Bold Moves: Enhancing Your Practice with Acceptance and Commitment TherapyPresented by: Joel Guarna, Ph.D.

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) is both a contemporary form of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and a mindfulness-based psychotherapy. ACT has shown much promise in helping clients with a wide range of emotional and behavioral difficulties, chronic pain and medical problems, and patients with complicated or comorbid conditions. ACT introduces a comprehensive model of therapy including a creative set of metaphors and experiential exercises to help clients (a) move away from unworkable change strategies, (b) make healthy contact with thoughts, feelings, and other private reactions they have learned to avoid, (c) re-connect with their deepest values to set a direction for change and to motivate change, and (d) experience their struggles differently and in a manner that permits them to move forward with their lives now.

Using a combination of didactic presentation and experiential exercises, this workshop will introduce participants to the ACT model including the six ACT processes, core concepts like experiential avoidance and fusion, and the role of mindfulness in promoting behavioral flexibility. Attendees will leave this training with a basic understanding of ACT approaches to therapy and with specific skills they can employ immediately.


8:00 Registration
8:30-10:00 Introductions, History and Context of ACT
10:15-10:30 Break
10:15-11:45 Why models matter, Psychological Flexibility Model, Six Core Processes
11:45-12:45 Lunch
12:45-2:30 Psychological Flexibility and Rigidity, Experiential Avoidance, Fusion, Functions of Feeling States, Evolution Scient Perspectives
2:15-2:30 Break
2:30-4:00 Getting Started with ACT, Defusion Exercise, Values Exercise


After this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Summarize the ACT model of human suffering including the roles of experiential avoidance & cognitive fusion.
  2. Explain the concept of psychological flexibility, the core of the ACT model.
  3. Practice a cognitive defusion intervention with a current client.
  4. Practice a values intervention with a current client.

About the Presenter

Joel Guarna is a licensed psychologist in the state of Maine. He earned his Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University in 2000 and trained at the Boston Consortium in Clinical Psychology. Joel later served as a staff psychologist in the VA Healthcare System in Boston.

Joel opened his private practice, White Pine Behavioral Health, in 2005 and now divides his time between his practice, Maine Medical Partners Endocrinology and Diabetes Center in Scarborough, and the Mercy Pain Center.

In addition to leading ACT workshops and coordinating ACT-related activities in southern Maine, Joel also conducts professional workshops on topics in health psychology and business of practice.

Registration is open NOW!

Contracted, active affiliates of Health Affiliates Maine may attend this training for only $39!

Clinicians who are not contracted affiliates may attend for only $89!

This training is worth 6 Contact Hours. Breakfast and Lunch will be provided.
Application for 6 continuing education hours has been made with the Maine State Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Counselors

LewistonFri, March 17, 2017 from 8:00am – 4:00pm
Franco American Heritage Center
46 Cedar Street
Lewiston, ME 04240
PortlandWed, March 22, 2017 from 8:00am – 4:00pm
Italian Heritage Center
40 Westland Avenue
Portland, ME 04102
BangorFri, March 31, 2017 from 8:00am – 4:00pm
Spectacular Event Center
395 Griffin Road
Bangor, ME 04401