitive fusion

FAQ 4: “Can I integrate ACT with other modalities?”

  • Exposure Therapy
    • Should you use the SUDs scale?
    • Alternatives to SUDS scale
    • Integrate ACT & exposure for trauma
    • Merge distress tolerance with exposure
  • Behavioural Activation
    • Make behavioural activation experiential
    • Utilize values to inform activity scheduling
    • Use defusion to undermine motivation issues
    • Apply acceptance to erode emotional reasoning
  • Other Approaches
    • Skills training for social anxiety
    • Habit reversal training for compulsive behaviours
    • Contingency management for substance abuse
  • Exercises & Demonstrations
    • Video Demonstration: Panic Disorder
    • Skills Training: Integrate ACT into your practice

FAQ 5: “The client’s progress has stopped. What should I do?”

  • Spot avoidance in your own responses
  • Undermine the “only one right way” agenda
  • Address the clinical “crisis of the week”
  • Exercises
    • Exercise: Spot aversive control in your behaviour
    • Exercise: “Nothing is working”

FAQ 6: “How can ACT increase client engagement & reduce resistance?”

  • Model ACT processes for the client
  • Utilize ACT to boost engagement
  • Acceptance of the client’s truth as it is
  • Create a relationship that is non-hierarchical
  • Acceptance & defusion to address resistance
  • When you shouldn’t try to persuade your client

Target Audience

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

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