This was an informative and fascinating seminar, presented by Jason Roscoe, a lecturer in CBT at University of Cumbria. Jason works in private practice as a CBT and ACT Therapist in Blackpool. The event was well attended, especially given the thick snow coming down outside and – 3 temperatures!!
Jason presented using a relaxed style, whilst knowledgeable, and presented confidently on the topic of this Third wave CBT approach called ACT.
For many of the audience this was the first time they had ever learnt about ACT, its history, techniques, and where it fits into the current world of therapy.
Jason explained the similarities and differences of traditional CBT, explaining that ACT focuses on the feelings created by thought and not on the actual thought itself. By encouraging clients to accept even the most uncomfortable of feelings, whist importantly being able to commit to the things that are most important in their life right now.
The approach has a rich use of metaphor and Jason went on to describe some, including the ‘cold shower metaphor’ used to determine how motivated a client is to change, ‘Are they willing to put themselves through the discomfort of a cold shower to achieve what’s important to them?’
Jason continued to talk about the importance of language and words and how people can ‘fuse’ with certain words . Fusing with certain words can cause emotional distress and our relationship with language often can cause pain. ACT can help to detach from fusion of words and to gain cognitive disentanglement.
Jason described other key aims ,of increasing psychological flexibility ,the ability to make contact in the present moment and accept psychological reactions. ‘Suffering ‘ from a ACT
perspective is just part of being human, it is when we start to try to control discomfort, push it away and avoid it, that pain comes.
The seminar included some interactive demonstration and Jason could easily have kept the audiences attention for several more hours!. With so much to take in and so little time, it left myself and many others in the group captivated and hungry to know more.
In summary the seminar gave me a fascinating insight into the use of ACT and it is something which I for one will certainly be continuing to learn about.