INSPIRE NMD provides a forum to share our skillsets with the aim of improving the quality of psychosocial care offered to people with slowly progressing NMD. I wanted to offer some introductory ACT training to the group, since this is where my expertise lies. Also, we recently completed a randomised controlled trial – with people with FSHD, IBM, BMD and LGMD – that showed ACT can improve quality of life and mood (Rose et al., 2023).
What is ACT?
ACT is a newer type of cognitive behavioural therapy that aims to engender a quality called psychological flexibility (PF): “… the capacity to persist with or to change behaviour in a way that includes conscious and open contact with thoughts and feelings, appreciates what the situation affords, and serves one’s goals and values” – McCracken and Morley, p225 (McCracken & Morley, 2015). ACT is best considered an ‘approach’ because to improve psychological flexibility you can use many techniques. Frequently used methods are variations of self-compassion exercises, mindfulness practice, workability, and metaphors. Importantly, ACT requires an effective therapeutic relationship – one that is equal, open, careful, validating, empowering.
What will training involve?
The planned workshops and times are:
The aims of the training are: To be aware of the ACT approach to understanding distress and well-being and see how this may apply to some challenges of living with NMD. See what an ACT approach to building an effective therapeutic relationship looks like. Be aware of some therapy methods that one can use to foster psychological flexibility and have some practice with these. Attendance is free for members of INSPIRE and clinicians working with NMD.
The first session will aim to be accessible to everyone. The second & third will be most useful to healthcare professionals who use psychological therapy in their work, and these sessions will involve role plays and practice. I can facilitate 100 people in the first session. The other two are necessarily limited to 40 people.
Register for each workshop below
Workshop 1. 22nd November 2-4pm GMT (Open to all, 100 participants)
Workshop 2. 29th November 2-4pm GMT (40 participants)
Workshop 3. 6th December 2-4pm GMT (40 participants)