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A Scientific Exploration into the Causes of Well-Being

Format Workshop
Presenters Dr Joseph Ciarrochi
Description Keynote
There has been a recent explosion in the science of well-being. This research is generated in various psychological sub-disciplines, including Positive Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Personality Psychology, and a wide range of other applied domains. The number of constructs and ideas can be overwhelming. The present talk will review this research and seek to present a concise framework for understanding how well-being might be optimally promoted.

ACT processes can generally be divided into two general areas: Acceptance/mindfulness and values/commitment. Workshop 1 will focus on the first area, workshop 2 on the second

Workshop 1. Promoting Mindfulness and Acceptance
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT; pronounced as one word) is an approach to psychological interventions defined in terms of certain theoretical processes and a philosophical framework, not a specific technology. In theoretical and process terms we can define ACT as a psychological intervention based on modern behavioural psychology that applies mindfulness and acceptance processes, and commitment and behaviour change processes, to the creation of psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility means contacting the present moment fully as a conscious human being, and based on what the situation affords, changing or persisting in behaviour in the service of chosen values.

Psychological flexibility is established through six core ACT processes. Each of these areas are conceptualised as a positive psychological skill, not merely a method of avoiding psychopathology. This workshop will help you to experience each of these processes yourself and will teach you how to put each of them into play in your own practice.

Specifically, workshop 1 will focus on the following ACT ingredients.

Acceptance. Acceptance is taught as an alternative to experiential avoidance. Acceptance involves the active and aware embrace of those private events occasioned by one's history without unnecessary attempts to change their frequency or form, especially when doing so would cause psychological harm
Cognitive Defusion. Cognitive defusion techniques attempt to alter the undesirable functions of thoughts and other private events, rather than trying to alter their form, frequency or situational sensitivity. Said another way, ACT attempts to change the way one interacts with or relates to thoughts by creating contexts in which their unhelpful functions are diminished
Being present: ACT promotes ongoing non-judgmental contact with psychological and environmental events as they occur. The goal is to have clients experience the world more directly so that their behavior is more flexible and thus their actions more consistent with the values that they hold
Self-as-context. Language leads to a sense of self as a locus or perspective, and provides a transcendent, "observer" sense of self. Self as context is important in part because from this standpoint, one can be aware of one's own flow of experiences without attachment to them or an investment in which particular experiences occur: thus defusion and acceptance is fostered.

Workshop 2. Promoting committed Action

Workshop 2 seeks to show practitioners the cutting-edge science on motivation and commitment. Specifically, this workshop will focus on:

Values. Values are chosen qualities of purposive action that can never be obtained as an object but can be instantiated moment by moment. In ACT, acceptance, defusion, being present, and so on are not ends in themselves; rather they clear the path for a more vital, values consistent life.
Commitment., ACT encourages the development of larger and larger patterns of effective action linked to chosen values. It helps clients to stay committed to those values, even when times get difficult and when they experience difficult thoughts, feelings, and pain.
About the presenter(s) Dr. Ciarrochi is Professor of Psychology at the University of Western Sydney and an active researcher with numerous national competitive grants. His research focuses on understanding and developing social and emotional well-being. Professor Ciarrochi has over 80 international journal articles, books, and book chapters and is regularly invited to speak at conferences and leading universities and institutions around the world. His books and papers on emotional intelligence (EI) are amongst the most highly cited works in the EI area. He currently has over 1 million dollars in competitive funding to investigate the causes of well-being and interpersonal effectiveness.

Dr. Ciarrochi has been heavily involved in the development and evaluation of protocols that are designed to promote social and emotional functioning. He is the president-elect of the Association for Contextual Behavioural Science, an organization devoted to the promotion of vital living. He is also the chief editor of a newly forming international journal, the Journal for Contextual Behavioural Science. This journal will provide a bridge between basic and applied researchers and will help practitioners in all areas to improve their intervention skills.
Dr. Ciarrochi is devoted to designing interventions to promote social and emotional well-being. He currently runs a program called imagine, which helps adolescents to become the force of positive change in their own communities. He also works with a wide range of adults, helping them to overcome obstacles and develop lives that are rich, full, and meaningful.
Location NSW Metro, Australia
Venue Liverpool Catholic Club
Corner Hoxton Park Road and Joadja Road, LIVEPOOL WEST NSW 2170

Please contact the event organiser to confirm if this venue is wheelchair accessible
Start/End Date 20 Oct 2012
Time 9am - 5pm (registration at 8:30)
Cost APS Members $180; APS Student Member $120; Non-members $220
Organiser South West Sydney (NSW)
Contact Name Anne FRAHM
Telephone 0438046088
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