FACT: Radical change is possible for patients in brief primary care visits

Tuesday 28 November 2017, 7.30 - 8.45pm

Kirk Strosahl discusses how Focussed Acceptance and Commitment therapy (FACT) can easily be introduced in very short change-oriented conversations, be it in a school nurse's office, a general practice visit or in a mental health therapy session.

Since being first introduced in 1999, Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT) has undergone many radical transformations designed to make it simpler to deliver, faster to implement and more effective. 

The "new" ACT is much more compact, less "technique" oriented and tries to foster three central qualities that make people more adaptable to changing life circumstances:

  • being open and curious about one's emotions, memories or thoughts
  • being self-aware and able to participate in the moment to moment joy of living 
  • gearing one's lifestyle around personal values.

Along the way, Kirk will debunk several key beliefs that get in the way of our ability to really help people who are suffering. One involves using a bio-medical/disease model to explain and classify suffering as a “mental disorder”; another is that mental pain is bad for us and therefore eliminating painful symptoms should be be the goal of treatment; another is the idea that we must correct the patient’s distorted beliefs in order to control painful emotions; the idea that the more chronic one’s mental health problems are, the less we can do for them in a brief medical visit; and finally, that personal history is a direct cause of current dysfunction. 

Kirk's take home message: " Keep it simple and keep it real"



Kirk Strosahl Ph.D.

Kirk is co-founder of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. With Steven Hayes and Kelly Wilson, he authored "Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: The Process and Practice of Mindful Change", He has also authored other well known books, such as "Brief Interventions for Radical Change: Principles and Practice of Focused Acceptance and Commitment Therapy" and "inside This Moment: Promoting Radical Change in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy".

Throughout his career, Dr. Strosahl has been a pioneering influence in the movement to integrate behavioral health services into general medicine, and has practiced as a full time psychologist in general health care clinics for many years. For nearly three decades, he has conducted training in ACT throughout the world, and his consistent focus on making ACT accessible to teachers, nurses, doctors, therapists and the general public has earned him the title, "the hands of ACT".


This presentation is intended for qualified health practitioners professional development and should not be relied upon for any other purpose. Any opinions offered are those of the presenter or other speaker and do not necessarily represent the views of Goodfellow Unit.

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