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The Truly Experiential Therapist

The Truly Experiential Therapist:  A 2-Day Masterclass with Matt Villatte

Suitable for practitioners of all mindfulness-based and “third wave” therapies: ACT, DBT, CFT, MBCT, MBSR, FAP, BA, Gestalt, etc.

Would you like to be more experiential as a therapist; less talky and more active in session? Would you like to spend more of your session actually developing clients’ mindfulness skills (instead of just talking about them)? And would you like to do so in spontaneous, free-flowing, naturalistic ways, responding to the moment-to-moment ebb and flow of the session, (instead of sticking to standard scripts and “canned interventions”)?

If so, you just can’t afford to miss out on this unique workshop with Matthieu Villatte, “the ACT trainer’s trainer”. Co-author of the ground-breaking book, “Mastering The Clinical Conversation”, Matt is unequalled in the ACT world in his amazing ability to help therapists “step outside the box”; to stretch their boundaries, to unleash their creativity, and help them develop more flexible ways of working.


All mindfulness-based and “third wave” therapies put clients’ experience at the very center of the therapeutic process. And a core component of all such approaches is to help clients develop skills in observing and responding to their own psychological experiences (thoughts, images, memories, emotions, sensations, urges, etc.). And we can do this therapeutic work through a variety of methods: through structured exercises (e.g. mindfulness meditation, visualization), through verbal and physical metaphors, and through exchanges focused on observing what is happening in the present moment, with a stance of openness, curiosity, and flexibility.

In the last ten years, we’ve seen a wide range of ACT, mindfulness and compassion techniques popping up here, there and everywhere. However, to apply them within a truly experiential framework is often still a challenge for many therapists. The desire for transparency, the need to make rapid progress, or the difficulty in transforming theoretical knowledge into concrete practice can easily lead therapists to become too directive and didactic, or too abstract and confusing. And therapist eagerness to “stick to the script” of standard exercises, popular metaphors and traditional meditations can easily make sessions lacklustre or stultifying - and create real problems when the client isn’t responding to the script as expected or desired.

It’s easy for therapists to get stuck in this “stick to the script” trap – and costly, too. Experiential techniques lose their power of deep transformation; exchanges become less personal and meaningful; therapeutic work becomes less interesting and satisfying to both client and therapist. And arguably the biggest cost of all: the client fails to develop autonomy in the fine and pragmatic observation of their own psychological experience.

In this workshop for therapists who already use ACT and/or other mindfulness-based therapies, the aim is to reach an advanced level of expertise in experiential practice. We will build on the principles of contextual behavioral psychology, which have been particularly well developed for clinical work in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), but are readily adaptable to all mindfulness-based approaches.

This workshop will allow you to develop skills in:

Doing experiential work - without using scripted, formulaic or pre-prepared exercises - through natural conversations with your clients.

  • Grounding your clinical practice in a stance of curiosity, openness, and non-directiveness.
  • Selecting, building, and delivering experiential exercises and metaphors “on the fly”, through flexibly responding to what the client is saying and doing.

Through practical exercises, videos, demonstrations, and role plays:

You will learn to shape your clients’ ability to observe their own experiences, and to draw conclusions adapted to their own personal life choices (e.g. how to promote autonomous observation rather than didactic psycho-education).

  • You will develop the ability to adapt to any situation without departing from your experiential stance (e.g. how not to fall into excessive explanations, disputes, arguments, convincing or persuading, with dependent, rigid, overly-compliant or stuck clients).
  • You will learn to use experiential exercises in a way that strengthens the therapeutic relationship (e.g. how to introduce and debrief exercises without altering natural client-therapist exchanges).

Basically, you can expect your sessions to get a whole lot more experiential, naturalistic, and satisfying – not to mention, a lot more effective! 

Workshop Prices

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