Introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Training for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (Brooke Smith & Gregory Smith)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has been the subject of rapidly growing interest among applied behavior analysts interested in applying the technology to clients for whom it may be appropriate. Although ACT was initially developed as an acceptance- and mindfulness-based psychotherapy for neurotypical individuals, it can be repurposed into a skills-based training (sometimes referred to as ACTraining) to be delivered outside the formal psychotherapeutic setting. Goals of ACT-based skills trainings include increasing psychological flexibility and improving quality of life through targeting processes such as mindfulness, acceptance, cognitive diffusion, values, and values-aligned goals. In this talk, we will introduce these components of the ACT model and, importantly, tie them to basic behavioral principles pertaining to human language and cognition. We will provide examples of exercises to train these ACT-based skills and discuss important considerations when implementing ACT with individuals with developmental disabilities.
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Brooke Smith, Ph.D. & Gregory Smith, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Presented at the 2020 Michigan Autism Conference
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