Which of the Birmingham ACT Week courses should I attend?

The three day ‘Experiential Introduction to ACT’ course is designed for people with relatively little or no knowledge of ACT. It covers the philosophical and theoretical basis for the model, the ACT model itself, and an experiential exploration of the 6 core processes of psychological flexibility. It then goes on to offer delegates the opportunity to see live demos and then practice some ACT techniques including creative hopelessness, the ACT Matrix, fostering present moment awareness, perspective taking, acceptance, defusion, and clarifying and working toward valued directions. 

Here are a few questions prompted by the learning objectives:

  • What is functional contextualism?
  • What’s the difference between behaviour under appetitive and aversive control?
  • How does relational frame theory explain human suffering?
  • What are the processes described by the Hexaflex?
  • How can I move those processes in session?
  • What’s creative hopelessness?
  • How can I sharpen my assessment skills using the ACT Matrix?
  • How do I describe ACT using over-arching metaphors?

If you can answer most of those questions, you’re probably ready to go straight into the intermediate ‘ACT Skills Development’ course on days 4 and 5 of Birmingham ACT Week, since the facilitators will assume this kind of basic knowledge of ACT and it won’t be covered in the teaching. The Skills Development course is designed to be a deeper dive into using ACT in practice and will look to develop more fluid and flexible use of ACT techniques, with the emphasis on small group practice throughout the two days. 

If you’re unsure which course is for you, we would suggest doing the Introductory course, since there will very probably be some new stuff in there for you, and even if there isn’t, repetition is a great way to consolidate knowledge and practical skills. 

Should you wish to, the first five days of Birmingham ACT Week can be booked together (at a discount!).  This is a great way to immerse yourself in the model for a week and you should find that days 4 and 5 follow on quite nicely from the first three days.

‘ACT Like a Pro’ is for people who have done a good few days of ACT training previously and have gone away and used ACT in practice.  Don’t be put off by the title – you don’t need to be an expert.  You do need a reasonable working knowledge of the model and some experience of using it with clients.  We would not recommend booking all 7 days in one go.  If you are really keen, do days 1-5 and come back next year for ‘ACT Like A Pro’.