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Flexible Exposure: The Core of ACT One-day Workshops with Dr Eric Morris, PhD

One-day Experiential Workshops with Eric Morris, PhD

7 CPD Hours

"Exposure" is the single most powerful intervention in the whole of psychology, in terms of its effect sizes on human behaviour. And it's by far the most important component of treatment for anxiety disorders - from social anxiety and specific phobias to OCD and PTSD.  But exposure isn't just for use with anxiety disorders; it's also your most powerful ally for tackling chronic pain syndrome, depression, toxic shame, addiction, anorexia, suicidality, and numerous DSM disorders. Indeed, the more severe the presentation, the more essential it is to do exposure.

And yet many health practitioners know little about it, and rarely if ever do it. The most common reasons for this are lack of training, lack of self-confidence, or therapists' avoidance of their own discomfort. And even therapists that do know about exposure have usually been trained in "old school" outdated methods, that are quite rigid, are limited to the treatment of anxiety disorders, and are often unpleasant for both clients and therapists - with accordingly high drop-out rates. 

So now the good news. Exposure in ACT is cutting edge, highly flexible, and radically different from the "old school" exposure you find in CBT, EMDR, DBT, PE and almost all other models that include it.  (Which is why the dropout rates for ACT-based exposure are so much lower than those for CBT and PE). Exposure in ACT is always in the service of values, and it's not about trying to reduce anxiety or get a drop in SUDS (Subjective Units of Distress Score). It's about developing emotional flexibility, cognitive flexibility, and behavioural flexibility, in the presence of "repertoire-narrowing stimuli" (i.e. thoughts, feelings, and situations that trigger rigid, inflexible behaviour).
If you've done one of Russ's advanced-level workshops on ACT for Depression and Anxiety Disorders, you've touched on exposure already. But this one day workshop with Eric Morris will take you so much deeper into both the theory and the practice. (And if you already know about exposure from other models, prepare yourself for a liberating and ground-shaking paradigm shift.)

In this workshop you'll learn:

  • The difference between "old school" exposure and "new school"
  • How there is NO CORRELATION between drops in anxiety levels/SUDS scores during exposure, and long term behavioural outcomes
  • What to assess or measure instead of anxiety levels or SUDS
  • How to do exposure with chronic pain, shame, depression, addiction, anorexia, anxiety disorders, trauma, and more
  • How to make exposure compassionate, flexible, and values-based
  • How to get client buy-in and prevent early drop-out
  • And, of course, how to do the "nuts and bolts" of truly effective exposure work, including:
  • Graded exposure and creating exposure hierarchies,
  • Imaginal and in-vivo exposure, 
  • Interoceptive and external exposure, 
  • Naturalistic or informal exposure versus formal
  • Exposure and response expansion (as opposed to old school "response prevention")
  • In-session and between-session exposure

Exposure is, in a very real sense, the missing piece of foundational ACT training. There's just so much to fit into an introductory or advanced-level ACT workshop, exposure usually only gets a passing mention. This is unfortunate, because it's so important, and so powerful, and such a key ingredient for promoting lasting change in your clients. So if you want to be a truly effective ACT practitioner, you really need to get up to speed on this topic. And luckily for you, Eric Morris is just the man for the job. He's an excellent ACT trainer, clinician, author and researcher, and an expert in the field of exposure. In the space of one action-packed day, he'll give you everything you need to do compassionate and flexible exposure across the broadest range of disorders, using your own unique style.



About the Trainer

Dr Eric Morris is Director of the Psychology Clinic, La Trobe University, Melbourne Australia. He trained as a clinical psychologist in the mid-1990s at Murdoch University, specialising in psychological interventions for psychosis. On qualifying Eric worked in a pioneering service for early intervention for psychosis in Perth, Western Australia, before moving to the UK in 1999 to work for the National Health Service. Until 2014 Eric was the psychology lead for early psychosis at the South London & Maudsley NHS Trust, and researched mindfulness and acceptance and commitment therapy for psychosis at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. He also taught on the King’s College postgraduate program for cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis for 10 years. In 2013 Eric completed a PhD investigating psychological flexibility and auditory hallucinations. Eric’s research has focused on individual and group acceptance and commitment therapy for people recovering from psychosis, carers, and as a workplace intervention for mental health workers. He is a co-editor of ACT and Mindfulness for Psychosis, co-author of the self-help guide, ACTivate Your Life: Using Acceptance and Mindfulness to Build a Life That Is Rich, Fulfilling and Fun, and co-author of the forthcoming treatment guide, ACT for Recovery: a workbook on running effective groups for people with psychosis using acceptance and mindfulness, to be published by New Harbinger Press. 

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