ANZACBS Skills Intensive – A “User Experience”

By Richard Bunker, Clinical Psychologist, ANZACBS Member

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The ANZACBS ACT Boot Camp was very much a “Skills Intensive” approach to learning ACT. I traveled from Brisbane to attend the two-day event held in Melbourne on the 4th and 5th of August. The venue was well equipped and had ample room to fit in the 115 ACT clinicians that were there for the two days.

We were introduced to our four trainers (Louise Shepherd, Ben Sedley, Lisa Soares and Eric Morris), and then we started – and it was basically game on! Over the course of the two days we were given a very comprehensive and broad set of ACT skills.

Highlights for me included:

  • Hammering home the link between RFT and ACT – this was a huge “ah ha” moment for meBootcamp3
  • Case conceptualisation and why we need it
  • Getting functional with functional analysis
  • Understanding metaphors and how to be flexible and creative with their delivery – this was incredible!
  • The therapeutic relationship and the use of self-disclosure

After the Boot Camp, I could see areas in my ACT practice that need to be expanded, strengthened, and practiced. Upon reflection, I think this is the best thing about the event. The trainers gave us a kind-of “this is what you guys should be doing”. Because of this, I could see my weaknesses that needed attention and areas of strength that I already possessed. With that, I walked away with a clear set of ideas and an action plan to focus my ACT learning which will no doubt be fantastic for my own personal journey with ACT and for my clients!

Bootcamp7Finally, I really loved the fact that we had four trainers – each with their own style. It was really great to be exposed to the different ways of experiencing and learning ACT. Each trainer left me with a new impression and experience of ACT.

Memorable moments included:

  • Ben’s fantastic discussion on validation
  • Lisa’s passion for case conceptualisation
  • The penny drop moment in Eric’s self-as-context presentation
  • Feeling absolutely moved by Louise’s talk on the therapy relationship

Would do it all again in a heartbeat!