Well, I slipped up with posting some resources yesterday, so I’m getting in now to put together a few web resources on ACT for the curious. I’m personally focusing on using ACT with people who have health problems – but ACT seems to be something that everyone could do with learning!
The first and most extensive ACT resource on the internet has to be the Association for Contextual Behavioural Science.
This site contains information for therapists and for the general public. One of the resources for the general public that also happens to give a great explanation for anyone interested in ACT – try this link, which is a 22 minute video (takes a moment or two to load up) presented by Tom Lavin (go here for more information on his video’s).
Go here for their extensive FAQ’s on ACT to get most questions answered…
I’ve had a link to ACT Mindfully for a while now(a site by Dr Russ Harris) – go to here for a great section on mindfulness, which is one of the strategies that many people are using in pain management.
There are lots of resources on the internet about mindfulness, including MP3 recordings you can download – this site is full of thoughts and reflections and tips on using mindfulness; while Therapyworksheets blog has a link to Stillmind website with some lovely pdf documents on mindfulness. If you go here, again on the Stillmind site, you’ll come across some of those recordings I mentioned before. Therapyworksheets blog is being developed to collect links to many worksheets resources on the internet, so well worth a visit for that alone.
Mindfulness is only a small element of the ACT approach – in ACT, mindfulness is used as a strategy to allow, or make space for uncomfortable emotions or thoughts that we often try to resist, control or hold on to. I think it would be a shame to only pick up on the mindfulness aspect without integrating the other aspects of ACT that are equally important.
The aspects of ACT that I think might be most naturally adopted by occupational therapists and physiotherapists, for example, are setting and achieving goals as part of living a life aligned with personal values. There is a LOT of information on the internet on setting goals – perhaps it’s the type of person I work with, but for me, much of this is too complex, or assumes previous knowledge that make them difficult to use. So at this stage I’m not ready to post links to goal setting sites, sorry! (that’s an open invitation for anyone reading this to head to the comments section and let me know of some that you find useful!).
Values resources, on the other hand, seem to be widely available on the internet and can be modified or simplified for use with the people I usually work with. My main criticisms are that they are slightly too wordy for some of the people I see, and many of them are developed to help people decide on a career choice. This quite brief article has a relatively short list of values, and some nice definitions of what values are ‘Values are traits or qualities that are considered worthwhile; they represent your highest priorities and deeply held driving forces.’
Another helpful pdf document is this one, developed by Career Development Center, shows a process to use to develop an idea of what is important in life – of course, this one’s about careers, but it’s not too much of a stretch to replace the word ‘work’ or ‘job’ with ‘life’ – or whatever area of life the person you’re working with is looking at.
MentalHelp.Net offers a huge resource in their online psychological self-help book. One section is about clarifying values, so although it’s a bit academic for the people I work with, it might be a good resource for therapists wanting to expand their knowledge a little.
The final link today is from ‘Global Change Seminars’ where they discuss values, how we arrive at them, and the difference between values and beliefs. I think it’s a nice and quite short essay to help you think through some of the ways our values are developed – the next section is about metaphor. Metaphors are used a lot in ACT, so this essay provides some interesting observations about metaphor and how it can help inspire change. I’m NOT endorsing the Global Change Seminars, but I do think these few excerpts might be food for thought.
I hope you’ve found this set of links helpful, or at least thought-provoking! If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, and want to read more, you can use the RSS feed link (above), to subscribe to updates every time I post. Or you can simply bookmark and come back as often as you want. I post most work days (weekends off for good behaviour!). I do love comments and enjoy debate – so it would be great to hear from you!