Workshop Program 2024

The AACBT National Conference Committee is pleased to be hosting our workshops on Saturday 19 October 2024.

Royal on the Park, Brisbane, Meeanjin

Full-day workshop tickets:

AACBT Student Member $110

AACBT Member $295**/$325

Non-member $455

Tickets are on sale soon!

** Early bird pricing until 31 August 2024

  • Contact AACBT via email if you have a group of 5+ for discounts

REGISTER via the ticketing page here soon

Workshop options:

Professor Emily Holmes (full day), or

Associate Professor Melissa Day (full day)


Professor Emily Holmes

Uppsala University, Sweden

Using mental imagery with CBT


Come along to this workshop about how mental imagery is informing new treatment approaches.

This workshop will discuss the science and practice of imagery-based cognitive therapy, as well as new techniques developed in reference to trauma memories and bipolar disorder.

From a cognitive science perspective, mental imagery involves an experience like perception in the absence of a percept: seeing in our mind’s eye, for example. Imagery has extremely interesting properties – recruits similar brain areas to actual perception, enhances memory and learning and, compared to verbal processing, mental imagery has a more powerful impact on emotion.

From a clinical practice perspective, intrusive, affect-laden images cause distress across psychological disorders. Imagery-based intrusive memories and “flashbacks” to a past trauma are the hallmark of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Intrusive mental imagery can also occur of the future, such as “flashforwards” to suicidal acts or manic pursuits in bipolar disorder. We need to know how to work with dysfunctional imagery, and promote adaptive imagery using imagery-focused cognitive psychotherapy techniques.

The workshop leader will reflect with participants on imagery in clinical cases – assessing and ‘micro-formulating’ them in detail before moving on to think about and practise treatment techniques.

We will take a transdiagnostic approach, using examples of intrusive imagery after stressful or traumatic events, as well as imagery and bipolar mood instability.

We will discuss techniques to work with troublesome imagery as part of our CBT toolkit, such as behavioural experiments, Socratic dialogue, meta-cognitive techniques, etc. We also consider imagery-specific technique such as imagery rescripting.

Participants will also be introduced a newly evolved technique called an imagery-competing task intervention (ICTI) approach which can be used to reduce the reoccurrence of intrusive memories after trauma. ICTI involves at least 3 steps (i) brief imagery recall, (ii) mental rotation and (iii) sustained visuospatial task such as Tetris computer game play. It is a fairly brief technique, that can be used for one image at a time and as it is imagery-focussed does not require clients talk about their trauma in detail. This may look like a strange intervention (with a game!), but CBT has a history of creative evolution.

We hope to leave with a curiosity about imagery and imagine how it could be applied as part of a wider CBT toolkit going forwards.


Key learning objectives:

  1. Explain and demystify mental imagery.
  2. Present what is mental imagery from clinical and theoretical perspectives.
  3. Illustrate how to assess and ‘micro-formulate’ mental imagery across psychological disorders.
  4. Introduce and practise a range of techniques for working clinically with mental images.
  5. Present a novel imagery-competing task intervention for intrusive memories after trauma.

As well as imagery in the context of trauma and bipolar disorder – other conditions will also be considered as raised by delegates.


References and readings:


Event detail:

This event is a full-day workshop from 9am-5pm, with 6 hours CPD.

The ticket includes all catering – morning and afternoon tea plus lunch – include your dietary requirements when you book your ticket.

More from Emily.


Associate Professor Melissa Day

University of Queensland

Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for chronic pain, other health conditions and comorbidities: a clinician’s training workshop


Join us for this interactive, intensive workshop to learn the what, why and how of applying mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for chronic pain and other health conditions.

Psychological treatments have been shown to be efficacious for managing and coping with chronic health conditions, including chronic pain. While cognitive-behavioural therapy is the current gold standard treatment, there is individual variability in treatment response and not all individuals achieve meaningful improvement. Thus, there is a need for a “menu of evidence-based options” to be available for clients, such that they can choose their preferred treatment approach. One more recently developed treatment that has a building body of evidence to support its efficacy is Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), which is an innovative approach that seamlessly integrates mindfulness- and cognitive-behavioural principles. Research has demonstrated that MBCT is efficacious for a number of conditions, and the evidence-base regarding the application of this approach to chronic pain and associated co-morbid mental health conditions is promising.

By participating in this workshop you will learn: (1) the theory underlying MBCT for chronic health conditions broadly, with an emphasis on chronic pain, (2) the expanding evidence-base that supports the implementation of this approach, (3) the neuromodulatory mechanisms that have been empirically shown to underlie improved pain and other symptom improvement, as well as (4) the core skills needed in applying this therapeutic approach clinically. A step-by-step guiding framework for delivering the 8-session MBCT protocol will be provided. Several mindfulness meditation and cognitive-behavioural practices will be interactively taught via didactic and experiential exercises for both clinical application and as a tool for therapist self-care. There will be plenty of opportunities for discussion and questions throughout. Finally, recently completed, on-going and future research directions associated with MBCT will be discussed, and recommended resources for continued learning provided.


Key learning objectives:

  1. Know the theory underlying MBCT for chronic health conditions broadly, with an emphasis on chronic pain.
  2. Understand the expanding evidence-base related to efficacy and mechanisms that supports the implementation of this approach.
  3. Develop the core skills needed to apply MBCT for chronic pain and other health conditions and co-morbidities.


References and readings:


Event detail:

This event is a full-day workshop from 9am-5pm, with 6 hours CPD.

The ticket includes all catering – morning and afternoon tea plus lunch – include your dietary requirements when you book your ticket.

More from Melissa.



Image Credits: supplied; supplied