Acceptance and Commitment Training

Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) teaches mindfulness skills to help people behave in a manner that is congruent with their highest values while cultivating greater psychological flexibility. Its a mindfulness-based approach to improving quality of life and reducing struggling in our personal and professional lives. By learning to recognize and accept what is not in our control, we make space for values-based actions that support our well-being.


LOV smallAcceptance & Commitment Training (ACT) – 8 Session Series

Acceptance and commitment therapy/training is a mindfulness-based approach to increasing wellness, decreasing suffering, and creating a life of vitality, meaning and purpose. ACT is a process-based approach to learning to observe and describe difficult thoughts, feelings, urges, and sensations with curiosity and compassion, while taking effective and committed action in service of intrinsic values. The primary target of ACT is cultivating the skill of psychological flexibility, a concept that is correlated with decreases in psychological symptoms and distress and with increased quality of life.

Each class includes a combination of didactic and experiential learning and will also address 1) barriers that make it difficult to “do the know,” and 2) specific examples of how participants can translate the material into their daily personal and professional lives.

Eight weekly classes, led by Angie Hardage, LMLP, held on Fridays from 2-4 pm. Classes are stand-alone and can be taken individually or as a continuing series. Bring your meditation cushion if you like – we have a few on hand if needed and folding chairs are also available.

  • Jan 18 – The ACT Model: Psychological Flexibility & Emotional Agility. Objectives – 1. Explore the 6 processes of the ACT model; 2. Discuss the ACT philosophy of human suffering, including the myth of “healthy normality” and the concepts of “clean” pain vs. “dirty” pain3. Explore the roles of language and the nervous system in human suffering and distress; and 4. Explore the concepts of psychological flexibility and experiential avoidance and their relationship wellness and quality of life.
  • Jan 25 – Defusion: Is that a THOUGHT or a FACT? Objectives – Defusion – 1. Explore the two ways of “knowing” (experiential and verbal); 2. Learn about the role of defusion in distress, including the ability to name at least two specific examples of fusion with private internal experiences; 3. Explore various experiential defusion strategies; and 4. Explore individual and cultural barriers to practicing defusion.
  • Feb 1 – Values Authorship & Clarification: What Do You Want Your Life to Be About? Objectives – 1.Explore the difference between values and goals, 2. Engage in values authorship using the values card sort activity, 3. Learn about the concepts of pliance and tracking and how they relate to values-consistent behavior, and 4. Explore behavioral applications of values using ACT metaphors (Classroom Professor and Two Sides of the Same Coin), 5. Utilize the Flexible Action Plan to translate intrinsic values into behavioral, committed action.
  • Feb 8 – Present Moment Awareness: Be Here Now. Objectives- 1. Explore the relationship between present-moment mindful awareness and psychological distress, 2. Explore specific forms of disconnection from present-moment experience including cognitive fusion and experiential avoidance using the ACT in a nutshell metaphor; 3. Discuss the role of mindful self-compassion in increasing present-moment experiences; and 4. Utilize the Expanding Your Life Space metaphor in service of increasing present moment awareness while pursuing values-based activities.
  • Feb 15 – Acceptance: Willingness, Willfulness, & the Wisdom to Know the Difference. Objectives – 1. Explore myths related to acceptance, willingness, and willfulness; 2. Utilize acceptance-based ACT interventions including the Costs of Avoidance worksheet and the Willingness and Action plan to identify strategies for increasing acceptance and willingness in activities of daily living; and 3. Utilize the cactus/feather metaphor for practicing acceptance and willingness in the face of unwanted internal experiences.
  • Feb 22 – The Role of the Self in ACT: Contacting Self-as-Context. Objectives – 1. Explore the concept of the “self” in ACT, including self-as-content, self-as-process, and self-as-context; 2. Engage in the “I am . . .” experiential exercise in order to contact self-as-context/observer self; 3. Discuss the role of perspective taking in the context of relationships with self and others.
  • Mar 1 – Committed Action: The Mindful Action Plan. Objectives – flexible action plan and mindful action plan – 1. Explore the relationship among committed action, psychological flexibility, and values; 2. Explore the concepts of experiential avoidance, cognitive rigidity, and rule-based behavior as barriers to committed action; 3. Discuss the 4 steps of committed action; and 4. Utilize 2 ACT resources to operationalize committed action, including the Mindful Action Plan and the Flexible Action Plan.
  • Mar 8 – Compassionate Perspective Taking. Objectives – 1. Explore the concept of the “self” in ACT, including self-as-content, self-as-process, and self-as-context; 2. Engage in the “I am . . .” experiential exercise in order to contact self-as-context/observer self; 3. Discuss the role of perspective taking in reducing self-criticism and shame, and 4. Explore the role of self-compassion in reducing shame and self-criticism.

Fees (click to purchase a pass):

**This course is appropriate for the general public, but 2 CEs per meeting are also available to licensed KS & MO mental health professionals


ACT for HSPs

Acceptance & Commitment Training (ACT) for Highly Sensitive People

A 6-session series based on the work of Dr. Elaine Aron and Dr. Patricia Zurita Ona. Are you easily over-stimulated and/or emotionally sensitive? Angie Hardage, LMLP will teach you the tools of ACT for cultivating emotional agility, equanimity, and psychological flexibility that can help you cope in a frenetic world.

Fridays April 5th – May 10th, 2019 from 11:30 am – 1 pm (register here)

Fees (click to purchase a pass):