Shaping Psychological Flexibility with Real-time Functional Feedback

Lou Lasprugato, MFTSutter Health
Thomas Szabo, Ph.D., BCBA-DFIT
Rikke Kjelgaard, M.Sc.

Components: Conceptual analysis, Didactic presentation, Experiential exercises, Role play

Categories: Clinical Interventions and Interests, Performance-enhancing interventions, Shaping Behavior, Functional Analysis

Target Audience: Intermediate

Stock ACT exercises and metaphors that help clinicians introduce new repertoires and promote psychological flexibility abound. However, practicing ACT organically and functionally can remain challenging for many clinicians. As therapists, we may find ourselves returning to old exercises and missing opportunities to create precise, efficient interventions in the moment. We may overlook client feedback that could sharpen our clinical effects. When focused on doing it right, we can easily miss the client in the room or forget to ask clients to make commitments for practice and tracking the effects of their actions.

This workshop will be facilitated by three peer-reviewed ACT trainers who combine practical functional analysis and contextual behavioral approaches to guide clinical conversations. We will demonstrate how to 1) assess the function of verbal repertoires in flight; 2) promote behavioral variation through modeling, evoking, and reinforcing within therapeutic exchanges; and 3) foster selection and retention of new behavior through in-session rehearsal. Participants will have opportunities within breakout group sessions for practicing these skills while incorporating real-time feedback offered by peers and presenters.

Educational Objectives:
1. Apply an integrated approach of behavioral intervention and functional analysis to guide clinical conversations.
2. Demonstrate how to shape psychological flexibility through modeling, evoking, and reinforcing within therapeutic exchanges.
3. Deliberately make use of observed and verbalized functional feedback to sharpen clinical skills