Mindfulness and Values in ACT, June 15, 2011
This Workshop

This workshop will focus on the use of mindfulness work and the ways this work can facilitate valued living. The workshop is based on three bodies of evidence that are experiencing extraordinary growth within clinical psychology and within experimental psychology more generally:

  • There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that chasing happiness leads paradoxically to less happiness. For example, experimental studies show that individuals primed to covet happiness derive less pleasure from pleasurable events that follow the priming.
  • A second body of evidence shows that pursuit of valued life directions leads to good psychological outcomes, improved physical and psychological functioning, and buffers the impact of stressful life events.
  • Finally, there is a growing literature on the benefits of mindfulness for a variety of difficulties including anxiety and depression, among other difficulties.

Although this is an ACT workshop, most of the strategies could readily be incorporated into other models of working. The work will be described in a way that will show how this work can be readily integrated into a traditional CBT approach. The presentation will be carried out in such a way that even experienced ACT therapists will get a different window into the ACT model.

This workshop will contain significant use of mindfulness and present-moment focused work. And, will also contain significant exercises and practice at facilitating values work with clients. Although formal mindfulness meditation practice is not necessarily emphasized in ACT, mindfulness processes are central to the work. Mindfulness processes are particularly important in their integration with values work. These exercises will show how we can bring the values directed, present moment focus directly into clinical interactions—what I have sometimes called mindfulness for two. The work is densely experiential and requires persistent attention and participation.