Webinar: Music and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy


Presented February 2021 as a Social Work SIG sponsored webinar

Overview: Life is hard, even when we aren’t living through a pandemic. We all struggle; we all at times strive for something different. At times, I am certainly guilty of overlooking the magic that is happening right in front of me because my mind is filled with that “have to’s” and “musts” of the day. If I tune in, I frequently notice a well-rehearsed story in the background of my mind, full of corroborating evidence and facts for why I “must do X,” or the reasons for my “beliefs about Y.” In these times, the story I tell myself can close me off from being present and flexible. In these moments, the story seemingly justifies my non-presence or my unwillingness to DO something different – which may be important depending upon what I am overlooking in my environment. So, it all depends, which is why psychological flexibility is vital. Being flexible in how and what we attend to is the practice – and the point of this webinar.

Our time together will be spent first by cultivating a common understanding of cognitive defusion as practiced in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. After this overview, the webinar will introduce you to a novel exercise referenced in Jill Stoddard and Niloofar Afari’s publication “The Big Book of ACT Metaphors https://www.newharbinger.com/big-book-act-metaphors. The experience of listening to music can provoke many powerful sensations, thoughts, experiences, evaluations, and judgments. Consider that this is what our minds naturally do – this is our mind programming and it is happening all the time. To facilitate the experience, you will be provided with a handout of the exercise and facilitation strategies to try out for yourself and with your clients. 

Learning Objectives: Participants will learn a novel approach using music to facilitate experiential cognitive defusion as referenced in “The Big Book of ACT Metaphors,” by Jill Stoddard and Niloofar Afari. Participants will have the opportunity to practice the processes of psychological flexibility (i.e., cognitive defusion, acceptance, self as context, present moment awareness, values and committed action) by noticing how quickly our thoughts take us away from the present moment and to return to the present moment – over and over again.

Date Recorded: March 26, 2021

Language: English

Type: Webinar

Length: 1 hour 17 minutes

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