Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Intermediate Level Certificate Program

~ moving from hopelessness to healing ~

Instructor: Seaghan Coleman, LCSW-R

What is ACT?

 “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a unique empirically based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behavior change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility.” – Association for Contextual Behavioral Science website.

Photo and words Stuck...not broken.

Program Overview

Limited to 15 clinicians. The schedule will be 4 six-hour (8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.) sessions for a total of 24 hours on:  September 6, October 4, November 1, and December 4, 2019. Content level: intermediate with a focus on implementation, individualization, and deepening skills. All hours are live, in-class.

Prerequisites and Eligibility

  1. Applicants must be master's level licensed clinicians, and currently be working with clients in individual and/or group mental health or substance use counseling. Prior ACT training is required. See below.
  2. You will be automatically accepted if you have previously taken the two-day ACT workshop from Seaghan Coleman, LCSW-R, and meet the client service requirement below. There is a June 2019 two-day ACT course with Seaghan Coleman and you may register for that course as an acceptable criteria for acceptance. You must complete the June course in order to continue with the fall intermediate level certificate program.
  3. You application is subject to review for acceptance decision if you have other ACT training through a workshop, or on your own for foundational ACT skills, and you currently be working with clients in individual and/or group mental health or substance use counseling. 
  4. Use this link for the application. You will be notified of the application decision and sent a registration-payment form if accepted.

Dates and Location

The program will be held in Buffalo, New York. Full attendance is required; partial credit is not given for partial attendance.

Please check the dates and times carefully to ensure they fit with your schedule before you apply to the program.

  • 8:45 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. each day (6 training hours minus breaks. Lunch is on your own.)
  • Class 1: 9/6/19
  • Class 2: 10/4/19
  • Class 3: 11/1/19
  • Class 4: 12/4/19

Location: 3960 Harlem Rd., Suite 6B, Snyder (Buffalo), NY 14226. Parking is available in the front, sides, and rear of the building. Google Maps directions.

Description and Completion Requirements

What is a certificate program? A certificate program is a series of training hours on a topic area or treatment method. It is designed to advance your skills and knowledge. Completion does not represent that you have 'certification' or are 'certified'. You receive a frameable certificate of completion for the training if you meet all requirements as well your applicable CEU certificate.

Program Description:

Life can be very stressful for many of our adult and adolescent clients struggling with mental health diagnoses such as depression and anxiety as well as substance use. Many people try to manage their lives by controlling thoughts, emotions, and body sensations. But after years of struggle, some begin to feel hopeless and ‘broken’. In Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), we take a positive and empowering approach by helping people recognize that they are just ‘stuck- not broken’. We teach people that life, itself, is not hopeless- only certain unworkable approaches to life.

As we know, life involves problems at times. We fall into a trap when we are completely focused on trying to stop problems from happening. In ACT, we explore how control- as we know it- is often a fallacy that leads to suffering. This training will help you improve how you use the ACT process to help clients reorganize their lives around doing what they value rather than running from or fighting with their problems.

While this course will include review of basic concepts, metaphors, and facilitating experiential change, it will most strongly focus on presenting ACT flexibly and dynamically, responding to the immediate and long-term needs of your clients. This course will include significant discussion and case consultation to maximize individualized treatment.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the research that supports ACT as an evidence-based practice;
  • Integrate the principles of ACT into your therapeutic relationships and treatment practice;
  • Evaluate and apply the concepts of creative hopelessness, willingness, acceptance, contact with the present moment, values, committed action, cognitive defusion, and self-as context-context/process;
  • Express ACT components through experiences and metaphors;
  • Develop the ability to teach from an ACT perspective;
  • Implement ACT in individual and group sessions with mental health or substance abuse treatments for adults and/or adolescents;
  • Use the ACT framework contextually to identify aspects of clients’ growth and progress through the use of the model.

Recommended reading prior to the start of the program (available at amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com):

Hayes, S., Strosahl, K. & Wilson, K. (2016). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Second Edition: The Process and Practice of Mindful Change. Guilford Press.

Luoma, J., Hayes, S. & Walser, R. (2017). Learning ACT, Second Edition: an acceptance & commitment therapy skills-training manual for therapists. Context Press.

Completion Requirements: To successfully complete the certificate program, you are expected to:

  • Participate appropriately in discussions and class activities
  • Complete any short readings assigned between classes.
  • Meet full attendance requirements
  • A frameable certificate of completion (not related to CEUs) will be issued at the end of the program to those who meet the requirements.
  • CEU hours earned will be issued as a separate certificate at the end of the program. Note: For CEUs (contact hours), full attendance is required; partial credit is not given for partial attendance.

Please note: We reserve the right to change and/or make substitutions in any part of the program.

Class Schedule and Content

Class 1: Introduction, Creative Hopelessness, and Cognitive Defusion

Date and time: Friday, September 6th, 2019 8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Topic: Introduction and Creative Hopelessness

Description: This session:

  • Introduces the foundations of ACT, the six core processes of the Hexaflex, and the concept of creative hopelessness
  • Presents the concept of the i-view, explores interesting attributes of the mind, then responds to creative hopelessness with willingness
  • Explores Cognitive Defusion- ways to unglue ourselves from both language and thinking

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Class 2: Contact with the Present Moment, Defining Values, and Developing Committed Action

Date and time: Friday, October 4, 2019, 8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Description: This session:

  • Introduces and expands an understanding of mindfulness meditation, the central aspect of any third-wave psychotherapy
  • Begins the identification and clarification of values and differentiates values from goals
  • Presents the process of taking steps consistent with values. Committed Action is the engine that moves psychological flexibility forward

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Class 3: Conceptualized Self vs. Self-as-Context/Process, Case Conceptualization in ACT, and Developing the ACT Therapeutic Stance

Date and time: Friday, November 1, 2019, 8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Description: This session:

  • Teaches how to recognize fixed, programmed notions of self and how to move past them into a more fluid, flexible sense of identity
  • Looks at how to think about client’s individual needs and emphasize different aspects of ACT based on a conceptualization
  • Presents how to model ACT through the therapist’s own psychological flexibility and how to facilitate the client’s individual learning process.

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Class 4:  Bringing it all together and final case consultation

Date and time: Wednesday, December 4, 2019, 8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Description: ACT is a dance that is ever evolving. This session

  • Explores how to stay true to the ACT model on multiple levels in an integrative way
  • Involves in-depth case consultation to gauge client progress and growth

Cost, Application, and Registration

Use this link for the application. You will be notified of the application decision and sent a registration-payment form if accepted.

Cost: $600 early bird discount by 8/1/19; $650 after 8/1/19. No additional discounts or discount certificates may be applied to the early bird price.

Refund and Cancellation Policy: No refunds after the start of the program. A $25 processing fee applies to refund requests made 10 business days prior to the start of the program. If the program should be canceled by UB, fees will be refunded in full.

Waiting List: Once the program is full, we will set up an waiting list should any cancellations occur. At that time, we will need your name, preferred email address and preferred phone number so that we can contact you quickly if an opening occurs. Please check your schedule to ensure you are available for the program dates before asking to be placed on the waiting list.

CEUs/Contact Hours

NY Social Workers: University at Buffalo School of Social Work Office of Continuing Education is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0001. Full attendance is required; no partial credit will be awarded for partial attendance. 24 live in-person contact hours are approved.

NY Mental Health Counselors: University at Buffalo School of Social Work Office of Continuing Education is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors. #MHC-0008. Full attendance is required; no partial credit will be awarded for partial attendance. 24 live in-person contact hours are approved.

NY Creative Arts Therapists: University at Buffalo School of Social Work Office of Continuing Education is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed creative arts therapists. #CAT-0003. Full attendance is required; no partial credit will be awarded for partial attendance. 24 live in-person contact hours are approved.

NY Marriage and Family Therapists: University at Buffalo School of Social Work Office of Continuing Education is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists. #MFT-0007. Full attendance is required; no partial credit will be awarded for partial attendance. 24 live in-person contact hours are approved.

NYS OASAS provider #0045 (addictions professionals): 24 hours approved for CPP Initial hours, section 4; CASAC, CPP & CPS Renewal hours.

Customer Service Contact Information

ADA Accommodations: If you require any support for your ADA needs, please contact us by email at least 3 weeks prior to the event by email at sw-ce@buffalo.edu  or by phone at 716-829-5841.

Customer Service: We are happy to respond to any concerns or questions you may have. Please contact us at by email at sw-ce@buffalo.edu  or by phone at 716-829-5841.

Expert Instruction

Seaghan Coleman.

Seaghan Coleman, LCSW-R, is a trauma therapist in private practice and a versatile trainer. As an Approved Consultant and Trainer in EMDR, he teaches EMDR at the UB Graduate School of Social Work, as well as the Buffalo EMDR Training Institute, which he co-founded. Seaghan provides integrative psychotherapy to individuals with long histories of abuse, neglect, trauma, dissociation, and addiction. He provides trainings and consultation in EMDR, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), attachment and reparenting work, Schema Focused Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness Based Therapies, and Buddhist Psychology.

What people say about Seaghan:

"Seaghan not only teaches Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, he role models its core processes in his interactions with everyone."