ACT aims to promote psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility involves a willingness to have distressing subjective experiences (without trying to avoid, escape, or otherwise change the content of these experiences) and still do what the individual values in life. The workshop will focus on: 1) Understanding the theoretical underpinnings of ACT; 2) Exploring the key processes of change in ACT, and 3) Demonstrating ACT-related clinical skills (assessment, formulation and intervention). The ACT-skills that will be explored include defusion strategies (to help individuals to understand that thoughts are not facts), mindfulness exercises (to prevent individuals from getting caught up in reacting to difficult thoughts and emotions), values exploration tasks (to help individuals discover what is meaningful to them) and ways in which individuals can commit to goal-directed action that is consistent with their values. There will be opportunities to explore how the ACT approach can be adapted for individuals experiencing psychosis. This would involve a demonstration of how ACT-related skills can be applied to positive symptoms, negative symptoms and emotional dysfunction (depression and anxiety) associated with psychosis.
The following references provide an indication of the work that I have been involved in:
White, R.G., Gumley, A.I., McTaggart, J., Rattrie, L., McConville, D., Cleare, S., & Mitchell, G. (in press). Depression and Anxiety following psychosis: Associations with psychological flexibility and mindfulness. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy.
White, R.G., Gumley, A.I., McTaggart, J., Rattrie, L., McConville, D., Cleare, S, Mitchell, G. (2011). A feasibility study of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for emotional dysfunction following psychosis, Behaviour Research and Therapy, 49, 901-907
Hanna, D., White, R.G., Lyons, K., McParland, M.J., Shannon, C. & Mulholland, C. (2011). The structure of the Beck Hopelessness Scale: A confirmatory factor analysis in UK students. Personality and Individual Differences, 51, 17-22.
Morrison, A.P., Gumley, A.I., Ashcroft, K.A., Manousos, R., White, R.G. Gillan, K., Wells, A. & Kingdon, D. (2011). Metacognition and persecutory delusions: Tests of a metacognitive model in a clinical population and comparisons with non-patients. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 50, 223-233.
White, R.G. & Gumley, A.I. (2010). Intolerance of uncertainty and distress associated with the experience of psychosis. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 83, 317–324.
White, R. G. & Gumley, A. I. (2009). Post-psychotic Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Associations with Fear of Recurrence and Intolerance of Uncertainty. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 197, 841-849.
White, R.G., Clark, S. & Irving, S. (2009). Progressing service involvement in early intervention in Psychosis. Clinical Psychology Forum, 196, 41-44.
White, R.G., McCreery, M., Gumley A.I. & Mulholland, C. (2007) Hopelessness in schizophrenia: the impact of symptoms and beliefs about illness. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 195, 968-975.
White, R.G., Laithwaite, H. & Gilbert, P. (in press). An integrated approach to understanding and promoting recovery in negative symptoms In (Eds.) A.I.Gumley, A.Gillham, K.Taylor, & M. Schwannauer. Psychosis and Emotion: The role of emotions in understanding psychosis, therapy and recovery. Routledge.
White, R.G., & Gumley, A. (in press). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for emotional adaptation following psychosis. In (Eds.) E. Morris, J. Oliver & L. Johns. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for psychosis. New Harbinger.
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