|Abstract: The most obvious ACT connection to mindfulness is in the here-and-now quality of mindfulness. We bring attention to bear in a flexible and focused way in the present moment. The non-judgmental posture of mindfulness is captured by the acceptance dimension of ACT. In being mindful, many things arise. All are met with equanimity. We bear witness with acceptance: to thoughts, emotions, memories, urges, and, paradoxically, even to the judgments that surely arise. In coaching an accepting and open awareness of thoughts-as-thoughts, of emotional-reactions-as-emotional-reactions, of sensations-as-sensations, we notice these things as ongoing processes, rather than being caught by the contents of awareness. This latter is an example of defusion. When a client returns again and again to the present moment, witnessing with equanimity each thing that arises in awareness, they make contact with a sense of self that is distinct from the contents of awareness—what is called in ACT, self-as-context.
The tutorial will provide a behavioral analysis of mindfulness, the role it plays in ACT, and finally, technical means by which we can bring the kind, careful attention found in a mindfulness practice directly into a therapeutic dialogue. Video materials will be used to demonstrate mindfulness for two in ACT..
Kelly G. Wilson, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of psychology at the University at Mississippi. He is Past President of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, Representative-at-Large of the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology, and is one of the co-developers of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Dr. Wilson received his B.A. from Gonzaga University and his Ph.D. at the University of Nevada, Reno. He joined the faculty at the University of Mississippi in 2000 where he established the Mississippi Center for Contextual Psychology. Dr. Wilson has devoted himself to the development and dissemination of ACT and its underlying theory and philosophy for the past 19 years, publishing 34 articles, 28 chapters, and 5 books including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: An Experiential Approach to Behavior Change and the forthcoming Mindfulness for Two: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Approach to Mindfulness in Psychotherapy. He has central interests in the application of behavioral principles to understanding topics such as purpose, meaning and values, therapeutic relationship, and present moment focused work. Dr. Wilson has presented workshops to more than 18 countries, and has participated as co-investigator in a wide range of research projects in the U.S., Sweden, Romania, and the United Kingdom.|