Acceptance and Commitment Therapy



Thursday, June 5, 2014 and Friday, June 6, 2014
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Lunch is on your own)
Burrell Behavioral Health – Main Center – Room A

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Training – A Two Day Experiential Introduction to the ACT Protocol

Part 3 of the 4 part Treatment Strategies Series – due to limited class size, this workshop will be repeated on June 12-13, 2014

due to limited class size, this workshop will be repeated on June 12-13, 2014

John Vincent Roca, PhD

The United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration lists ACT as an empirically supported method in its National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices. The four areas listed as treatable by ACT include obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, rehospitalization and general mental health. Furthermore, Division 12 of the American Psychological Association lists ACT as an evidenced-based psychotherapy for depression. This is quite an accomplishment for a therapy that for all practical purposes started in 1999 with Hayes and colleagues’ publication of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: An Experiential Approach to Behavior Change.

ACT is a new technology based on acceptance of internal experience and behavior change rather than symptom elimination. The focus of treatment shifts from changing internal events (emotions, thoughts, sensations) to changing behaviors in ways that support valued and purposeful living and are personally chosen by the client. The current zeitgeist in the field of psychology leans toward symptom reduction and elimination before healthy, purposeful living can begin. ACT focuses on being mindfully aware of internal experience while actively choosing behaviors that support healthy values-based activity. It is a functional approach (e.g., is the person functioning well) versus a symptoms approach (e.g., is the person feeling good).

At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize, define and apply all six core ACT processes:
  • a. Present Moment
    b. Willingness
    c. Cognitive Defusion
    d. Self as Context
    e. Valuing
    f. Committed Action

  • Use ACT metaphors and exercises for each of the six core processes;
  • Conduct ‘Creative Hopelessness’ and ‘Control as the Problem’ work; and
  • Describe when to use ACT metaphors and exercises flexibly.

This workshop is limited to 25 participants – early registration is strongly recommended.

This workshop is approved for 12 credit hours.


BURRELL BEHAVIORAL HEALTH and FOREST INSTITUTE are committed to an ongoing process consisting of formal learning activities that:

(1) are relevant to psychological practice, education and science,

(2) enable psychologists to keep pace with emerging issues and technologies, and

(3) allow psychologists to maintain, develop, and increase competencies in order to improve services to the public and enhance contributions to the profession.

The workshops listed are at an intermediate level of learning for psychologists.

FOR QUESTIONS regarding educational credit please contact Johnelle Ethridge, Education Coordinator at 417.761.5025 or via email at

ACCREDITATION APPROVAL only refers to these educational activities and does not imply endorsement of any commercial products by Burrell Behavioral Health nor Forest Institute.

CONTINUING EDUCATION: Participants will receive statements of credit at the end of the program when all requirements for credit have been met. Satisfactory completion of objectives will occur through program attendance. Therefore contact hours will be given only for hours the participant attends. In order to receive a statement of credit, all participants must sign-in at the registration desk and turn in a completed evaluation form at the end of the program. Continuing education statements will be e-mailed within 30 days to participants who complete and return evaluation forms and sign in on the program roster.

If you have special needs addressed by this act, please notify us at least two weeks before this offering so that reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate your needs.

are appropriate for:
• Psychologists
• Social Workers
• School Counselors
• Courts & Corrections Staff
• Mental Health, Alcohol & Drug Counselors
• Marriage & Family Therapists

NOTE: Please bring a sweater or jacket due to variations in temperature and personal preferences. Workshops are alternated between Burrell and Forest campuses – please pay special attention to the location of the workshops you wish to attend.



Dr. Jennifer Baker, PsyD, LMFT

is the Vice President of Innovation and Community Health at Forest Institute in Springfield, Missouri. She is a licensed as a clinical psychologist and a licensed marriage and family therapist. Prior to her current position, Dr. Baker directed the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program at Forest for nine years. During that time she helped the program to become the only fully accredited MFT program in Missouri. During that period Dr. Baker and her team also developed a curriculum to train child welfare professionals throughout Missouri, as well as graduate students in social work and marriage and family therapy at Missouri State and Forest, in the importance of healthy marriage to child wellbeing. This five-year, $1.2 million project was funded through the Children’s Bureau under ACF. Dr. Baker also provided leadership for the work of Operation Us, a five-year, $5.2 million project funded by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to provide healthy marriage and healthy relationship education to persons living in 29 counties in southwest Missouri. This project has served more than 14,000 persons, including adolescents and adults, from 2006-2011. In addition to leading the Operation Us project, Dr. Baker directs Forest Institute’s Mental Health and Corrections Conference, oversees grant development, administers a program of continuing education for professionals, and provides training and consultation on workplace and


Kristina S. Brown, PhD, LMFT

Is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at The School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute. She received her PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) from Syracuse University and her master’s, also in MFT, from the University of San Diego. Dr. Brown is a Licensed Marital & Family Therapist at Midwest Assessment & Psychotherapy Solutions in Springfield. Her education, training, and practice includes a specialization in medical family therapy helping couples and families who struggle with medical issues including chronic illness and cancer. She is also an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and Missouri Approved MFT Supervisor.


Joshua Castillo, MSW, LCSW

Is a 2003 graduate of Missouri State University School of Social Work and the owner of The Center for Transition, LLC in Springfield, Missouri. He specializes in mental and behavioral health services for LGBTQ individuals and families, as well as promoting equality through visibility, education, and advocacy. He is passionate about transgender health and works to bring awareness of the issues transgender people face, particularly in rural areas. In addition to private practice, he works in hospital social work and has experience in community mental health and HIV/AIDS case
management. Joshua is a trainer with the Missouri
LGBT Health Access Training Network.


Shelly Farnan, PsyD

is a licensed psychologist and the owner of Cultivate Psychological Services, LLC in Springfield, Missouri. She is a 2009 graduate of The School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute in Springfield, Missouri where she earned her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology. Dr. Farnan specializes in working with the LGBTQ community as well as their family members and support systems. She has provided training, education, supervision, consultation, and advocacy related to the LGBTQ community since 2008. She is a trainer with the Missouri LGBT Health Access Training Network, which actively works to increase competent services provided to the LGBTQ Community as well as reduce health disparities experienced by the LGBTQ Community. Dr. Farnan is passionate about raising awareness and facilitating change, which she believes starts in the “small spaces” and begins first with changing hearts and leads to changing minds. While integrating her training, experience, the research, and current media representation of the LGBTQ Community, Dr. Farnan relies upon her natural style of genuineness, vulnerability, respect, acceptance, warmth, and humor, while she challenges participants to self-explore, self-evaluate, and to be involved throughout the seminar.


Sher Peck, MA, CRADC, LPC

is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Certified Reciprocal Substance Abuse Counselor (CRADC) with specialty in assisting individuals, couples, families, communities, and small business work environments to resolve issues which may be blocks from experiencing a life free of mental and emotional pain and/or addictions in the area of substances or process. Sher has worked in the field of substance abuse and mental health for 25 years and is currently Director of Adult Outpatient Services with Clarity Recovery & Wellnessa division of Burrell Behavioral Health in Springfield Missouri where she provides both clinical and administrative supervision at several treatment locations. Sher was awarded the 2013 Addiction Professional’s “Outstanding Clinician’s Award” and featured in the Addiction Professional magazine.


C. Alec Pollard, PhD

is Founder and Director of the Center for OCD and Anxiety-Related Disorders at Saint Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute and Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. He is a licensed psychologist who works with a range of obsessive-compulsive and anxiety-related disorders, with a special interest in patients ambivalent about or resistant to treatment. He is on the Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board of the Inter¬national OCD Foundation and chairs the organization’s national training initiative: the Behavior Therapy Training Institute. Dr. Pollard also serves on the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Canadian Institute for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders and the Obsessive-Compulsive Cognitions Working Group research collaborative, and is former chair of the Clinical Advisory Board of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. He serves as a reviewer for a number of professional journals and conference program committees and has authored over 90 publications, including 2 books: The Agoraphobia Workbook and Dying of Embarrassment: Help for Social Anxiety & Phobia.


John Vincent Roca, PhD

is listed as an ACT Trainer by the Association of Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS) and is currently the President of ACBS’ Veteran Affairs Special Interest Group (VA SIG). He has practiced ACT since 2000 and began training interns, fellows, and licensed peers in 2002. He has been do¬ing ACT trainings both nationally and internationally since 2003. He is currently an ACT Trainer and Consul¬tant for a national ACT for Depression dissemination pro¬gram. In 2006 he created ‘LifeGuard,’ a two-hour ACT-based community workshop. Over 30 workshops have been presented to returning Veterans, their families, and first-line responders: police officers, counselors, and clergy. Results have been published in Professional Psychology: Research and Practice:


Glenna Weis, PhD

is a Clinical Psychologist who specializes in child and adolescent therapy and assessment at the School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute. She is also the Coordinator of the Child and Adolescent Concentration as a faculty member for the clinical doctoral psychology program. Her prior work has been in schools both inner city and rural. She received her doctoral training in school psychology with an emphasis in pediatric psychology from the University of Kansas and re-specialized in Clinical Psychology through her Post-Doctoral training at the Murney Clinic in Springfield, Missouri. She loves the practice of psychology because she believes children and adolescents are our key to the future and the earlier the intervention the more likely our children become successful adults. Also after having two children of her own, she experienced the saying “it takes a village to raise a child.” Her education, training, and practice include diagnostic psychological evaluations for learning disabilities/Dyslexia, ADHD, anxiety/depression disorders, family adjustment/parenting, violence assessment, and school risk. Additionally, she provides evidence-based psychological interventions for the treatment of depression, anxiety, ADHD, divorce adjustment, trauma including abuse, aggression and oppositional defiant behavior, to name a few. She has training and expertise in both individual (such as Coping Cat curriculum, Learning Disability strategies, Trauma Focused CBT, directive and nondirective play therapy) and group practices (such as Functional Family Therapy, Skill Streaming, Defiant Child/Adolescent, ADHD practices, and Children of Divorce Intervention Program (CODIP)). Dr. Weiss enjoys providing clinical services to children from the preschool years through high school along with family therapy. Her training and experience in psychology has also led to opportunities in presenting workshops regarding discipline, childhood stress and adjustment, assessment, and child and adolescent evidence based strategies such as Trauma Focused CBT.