Sessions in this Series
- 01In this session, Dr John Boorman investigates the scientific and clinical importance of process. Where we are at in terms of understanding the human condition and why specific processes work is a problem for everyone connected with helping alleviate human suffering. Whilst there are many empirically supported psychological models aimed to relieve human suffering, including ACT, less is understood why these are effective. The ‘what works?’ questions are better understood than the ‘why it works?’. Dr Boorman explains the futility of continuing to generate therapeutic techniques without a developed understanding of the importance of functional processes. He also outline the philosophical and conceptual foundations of ACT, before discussing ACT’s goals of ‘the prediction and influence of psychological events with precision, scope and depth’.
- 02In this session, Dr John Boorman discusses how ACT sits within a wider organisational structure termed Contextual Behavioural Science (CBS). The importance of understanding context is not new in behavioural sciences. Behaviour is not dependent on anything else, it can only be influenced by the contexts with which it operates, whether these are biological, environmental, internal to the person etc. Dr Boorman illustrates how the goal of helping others predict and influence their lives centres around context. He provides examples of how context can greatly shape/influence behaviour and highlights how successful working is linked directly by the goals and values of the client.
- 03In this session, Dr John Boorman explains how understanding how humans behave and act in different circumstances is a core part in psychological therapy. ACT takes the approach that helping others with this process, whether they are clients, colleagues, friends etc. helps empower them to make significant changes in their lives. Dr Boorman provides us with an overview of one of the core therapeutic mechanisms of ACT; Functional Analysis. He outlines a therapeutic example to illustrate the importance of this approach, and how this set of principles can be applied in a variety of clinical and non-clinical presentations.
- 04In this session, Dr John Boorman explores how understanding how humans behave and act in different circumstances can be complex and confusing, both for the client and clinician. Dr Boorman demonstrates the importance of understanding the clients’ language, and how this is used to help therapist and clients begin to understand their behaviour. He provides examples of how complexity can be understood by what clients say and how they act; specifies what areas to focus on and why; and links this to the development of an enhanced and reciprocal therapeutic relationship that can help improve client outcomes.
- 05In this session, Dr John Boorman explores how language is at the heart of everything thing we do and has a central role in how we operate in the world. We experience the world directly (as it is) and indirectly (relationally). Dr Boorman explains how human language and thinking has evolved over time and can be seen on a continuum. He builds upon some of the ideas shared in previous sessions and presents a summary of the latest developments in this area. Dr Boorman provides examples of how understanding language can help, but can also hinder who we are and illustrates how it can control our behaviour.
- 06In this session, Dr John Boorman investigates the problem with control. Control is often an attractive and desired solution for many people. However, when examined more carefully, particularly if we draw on our own experiences or that of others, how feasible is the control agenda really? Have we been sold an illusion? Dr Boorman illustrates how each of us develops stories (or narratives) of who we are and how we act in the world and explains how this can exert an influence over our behaviour. He discusses issues that can arise in therapy when clients are wedded to their narratives, including why certain factors evoke strong responses in our clients.
- 07In this session, Dr John Boorman investigates how complex presentations can be viewed through the lens of the narratives that clients have constructed, and how these make sense to who they are. This is a continuation of the theme presented in the previous session, ‘The Problem with Control’. Dr Boorman provides practical clinical examples on how to help clinicians notice the impact client’s narratives are having on how they live their lives. The concept of coherence is introduced to illustrate how making sense of their experiences can act as a powerful foundation for both understanding why clients find it difficult to change, and how they can make significant and lasting shifts in what they do.
- 08In this session, Dr John Boorman investigates Creative Hopelessness. There are times when we continue to act in a certain way even when the outcome may not be helping us move forward. Creative hopelessness is an ACT process which seeks to explore with the client what they are looking to achieve; what strategies have been tried; how well these have worked; and potential costs to their life. Dr Boorman introduces the concept of ‘workability’ and demonstrates how this can create an alternative context for intentional change.