Six Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) Conversations

Listen to the introduction, or read below.

Introduction – a recording of Julian McNally (4:30 min)

(Introduction by RMIT Counselling and Psychological Services, Six* Acceptance and Commitment Training, RMIT University is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

This audio e-learning program aims to provide RMIT University students with the psychological skills to support them in:

  • completing study assessment tasks in an organised and stress-free manner
  • starting and sustaining enjoyable relationships with their peers and friends
  • conducting a meaningful and valued life while studying at University
  • participating in group assessment projects in a fulfilling and confident manner
  • living a balanced and enjoyable life!

The program uses concepts from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, but is not meant to take the place of counselling, psychotherapy or a mental health service.

The program includes six conversations, which take between 15 and 50 minutes to complete. Each conversation includes mini-lectures and several practical exercises. For each page of a conversation, you can either listen to the audio, read the text version, or combine the two.

The program is written in a sequence, but you can start with any of the six conversations depending on your interests and needs. Some conversation refer to material covered in other conversations, but we have tried to keep that to minimum. Each conversation deals with a single concept, but the concepts in Acceptance and Commitment Training are all closely related and work together.

This is an experiential, capability-building program. Completing the program is not about learning information but about developing new awareness, perceptions and behaviours. It is about knowing how, not knowing that. There is no endpoint to learning these skills – however much you practise them, you can always improve. So to get the most you can out of the program, you must practise the exercises.

You will find that you might get an immediate and obvious benefit from doing some exercises just once and won’t need to do them again. With others though, especially the mindfulness exercises in Conversation 4: Mindfulness & Being Present, you may wish to make them a regular habit – just as you would with a physical exercise regime. Doing these practises is really the most important part of what Acceptance and Commitment Training has to offer – so if you have to choose between doing the exercises and listening to the rest of the recording in these sections, do the exercises.

The six conversations are:

1 – Language creates Conflict.

In this conversation, we will show how language and thought – the very tools of your academic success – can undermine your ability to respond effectively in important areas of your life.

2 – Action & Experience versus Thought & Emotion.

We will propose that although language and thoughts create obstacles to your success, the solution to this problem is not to fix, avoid, replace, or get rid of problem thoughts, and that getting nearer to a solution requires you to pay attention to something quite different.

3 – Acceptance & Willingness

You’ll work here on developing the attentional and emotional skills that provide a foundation for effective responses in demanding situations.

4 – Mindfulness & Being Present.

The exercises in this conversation give you further opportunities to practise skills to enhance your moment-to-moment effectiveness.

5 – Your Values & Direction.

Being more capable requires a purpose that is served by that capability. In this conversation we will work on identifying your values, which will form the basis for your purpose and direction.

6 – Committed Action.

The purpose and direction you identified in Conversation 5 will determine the actions you need to undertake. In this final conversation, we will provide you with practical tools and psychological skills to select and complete timely and appropriate actions in support of your valued direction.




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