Workshop Program 2019

The AACBT National Conference Committee are pleased to announce two concurrent workshops on Saturday 26 October, at “The Playford”, 9.00am – 5.00pm.

Tickets: AACBT Student Member $110, AACBT Member $325, Non-member $455.

Tickets are on sale now!

In addition to the two concurrent workshop hosted at our national conference in Adelaide, we are also touring Professor Bogels and Professor Clark to Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth prior to conference!

Professor Susan Bogels

University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Mindfulness and parenting

Mindfulness when parenting can be used while guiding parents of children with mental disorders, or guiding parents who suffer from mental disorders that affect their parenting.  Mindfulness is also relevant as a general attitude (e.g. of non-reactivity) for professionals when working with clients.

Despite its inherent joys, the challenges of parenting can produce considerable stress. These challenges multiply- and the quality of parenting may suffer- when a parent or child has mental health issues, or when parents are in conflict. Even under optimal circumstances, the constant changes as children develop can tax parents’ inner resources, often undoing the best intentions and parenting courses.

Mindful Parenting (Bögels & Restifo, 2014) is an eight-week structured mindfulness training program, based on MBSR, MBCT and MSC. It is designed for use in mental health care contexts, for parents who have mental health problems that interfere with parenting, or whose children have mental health problems. The program’s eight sessions focus on mindfulness-oriented skills for parents, such as parenting with beginner’s mind, awareness and acceptance of strong emotions in parent and child, mindfully responding to (as opposed to reacting to) parenting stress, fostering compassion, and taking care of ones inner child The program is now also adapted for other settings such as prevention and chronic somatic health care.

In this workshop the theoretic underpinnings of Mindful Parenting (Bögels et al., 2010), the rationale, and the build-up of the program, are outlined, and demonstrated with several imaginary and meditation practices that participants can experience. Video-examples are also shown. Results of Mindful Parenting in a mental health care context on outcomes such as parental and child psychopathology, parenting stress, and parenting, are presented, and mediating mechanisms, such as general mindfulness, mindful parenting, and parental experiential avoidance, are discussed. Furthermore, results of Mindful Parenting in a preventive context are reviewed.

Key Learning Objectives

  1. Insight in theories, working mechanisms and effects of mindful parenting
  2. Overview of the 8-week mindful parenting program
  3. Experiencing the key practices of mindful parenting

Assumed Background Knowledge and Experience of Attendees

Basic: Casual familiarity with topic area; e.g., treated one case

Implications / Applications of Learning for Clinical Practice

With the acquired knowledge and skills in mindful parenting, participants will be able to approach parenting stress, parental experiential avoidance, and parental reactivity differently in their clinical practice. They will also be more aware of their own stress and reactivity towards the clients they work with and in their own family and work lives.

Duration & Format / Training Modalities

This workshop has 7 hours CPD, and includes morning & afternoon teas plus lunch.

The day will include lecture format, experiential practices, and video examples.

References – readings

Bögels, S., & Restifo, K. (2013). Mindful parenting: A guide for mental health practitioners. Springer or Norton.

Bögels, S. M., Hellemans, J., van Deursen, S., Römer, M., & van der Meulen, R. (2014). Mindful parenting in mental health care: effects on parental and child psychopathology, parental stress, parenting, coparenting, and marital functioning. Mindfulness5(5), 536-551.

Potharst, E. S., Baartmans, J. M., & Bögels, S. M. (2018). Mindful Parenting Training in a Clinical Versus Non-Clinical Setting: An Explorative Study. Mindfulness, 1-15.


Professor Emeritus David A Clark

University of New Brunswick, Canada

The Problem with Acceptance: How to Treat Distressing Mental Intrusions as a Transdiagnostic Feature of Emotional Disorders

Do you know what to do when anxious clients seem unable to adopt a nonjudgmental observant perspective?

In this workshop you’ll learn about specific strategies of mental control that can bring clients closer to acceptance of unwanted thoughts and feelings.

Over 50% of our mental activity involves spontaneous, undirected thought. Clinical researchers have identified a special type of emotion laden spontaneous thought called unwanted mental intrusions, which can take the form of obsessions, worry, rumination, traumatic intrusions and the like. Unwanted intrusions are unique in their spontaneity and uncontrollability. Since the launch of CBT for anxiety in the mid-1980’s acceptance of anxious thoughts and feelings has been a primary treatment goal. However, guiding patients to the point of acceptance can be difficult, in part because mental intrusions and their uncontrollability can interfere in this therapeutic process.

This workshop presents a modified form of CBT that specifically targets unwanted mental intrusions. After a brief discussion of theory and research on intrusive thinking, cognitive assessment and case formulation of intrusions are presented that guide treatment goal-setting and planning, and that address unique threats to the therapeutic relationship. This is followed by instruction in specific cognitive and behavioral intervention strategies that target distinct aspects of unwanted, repetitive intrusive thoughts such as faulty appraisals, dysfunctional control beliefs, and futile mental control.

Specific intervention strategies are presented that bolster the patient’s acceptance of and ability to manage unwanted thoughts and negative feelings. Much of this work is based on Professor Clark’s research and clinical experience treating obsessions and other types of repetitive negative thought.

Key Learning Objectives

  1. Increase knowledge and case conceptualization that incorporates intrusive thinking and dysfunctional mental control
  2. Gain competence in cognitive intervention strategies for distressing intrusive thoughts
  3. Learn about specific clinical strategies to help clients let go of control and accept unwanted spontaneous thoughts and feelings

Assumed Background Knowledge and Experience of Attendees

Intermediate: participants should have a working knowledge; e.g., treated a few cases

Implications / Applications of Learning for Clinical Practice

Brief summary of how the skills and knowledge to be acquired will facilitate and enhance clinical practice of participants.

The primary objective of standard and “third-wave” variants of CBT for anxiety is acceptance of unwanted thoughts and feelings. Letting go of control can be very difficult for individuals with intense and persistent anxiety. Workshop participants will learn about specific interventions that can help the anxious client achieve this end goal of CBT.

Duration & Format / Training Modalities

This workshop has 7 hours CPD, and includes morning & afternoon teas plus lunch.

The workshop will employ case examples, role plays, group exercises, and workshop demonstrations that emphasize skill acquisition and competence in advanced CBT.

References – readings

Clark, D. A. (2018). Controlling Your Mind: A Workbook for Depression, Anxiety and Obsessions. London: Robinson.

Winston, S. M., & Seif, M. N. (2017). Overcoming unwanted intrusive thoughts. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.

Hayes, S. C., & Hofmann, S. G. (Eds.)(2018). Process-Based CBT: The Science and Core Clinical Competencies of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.

Wegner, D. M. (2011). “Setting free the bears: Escape from thought suppression”. The American Psychologist, 66 (8), 671-680.

Image Credits: Susan Bögels; David A Clark