Tuesday, July 28 • 8:01am - 12:00pm
3: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Cancer Patients (Half-Day Workshop, AM)

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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Cancer Patients and Survivors

Speaker: Dianne M. Shumay

Diagnosis with cancer brings significant challenges for survivors attempting to live full and meaningful lives in the face of fear, illness and pain. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a “third wave” behavior therapy, with its focus on mindfulness, flexible perspective taking, values and committed action seems particularly well-suited to helping cancer patients live their best possible lives. ACT has strong empirical support for addressing anxiety and other psychological and physical symptoms in healthy and medically ill populations, with new but growing evidence for effectiveness in cancer.This 4 hour highly interactive workshop will give a context for the clinical application of ACT for cancer patients and survivors, teach basic clinically-applicable skills in ACT, provide an overview of research evidence for ACT and describe a model manualized intervention and research plan for addressing anxiety in cancer survivors. Skill-building and role-play in small groups will be focused on analysis and intervention in mindful awareness, perspective- taking, acceptance, and making choices based on personal values, with experiential exercises and training in practical application to psycho-oncology settings. We will describe and demonstrate ACT-consistent ways to conceptualize psychological and physical symptoms and health-related behaviours for cancer patients and survivors. For those interested in research, we will share an overview of the evidence base and our own experience with launching a research program in ACT in cancer and facilitate an interactive discussion of concepts and research strategies.The attendee shall be able to:

  • Conceptualize psychological symptoms in terms of an ACT framework including experiential avoidance, fusion and perspective-taking.
  • Formulate an ACT-based intervention plan targeting mindful awareness, defusion, and clarification of personal values.
  • Describe the research evidence for ACT in cancer and a model for researching interventions for ACT in cancer.

Tuesday July 28, 2015 8:01am - 12:00pm
Union Station Meeting Level 3

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