San Francisco Bay Area Chapter ACBS

Upcoming events

    • 28 Mar 2019
    • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • UCSF Mt. Zion, 1600 Divisadero St, Room H3805

    Integrating ACT and Schemas to

    Strengthen Relationships

    Avigail Lev, PsyD

    March 28, 2019    7:00 - 9:00 PM

    UCSF Mt Zion

    1600 Divisidero St

    Room H3805

    This workshop will present a model for an innovative approach that integrates Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Schema Therapy to work with clients interpersonally to strengthen relationships. The model will describe an acceptance-based approach to treating schema-driven relationship problems.  

    This workshop will focus on a special protocol designed to treat individuals by identifying 10 core interpersonal schemas (primary pain) that trigger key schema avoidance strategies (experiential avoidance) and result in interpersonal dysfunction (secondary pain). Treatment process drawn from the ACT model and adapted for problematic interpersonal behaviors will be covered, including a conceptual framework, role-plays, and experiential exercises. 

    You will learn how to work with individuals to identify maladaptive relationship patterns, clarify relationship values, distinguish between schema-avoidance behaviors and values-based actions, and work with the barriers that show up. The model will focus on using defusion techniques and emotion exposure to work with schema-driven thoughts and feelings that act as barriers to values-based actions in relationships. 

    Learning Objectives

    1. Identify 10 maladaptive interpersonal schemas and key schema coping behaviors that impact relationships
    2. Learn how to adapt the six ACT processes to treat schema-driven relationship problems 
    3. Clarify client's values in relationships and utilize mindfulness skills to identify moments of choice to engage in values-based actions
    4. Identify the schema-driven thoughts and feelings that act as barriers to acting on values
    5. Utilize ACT interventions and techniques to work with the barriers that stop clients from taking values-based actions in relationships


    Avigail Lev, PsyD, is a psychotherapist, author, and executive coach in the Bay Area. She is the director of the Bay Area CBT Center, a clinic in San Francisco that provides Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for individuals and couples. She specializes in integrating Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Schema Therapy and has coauthored three books on strengthening relationships including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Interpersonal ProblemsThe Interpersonal Problems Workbookand Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Couples. She has presented her research at national and international conferences and provides consultation, trainings, and workshops on utilizing evidence-based treatments. You can find more information about Avigail Lev at

    • 03 May 2019
    • 8:30 AM
    • 04 May 2019
    • 4:30 PM
    • 2222 Bush St. San Francisco, CA
    • 47

    ACT and ERP:

    Curiosity, Willingness, & Flexibility

    in Exposure-Based Treatment

    A Two-Day Workshop with

    Lisa Coyne, PhD

    Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School/McLean Hospital

    Friday - Saturday, May 3 - 4, 2019

    San Francisco

    12 CEs for California licensed Psychologists, MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs and LCSWs (pending approval)


    Exposure-based treatment for anxiety and OCD in youth and adult populations has robust empirical support; however, 1 in 5 individuals drop out of exposure treatment (Hofmann and Smits, 2008; Ong et al. 2016), and a significant proportion either do not improve or relapse (eg Ginsburg et al., 2014; 2018).  Moreover, clinicians avoid using exposure-based treatment even when it is needed (Freihart et al, 2004; Deacon et al., 2013; Sars & Van Minnen, 2015; Meyer et al., 2014; Scher, Herbert & Forman 2015). It’s not enough to add ACT to ERP, since this does not lead to demonstrably improved outcomes (Twohig et al., 2018). Taken together, this suggests the need for a patient-centered “microanalytic approach” (Twohig et al., 2018) to improve outcomes of exposure-based treatment.

    This 2-day workshop will focus on how exposure-based treatments work at the level of basic learning processes. Clinicians will learn how to use ACT and Clinical Relational Frame Theory (RFT) to enhance exposure-based treatment through supporting curiosity, willingness, and flexibility with individual cases across anxiety disorders and OCD.  Specifically, we will a) discuss behavioral (inhibitory learning) and neurobiological models of fear and uncertainty and exposure-based treatment; b) teach how to conduct exposure-based treatment with various presentations of anxiety and OCD; c) give an overview of ACT and its evidence-base; and c) demonstrate how to incorporate specific ACT interventions into flexible exposure to strengthen and contextualize inhibitory learning, d) address clinicians’ own barriers to consistently and effectively offer exposure-based treatments (knowledge, clinician psychological flexibility, myths about ERP). Participants will be given opportunities to engage in experiential exercises, role- and real-plays, and case discussions in which to practice the principles taught.  Clinical examples will be used to illustrate therapeutic techniques, in addition to the workshop’s didactic content.

    (References below)


    Lisa Coyne, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist who has worked to improve the psychological well-being of children, teens and families for nearly 20 years. After teaching as a tenured professor in the APA-Accredited Clinical Psychology at Suffolk University for 9 years, she is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School/McLean Hospital in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, where she founded the McLean Child and Adolescent OCD Institute (OCDI Jr.). She has also founded the New England Center for OCD and Anxiety (NECOA), a specialty clinic serving children, adolescents, and adults with anxiety and OCD. She is a peer-reviewed Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Trainer, and a Faculty member of the Behavior Therapy Training Institute (BTTI) of the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF). She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and chapters on anxiety, OCD, and parenting and is the author of The Joy of Parenting: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Guide to Effective Parenting in the Early Years.

    Registration Fees


        Before April 5th, 2019  
    Professional Chapter Member $300
    Professional Nonmember $360
    Student / Intern Chapter Member $200
    Student / Intern Nonmember $220
         After April 5th, 2019  
    Professional Chapter Member $340
    Professional Nonmember $400
    Student / Intern Chapter Member $240
    Student / Intern Nonmember $260
    **Optional CE Fee                $30

    Join the Chapter and Save!



    2222 Bush Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

    Included in the training fees:

    12 hours of instruction; handouts; morning coffee, tea and bagels, afternoon snacks

    Intended Audience:

    This training is appropriate for mental health providers at all skill levels who are interested in learning about ACT/RFT theory and application. ACT and Clinical RFT are process-based approaches and can be applied to most clients. While this training will emphasize how to work with clients struggling with OCD and Anxiety, the exposure-based treatments that will be demonstrated and practiced here are transferable to other populations. 

    After the training, participants will be able to (subject to change):

    1. Describe how an approach to exposure based on ACT and clinical RFT differs from exposure conducted from a traditional habituation rationale

    · 2. Engage in useful discussion around common exposure myths and have ways to engage clients, colleagues and services in supporting evidence-based use of exposure

    · 3. Engage clients and their caregivers in effective rationales for exposure-based therapy, based on a psychological flexibility paradigm, and with attention to developmental differences across children, adolescents, and adults

    · 4. Prepare and utilize the process of a functional behavioural assessment and case conceptualization to develop a collaborative exposure plan with clients

    · 5. Demonstrate how to develop therapeutic relationship characterized by acceptance, values, compassion and commitment, that supports the client in engaging in exposure-based treatment

    · 6. Apply various methods suggested by the inhibitory learning paradigm to enhance exposure-based treatment, including using multiple contextual cues, stimulus variability. exposure menus, affect labelling, etc.

    · 7. Engage clients using valuing as action and direction to “contextualise” exposure and place exposure-based tasks under appetitive control

    · 8. Use clinical RFT methods to enhance tracking and contact with contingencies to usefully explore expectancy violation

    · 9. Use clinical RFT methods to foster flexible perspective-taking to enhance engagement in exposure tasks and promote functional senses of self

    · 10. Assess progress in exposure-based treatment using within-task and across-session methods

    This training is fully supported by fees – there is no commercial support. 

    The training is co-sponsored by the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science and the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (pending).

    Format of the Training

    Didactic presentation and experiential clinical skills practice.

    Schedule - details pending

    Friday March 31, 2017 8:30 - 5:00 

    Saturday April 1, 2017  8:30 - 4:30

    Refund Policy

    If you cancel your registration:

    • 21 or more days before the date of the event, we’ll refund all of your registration fee or give you credit to a future event;
    • 20 to 7 days before the event, we’ll refund 75% of your fee;
    • Fewer than 7 days before an event, we’ll refund 50% of your fee.

    If you don’t cancel before the event begins, we can’t refund your fees, but we’ll give you a credit toward a future event in the amount of 50% of your registration fee.If we cancel an event for any reason, of course, we’ll refund all of your registration fees.Continuing-education certification fees can be refunded until the day before the event. They become non-refundable on the first day of the event. Continuing-education certification purchased at an event is non-refundable.

    If you have any questions about this event, please contact Marisa Mazza at


    Baxter, A. J., Scott, K. M., Vos, T., & Whiteford, H. A. (2013). Global prevalence of anxiety disorders: a systematic review and meta-regression. Psychological Medicine, 43(5), 897- 910.

    Deacon, B. J., Farrell, N. R., Kemp, J. J., Dixon, L. J., Sy, J. T., Zhang, A. R., & McGrath, P. B. (2013). Assessing therapist reservations about exposure therapy for anxiety disorders: The Therapist Beliefs about Exposure Scale. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 27(8), 772–80.

    Freiheit, S. R., Vye, C., Swan, R., & Cady, M. (2004). Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety: Is Dissemination Working? the Behavior Therapist, 27(2), 25-32.

    Ginsburg, G. S., Becker, E. M., Keeton, C. P., Sakolsky, D., Piacentini, J., Albano, A. M., Compton, S. N., Iyengar, S., Sullivan, K., Caporino, N., Peris, T., Birmaher, B., Rynn, M., March, J., Kendall, P. C., (2014). Naturalistic follow-up of youths treated for pediatric anxiety disorders. Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry, 71(3),310-318.

    Ginsburg, G. S., Becker-Haimes, E. M., Keeton, C., Kendall, P. C., Iyengar, S., Sakolsky, D., Albano, A. M., Peris, T., Compton, S. N., Piacentini, J. (2018) Results from the child/adolescent anxiety multimodal extended long-term study (CAMELS): primary anxiety outcomes. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 57 (7), 471-480.

    Hofmann, S. G., & Smits, J. A. (2008). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for adult anxiety disorders: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry,  69(4), 621-632.

    Kessler, R. C., Berglund, P., Demler, O., Jin, R., Merikangas, K. R., Walters, E. E. (2005). Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication, Archives of General Psychiatry, 62(6), 593-602.

    Meyer, J. M., Farrell, N. R., Kemp, J. J., Blakey, S. M., & Deacon, B. J. (2014). Why do clinicians exclude anxious clients from exposure therapy? Behaviour Research and Therapy, 54(1), 49–53.

    Ong, C. W., Clyde, J. W., Bluett, E. J., Levin, M. E., & Twohig, M. P. (2016). Dropout rates in exposure with response prevention for obsessive-compulsive disorder: What do the data really say? Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 40(1), 8 – 17.

    Sars, D., & Van Minnen, A. (2015). On the use of exposure therapy in the treatment of anxiety disorders: a survey among cognitive behavioural therapists in the Netherlands, BMC Psychol 3 (1), 26.

    Scher, Herbert & Forman 2015 Scherr, S. R., Herbert, J. D., & Forman, E. M. (2015). The role of therapist experiential avoidance in predicting therapist preference for exposure treatment for OCD. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 4(1), 21-29.

    Twohig, M. P.; Abramowitz, J. S.; Smith, B. M.; Fabricant, L. E.; Jacoby, R. J.; Morrison, K. L.; Bluett, E. J.; Reuman, L.; Blakey, S. M.; and Ledermann, T. (2018). Adding acceptance and commitment therapy to exposure and response prevention for obsessive-compulsive disorder: a randomized controlled trial, Psychology Faculty Publications. Paper 1755.

Past events

28 Feb 2019 ACT and Self-Compassion
15 Jan 2019 Exploring ACT Peer Consultation Groups
06 Dec 2018 Fall/Winter Social Gathering
18 Oct 2018 OCD Awareness Week: Treatment Enhancing Options
30 Sep 2018 Summer Social - Inverness *CANCELLED*
16 Aug 2018 Interventional Psychiatry
18 Jul 2018 Psychedelic Medicine and Therapy
18 Jun 2018 Robyn Walser: The Heart of ACT
08 Jun 2018 ACT I Workshop in Sacramento - Praxis CE Training Event
05 May 2018 ACT II with Steve Hayes - Praxis CE Training Event
16 Apr 2018 Applied Mindfulness: Self, Others, and Nature
15 Mar 2018 March Social Gathering
15 Feb 2018 ACT Metaphors Through Exercises Games
23 Jan 2018 ACT Case Consultation
14 Dec 2017 A Brief Introduction to Functional Analytic Psychotherapy
02 Nov 2017 Pre-Holiday Gathering
06 Oct 2017 OCD Awareness Week Panel
13 Sep 2017 Virtual Reality: The Latest Innovation in Anxiety Treatment
13 Aug 2017 SF Bay Area ACBS Picnic
10 Jul 2017 Living Life From the Feet Up: Creating Well-Being In the Larger Context of Earth, Animal, and Humans
23 May 2017 Compassionate Social Fitness for All - with Lynne Henderson
27 Apr 2017 Chapter Meeting and Skill Building Session
04 Feb 2017 Annual Holiday Gathering
30 Nov 2016 Mindfulness & Acceptance for Gender & Sexual Minorities: A Clinician's Guide --- With Dr Matthew Skinta
06 Oct 2016 The Mindful Bus: ACT in a Dynamic Game Format with Dr Ellis Edmunds
22 Sep 2016 ACT for Parents of Teens with Emotion Dysregulation, presented by Dr. Patricia Zurita Ona
15 Sep 2016 Fall Social at Pause Wine Bar
22 Aug 2016 Drs. Walser and Drescher on "Moral injury a new clinical construct: How ACT can help"
26 Jul 2016 Consultation Group Meet-Up! Want to start or join an ACT Consultation Group?
23 May 2016 Training Psychological Flexibility in Relationships: a one session conflict management intervention using Limbic Regulation, The ACT Matrix, and Heart-Centered Values
23 Apr 2016 Mastering the Clinical Conversation: An Experiential Approach to Cognitive Change
22 Apr 2016 Integrating ERP & ACT for OCD with Dr Marisa Mazza
21 Mar 2016 Suicide Risk in the Bay Area - with author Eli Merritt, M.D. SF BA ACBS Chapter Mtg
22 Feb 2016 SF BA ACT Institute: A Brainstorm! SF BA ACBS Chapter Mtg
27 Jan 2016 Chapter Mtg: Learn to Navigate our New Membership System!
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