ACT and the Matrix
What Every Person Should Know
Presented by: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes  Executive Director, AllCEUs
Podcast Host: Counselor Toolbox & Happiness isn’t Brain Surgery
Author: Journey to Recovery (2015) & Happiness Isn’t Brain Surgery (2017)
Objectives
~    Review the main points of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
~    Identify what a rich and meaningful life looks like for you
The Main Principles of ACT
~    The goals are to:
~    Create a rich and meaningful life, while accepting the pain that inevitably goes with it.
~    Transform your relationship with your difficult thoughts and feelings
~    Learn to perceive them as harmless, even if uncomfortable, transient psychological events.
~    Take effective action guided by your deepest values and in which you are fully present and engaged.
Think about it
~    Getting angry and fighting with someone on social media
~    Threat—Yes
~    Effectiveness of retaliation or nurturing anger?
~    Consequences – Uses a ton of energy to no good end
~    Getting (and staying) angry about an irresponsible driver
~    Threat—Yes
~    Effectiveness of retaliation or nurturing anger?
~    Consequences – Uses a ton of energy to no good end

First Step
~    Before you can answer the question “Will this behavior help me get closer to my goals and being the person I want to be?” you have to know what your goals are…
Clarifying the Destination
~    A lack of clarity about values can underlie much of your distress or keep you “stuck.”
~    You can get caught up spinning your wheels trying to fight against something that distracts you from your goals, or use that same energy to work toward something.
~    First you have to know what you are working toward
~    What does a rich and meaningful life look like for you?

Clarifying the Destination
Rich and Meaningful Life
~    Clarifying
~    Relationships: Who is most important to you?
~    Which people?
~    What do you want those relationships to be like?
~    Goals: What events, things, experiences are meaningful to you?
~    Work
~    Health
~    Personal Growth
Clarifying cont…
~    Values
~    What values do I want to embody (Choose 5)?
The Matrix: Reaching the Destination
The Matrix: Reaching the Destination
The Matrix: Reaching the Destination
The Matrix: Reaching the Destination
The Matrix: Reaching the Destination
The Matrix: Reaching the Destination
The Matrix: Reaching the Destination
Summary: Reaching the Destination
~    In order to reach your goals and become the person you want to be, you need to effectively use your energy and resources
~    Many people are unable to achieve their goals, because they get caught in the trap of using their energy for activities that do not help them move toward their goals.
~    By defining your goals you can evaluate each situation to determine if it is an effective use of your energy.
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ACT and the Matrix
What Every Person Should Know
Presented by: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes  Executive Director, AllCEUs
Podcast Host: Counselor Toolbox & Happiness isn’t Brain Surgery
Author: Journey to Recovery (2015) & Happiness Isn’t Brain Surgery (2017)
Objectives
~    Review the main points of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
~    Review how to apply the ACT matrix
~    Identify the shortcut question
Defining the Starting Point
~    Now that you have defined
~    Your destination
~    Thoughts, feelings and behaviors that can help get you closer to your destination
~    Define your starting point
~    Thoughts, feelings and behaviors that cause you distress & divert your energy from achieving your goals and embodying your values

Matrix: Defining the Starting Point
Matrix: Defining the Starting Point
Matrix: Defining the Starting Point
Matrix: Defining the Starting Point
Matrix: Defining the Starting Point
The Matrix: Reaching the Destination
Matrix: Defining the Starting Point
Summary
~    The goals of the matrix are to help you
~    Identify your long term goals
~    Become aware of and accept unpleasant feelings without having to immediately act on them
~    Identify habitual (autopilot) ways of acting and reacting
~    Identify ways of acting and reacting that will help you move closer to your goals
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ACT and the Matrix
What Every Person Should Know
Presented by: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes  Executive Director, AllCEUs
Podcast Host: Counselor Toolbox & Happiness isn’t Brain Surgery
Author: Journey to Recovery (2015) & Happiness Isn’t Brain Surgery (2017)
Objectives
~    One you have increased awareness, you need to be able to
~    Accept the unpleasant feelings
~    Learn to unhook so you can resist urges and behaviors that drain your precious energy and keep you stuck.
~    Step back from them so you can get a better look at what is going on
Step 1: Acceptance
~    Making room for unpleasant feelings, sensations, urges like an unexpected guest
~    Allowing them to come and go without running from them or giving them undue attention.
Step 2: Stepping Back
Step 2: Stepping Back
~    “Stepping back” and recognizing that thoughts are just temporary, automatic events made of words and memories
~    Here’s a simple exercise in stepping back:
~    Think of a negative self-judgment that takes the form “I am X” such as “I’m stupid.”
~    Think about it. Believe it as much as you can.
~    Notice how it affects you.
~    Now insert the phrase  “I’m having the thought that….” in front of  “I am X.”
~    Notice what happens.

Step 2: Stepping Back
~    Another Example:
~    Think of a negative behavior.  “I need to X”  “I need to have a drink.”
~    Think about it. Believe it as much as you can.
~    Notice how it affects you.
~    Now insert the phrase  “I’m having the thought that….” in front of  “I need to X.”
~    Think about it.
~    Notice what happens.
Step 3:  Unhooking: Turning off Autopilot
~    Unhooking: Thoughts/feelings don’t always have to lead to action
~    Unhooking Activity
~    Think of a behavior that you “automatically” do when you get stressed or angry.
~    Drink/use drugs/smoke
~    Self injure
~    Withdraw/sleep
~    Lash out
~    How can you pause to become mindful so you can unhook? (Hint: These will become TOWARD behaviors later)
~    Practice Unhooking
~    I am having the feeling/thought that ______________________

Reviewing the Matrix
Reviewing the Matrix
Reviewing the Matrix
Summary
~    You have identified what Happiness looks like for you (Your goals and values)
~    You have identified behaviors and thoughts that keep you from moving toward your goal
~    You learned that you can
~    Accept the unpleasant feelings without having to act on them
~    Unhook so you can resist urges and behaviors that drain your precious energy and keep you stuck.
~    Step back from them so you can get a better look at what is going on
~    Identify thoughts and behaviors in context to choose the most helpful ones

Connect With Us

ACT and the Matrix
What Every Person Should Know
Presented by: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes  Executive Director, AllCEUs
Podcast Host: Counselor Toolbox & Happiness isn’t Brain Surgery
Author: Journey to Recovery (2015) & Happiness Isn’t Brain Surgery (2017)
Objectives
~    Learn how to apply the matrix
Reviewing the Matrix
Matrix: Application to Depression
ACT Matrix: Application to a Behavior
ACT Matrix: Application to a Relationship
ACT Matrix: Application to a Situation
Shortcut Question
~    Are my current thoughts, feelings and actions moving me closer to, or further away from my goals and values.
Summary
~    You have identified what Happiness looks like for you (Your goals and values)
~    You have identified behaviors and thoughts that keep you from moving toward your goal
~    You learned that you can
~    Accept the unpleasant feelings without having to act on them
~    Unhook so you can resist urges and behaviors that drain your precious energy and keep you stuck.
~    Step back from them so you can get a better look at what is going on
~    Identify thoughts and behaviors in context to choose the most helpful ones

Connect With Us

ACT and the Matrix
What Every Person Should Know
Presented by: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes  Executive Director, AllCEUs
Podcast Host: Counselor Toolbox & Happiness isn’t Brain Surgery
Author: Journey to Recovery (2015) & Happiness Isn’t Brain Surgery (2017)
Objectives
~    Learn how to apply the matrix to yourself
Mindfulness in the Present Moment
Awareness of What Is
~    Think about a situation that got you upset…
~    Bringing full awareness to your here-and-now experience and ask yourself…
~    How did I feel?
~    What were my thoughts, wants and urges?
~    What physical sensations was I experiencing?
~    Describe the environment—smell, temperature, colors, objects, people, sounds, etc…
~    I (saw, heard, smelled) ______ It reminded me of _____
Matrix– What was your immediate reaction?
Matrix
Matrix: Thoughts & Feelings Prompting those behaviors?
Matrix: Automatic Thoughts
Matrix: Alternate Behaviors
Matrix: Alternate Behaviors
Matrix: Alternate Thoughts
Matrix: Thoughts
ACT Matrix
ACT Matrix
Example: Do Something Embarrassing
Example: Chronic Illness
Shortcut Question
~    Are my current thoughts, feelings and actions moving me closer to, or further away from my goals and values.
Summary
~    Every event is an opportunity to choose thoughts and behaviors that will help you use your energy to move toward your goals and values
~    Acceptance means accepting, without judgement, how you feel and the situation as it is instead of fighting against it.
~    Commitment and purposeful action mean that you choose to use your energy on thoughts and behaviors that move you closer to your goals
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