$25 – $75

Overcoming Barriers to Effective ACT-Informed Exposure Therapy

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$25 – $75

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This workshop focuses on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy-informed exposure and practical ways to address common problems in implementation

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Recent research supports the effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as a model to guide exposure therapy for anxiety and obsessive-compulsive and related disorders (e.g., Arch et al., 2012). However, the ACT approach can be counter-intuitive for clients and therapists. Therapists trained in traditional exposure focused on habituation may struggle with the shift in language from a focus on symptom reduction towards ACT concepts such as acceptance and values. ACT therapists new to implementing exposure therapy may struggle with rigidity in applying ACT principles in exposure interventions. This workshop will offer a brief introduction to ACT-informed exposure and focus on practical ways to address common problems in implementation. Case examples will be provided to illustrate common client barriers such as lack of buy-in and difficulty grasping core ACT concepts. Strategies for overcoming these barriers will be offered and participants will have the opportunity to practice newly acquired skills through role-plays and break-out rooms.


Intermediate-Advanced. Attendees should have some experience implementing exposure therapy and some basic knowledge of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. This is part two of a workshop series that builds on the introduction in the first workshop. However, for therapists more experienced in exposure therapy, this workshop stands alone and will help you bring your skills to the next level.


Registration is online. This workshop will be recorded. Recordings will be sent to all who registered for the event and will be available to watch online for 30 days.

Scholarships: We reserve a number of partial scholarships for potential attendees who could not otherwise afford to come. We give particular priority given to those who would add diverse and under represented voices to our field. To submit an application, please click here.


3 CE credits for therapists (with the purchase of Professionals with CE Certificate ticket and live attendance of the entire workshop).


After attending this training, you will be able to:

  1. Discriminate how core ACT hexaflex processes present during exposure therapy through eliciting and observing client feedback.
  2. Troubleshoot problems with implementing exposure exercises.
  3. Address common client concerns about ACT-informed exposure



Brian Thompson, PhD: Dr. Brian Thompson is a licensed psychologist and director for the anxiety clinic at Portland Psychotherapy. Brian completed his doctorate at the University of Montana, his pre-doctoral internship at the Portland VA Medical Center, and a post-doctoral fellowship focused on acceptance and commitment therapy under the supervision of Jason Luoma, PhD, (e.g., Learning ACT) and Jenna Lejeune , PhD, (e.g., Values in Therapy). Passionate about evidence-based treatment, he specializes in working with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive and related disorders (OCRD). In addition to working full-time as a clinician, Brian has published in peer-reviewed journals on Third Wave approaches to anxiety and OCRD, organized and contributed to professional trainings (e.g., workshops, symposia, panel discussion) on related topics, and offers consultation to professionals on integrating ACT and newer models of exposure in clinical work. He has held leadership positions, most recently as Past-President for the Oregon Chapter of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, and he was a consultant and therapist for a telehealth program focused on health anxiety through Regence.

Brian Pilecki, PhD: Dr. Brian Pilecki is a clinical psychologist at the Portland Psychotherapy Clinic that specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders (OCD, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic disorder), trauma and PTSD, and matters related to the use of psychedelics. Brian completed his doctorate at Fordham University in Bronx, NY and completed his pre-doctoral internship at the Weill-Cornell Medical center at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and practices from an orientation based in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Brian also has extensive experience in the areas of mindfulness and meditation, and incorporates them into his therapy with clients. He is an active researcher and has published on topics such as anxiety disorders, mindfulness, and the relationship between theory and practice in psychotherapy. Brian has also held numerous leadership positions, including his current service as a committee chairperson for the Association for Contextual and Behavioral Science. At Portland Psychotherapy, Brian is also involved in research in his specialty areas.

Refund/cancellation policy:

We charge a $15 administration fee for cancellations made by participants more than two weeks before the training event. For cancellations within two weeks of the training event, we will refund 50% of the tuition. Alternately, participants may elect to apply 100% of their tuition to a future training event. No refunds will be given after training events.

Special Accommodations:

Please contact us if you need accommodations to enable you to fully participate in the workshop. We will work with you and do our best to find a way to ensure your participation.

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Portland Psychotherapy provides psychotherapy services, classes for personal growth, conducts scientific research, and provides training for professionals in evidence based psychotherapy approaches.

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