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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a mindfulness-based behavioral therapy that was developed in 1999 and has been studied for a wide range of treatment applications: depression, anxiety, chronic pain, substance abuse, shame, and transdiagnostic populations (Gloster et al, 2020; Morgan et al, 2021). Over the past 20 years, researchers have examined the effect of ACT on symptoms of PTSD as a standalone or conjoint treatment combined with other exposure-based approaches (Meyer et al., 2018; Orsillo & Batten, 2005; Thompson et al., 2013; Walser & Westrup, 2007; Wharton et al., 2019).

This workshop will present the ACT model and its application for PTSD through intrapsychic, interpersonal, and neuropsychological processes, such as thought suppression, experiential avoidance, “window of tolerance” (Aikins et al., 2009). Participants will learn the six core processes of ACT: acceptance, defusion, mindfulness, self as context, values, and committed action. Neuroscience research on the internal processes that maintain PTSD and the effect of ACT practices on these patterns will be discussed. Participants will learn how each core process of ACT and ACT-based exposure can help individuals reconnect with the natural trauma recovery process. Participants will practice experiential exercises and will learn how to help individuals struggling with PTSD recover and improve their quality of life.


Cost: $172.50 – Want to attend this course and any future event or course from our CE library AND professional development library for FREE and unlimited for the cost of $34.99/month for 12 months??!! Check out our Everything Plan here.


8am – 9:30am: ACT model, theory, application to trauma

9:30am – 9:45am: Break

9:45am – 11:15am: Acceptance and Values

11:15pam – 12:15pm: Lunch Break

12:15pm – 1:45pm: Committed Action and Self-As-Context

1:45pm – 2:00pm: Break

2:00pm – 3:30pm: Defusion and Mindfulness



This training will provide participants clinical knowledge and tools to:

a). Describe the core tenets, principles, and underlying theory of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

b). Explain how the ACT model fits the presentation of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

c). Learn and describe the six core processes of ACT and their application to PTSD.

d). Describe underlying processes of thought suppression, experiential avoidance, and “window of tolerance.”

e). Explain how ACT-based exposure helps clients approach trauma-related content and values-based activities.

f). Describe how ACT can enhance other exposure modalities in the treatment of PTSD.


Target Audience:

The target audience for this event includes psychologists, social workers, counselors, MFT’s, psychiatrists and other clinical mental health professionals.


Instructional Level: Intermediate

Instructor(s): Emily Wharton, PsyD

Material Author(s): Emily Wharton, PsyD

Emily Wharton, Psy.D. is a Clinical Assistant Professor (Affiliated) of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, and a licensed clinical psychologist in the Palo Alto VA and her private practice. She provides supervision and training for VA and Stanford psychiatry residents, medical students, and psychology trainees. Dr. Wharton also teaches courses in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy at the Cognitive Behavior Institute Center for Education. Dr. Wharton trained at the PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium, San Francisco VA, UCSF, and Palo Alto VA. Learn more about Dr. Wharton at


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