Living with Stuff that Sucks
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with Young People
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an empirically supported therapeutic approach that draws on behavioural and mindfulness principles to help people make space for painful thoughts and feelings and instead turn their focus towards values. ACT is rapidly growing in popularity internationally and is being used successfully with people experiencing a range of life challenges including low mood, worries, difficult behaviour, anger, anxiety, and interpersonal or family conflict. This workshop will introduce participants to the fundamentals of ACT with a specific focus on its successful application with younger people.
Ben will demonstrate and expand on ideas presented in his book ‘Stuff that Sucks’, including:
• An introduction to the ACT model and how to adapt the core principles of ACT to make it resonate with young people
• Reconciling developmental challenges of adolescents with ACT ideas, and normalising the range and extent of teen suffering
• The importance of Validation, Perspective Taking and Metaphor in the therapeutic process
• Helping young people let go of their struggle against the Stuff that Sucks (self-critical thoughts and painful emotions)
• Talking about the Stuff that is Here and Now (Mindfulness) in ways that make sense to adolescents
• Helping young people identify the Stuff that Matters (Values) and ways in which they can move towards these
• The importance of involving parents in the therapeutic process and challenging their perceptions of their child’s struggles
• Helping clients learn from their experiences and active exercises in session, rather than being taught by a clinician
Throughout the day Ben will punctuate key ACT learning with a combination of experiential exercises, metaphors and clinical examples. This training is suitable for all professionals who work with young people and no previous ACT training is necessary. Participants who already have some ACT knowledge or experience will gain new insights into using this framework with young people.
Ben Sedley, PhD, is a Clinical Psychologist, Lecturer, Author and ACT Therapist based in Wellington. He splits his time between his work as a clinical practice advisor for the Psychology programme at Victoria University, and his own successful private practice. He has worked in both New Zealand and the UK in a range of clinical settings, utilising ACT to assist adolescents and adults. Ben is the author of ‘Stuff that Sucks: Accepting what you can’t change and committing to what you can.'