Delivering Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to Individuals with an Acquired Brain Injury: ACT-ADJUST

  • Brentwood Hotel, 16 Kemp Street, Kilbirnie, Wellington, 6002
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In-person attendance only. Refreshments and lunch will be provided.


Presented by Dr Diane Whiting.

Dr Diane Whiting is a Clinical Psychologist with over 17 years clinical and research experience working with individuals with an acquired brain injury in both the public and private sector. She developed the ACT-Adjust treatment protocol as part of her PhD and undertook the first RCT world-wide for individuals with a severe traumatic brain injury and ACT. The results of this research have been presented at international conferences and published in a peer reviewed journal.

Diane is the current recipient of a grant from icare (NSW) to deliver the ACT-Adjust treatment program across NSW in a three-armed RCT comparing face to face delivery and delivery by video consulting to individuals with a severe TBI. She has delivered several workshops using ACT with individuals with a TBI on both zoom and in face-to- face settings.

BACkGROUND: The adjustment process after an acquired brain injury (ABI) is complex, and often results in high levels of psychological distress as the individual comes to accept their post-injury self. Psychological therapy for individuals with an ABI needs adaptations and modifications to account for changes in cognition and the post injury psychological distress (Whiting et al., 2017).

This workshop will provide skills in the delivery of an evidence-based treatment program for individuals with an acquired brain injury (ABI) called ACT-Adjust (Whiting et al., 2020). ACT-Adjust uses the therapeutic modality of Acceptance of Commitment Therapy to facilitate psychological adjustment after a brain injury. The metaphors and content of the program have been adapted to allow for cognitive impairment which occurs after a brain injury. The program maps onto the 10 sessions funded under the Medicare Better Access Scheme and has been adapted for telehealth delivery (video consulting) which is currently under evaluation (Whiting, Simpson, et al., 2021). This workshop will be an adaption of three previously delivered workshops in 2019 where participants rated most aspects of the training from 4.2-4.7 (out of five) (Whiting, Chuah, et al., 2021).

WORKSHOP CONTENT: This workshop will present brief evidence-based information about ABI and ACT and how to work clinically with cognitive impairment in therapy. This will be covered using didactic training. The workshop will incorporate videos of clients and audio recordings of clients undertaking the exercises in the program to give real world examples of the therapy. The remainder of the workshop will involve a presentation of components of the treatment program (metaphors and mindfulness exercises) and practice and evaluation in small groups. This workshop will be experiential, and participants will have the ability to practice and evaluate their performance on the delivery of the ACT-Adjust program.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: At the conclusion of the workshop:

  • Participants will acquire knowledge about the cognitive, psychological, emotional and behavioural sequelae of acquired brain injury.
  • Participants will develop an understanding of how to modify therapy and what strategies are required in their delivery to compensate for cognitive impairments post brain injury.
  • Participants will have an understanding of the ACT-Adjust program and to be able to implement the experiential exercises competently.
  • It is expected that following the workshop, participants will have synthesised the workshop content and have the knowledge and skills to deliver the intervention in their clinical practice.
  • Participants will be able to evaluate their performance during small group exercises and discuss their experience with fellow clinicians and make adjustments and changes to their delivery.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE: An understanding of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and some knowledge of brain injury is required. LEVEL: Advanced skills.


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Non members $275, NZSIGN Members $225 (login to receive your discount)

Available from 19 Sep 2022 until 31 Jan 2023