Health Applications


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy practice and research has helped not only psychological difficulties, but also many important physical health problems. Impressive evidence exists for ACT with smoking cessation, diabetes, weight management, epilepsy control, tinnitus, asthma, fibromyalgia, coping with cancer, chronic pain, and many other areas. Basic ACT process studies have also been done for rehabilitation for spinal cord dysfunction, stroke, amputation, and orthopedic surgery.

Health Applications + ACT Work in ANZ ACBS Community

ANZ ACBS members have published some of the best practical works for ACT for GP’s:

1) ACT & Pathways for the General Practitioner

2) ACT & Weight management

3) ACT & Cancer

4) ACT & Pain

Carl Graham and Fremantle Hospital Pain Medicine Team have created the STEPS programme, which is focused on teaching patients with chronic pain appropriate behavioural management as the foundation of treatment, before then adding medical, physio or additional psychological treatment as required by the use of physical therapy and training with a pilates ball amazon and other equipment that really help with this. STEPS is based on behavioural and ACT oriented principles and is currently being disseminated around Australia. In the future, Carl is interested in further developing the psychological components within STEPS-like interventions with an explicit RFT model of pain.

5) Functional Contextual Medicine

How medications work behaviorally is a key concern in CBS. Chronic health conditions involve difficult behavioral changes, making increasing psychological flexibility to allow valued health actions critical. Rob Purssey, a member of ANZ ACBS and an ANZ ACBS board representative,  is a psychiatrist and ACT therapist. Rob tries to contribute to the ACBS community particularly in understanding Functional Contextual Pharmacotherapy. Rob is  particularly keen to advance training to General Practitioners. He is Vice President of the Contextual Medicine Special Interest Group and presents at ACBS and ANZ ACBS conferences on Functional Contextual Medicine and FC Pharmacology. Below are several presentations that Rob has made at previous ANZ ACBS Annual Conferences and World Conferences reviewing the topic of functional contextual medicine.

Contextual Medicine

Functional Contextual Pharmacology #1

Functional Contextual Pharmacology #2

Functional Contextual Pharmacology #3

Functional Contextual Pharmacology #4

Pharma and Matrix World Con Sydney


1) If you’re interested in using CBS in medical contexts, then we encourage you to join the ACBS Contextual Medicine Special Interest Group, the Special Interest Group for ACT in Primary Care, or Special Interest Group for Pain.

2) There are great ACT texts specifically for Primary Care doctors:

Real Behaviour Change in Primary Care

3) Professional self care tools:

Primary Care Provider Acceptance and Action Questionnaire

Burnout Prevention and Recovery Plan

Diabetes Lifestyle Book: Facing Your Fears and Making Changes for a Long and Healthy Life.

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