Applying RFT in therapeutic settings

Enhancing interventions with process based behaviour therapy (PBBT)

3 hours (3 APA CEs / BACB CEUs)
Intermediate level skills workshop
Recording available for 6 months
BCBAs, therapists, psychologists, educators, and practitioners

Course Description

One of the main challenges clinicians face is working with complex presentations, especially when managing clients who have deeply rooted problems or have intricate and prolonged issues.  These complexities often manifest as:

  • Problems with identity and connecting with others,
  • A diminished sense of self,
  • Longstanding emotional challenges,
  • Significant interpersonal difficulties,
  • Difficulties in engaging in the therapeutic relationship.

These problems can prove exceptionally challenging to unravel in therapy and can be both time-consuming and emotionally demanding for clinicians. They often require clinicians to adopt precise and concentrated approaches.

Relational frame theory (RFT) is a behavioural account of human language that helps us understand these complexities and provides insights into how we can bring precision to clinical work, thereby increasing the impact and utility of our interventions. An exciting and novel application of RFT in clinical settings is the development of process-based behaviour therapy (PBBT). PBBT offers precise methods to identify the ways in which clients’ life circumstances have led them to become entangled and how this manifests in unhelpful behaviour patterns. This enables practitioners to work with highly complex behaviours and systematically design tailored interventions that facilitate significant changes for the client. The approach allows for a focused and effective therapeutic process.

More about PBBT

Since its inception, process based behaviour therapy (PBBT) has offered clinicians a series of core therapeutic pieces, involving analytic and intervention aids, to understand and change such complex behaviour. It does this in ways that assists practitioners to rapidly identify the key functional issues, to disentangle the knots as efficiently as possible. These pieces evolved organically from broad clinical applications of relational frame theory (RFT). The success of this work has now facilitated the expansion of PBBT into a full therapy regime. What is unique about this development is that PBBT’s analyses, formulations and interventions still sit directly on top of its RFT underpinnings. This makes PBBT the only whole therapeutic programme ever developed that is underpinned entirely by RFT.

Key learning points

During this lecture, you will have the opportunity to hear from Dr. Yvonne Barnes-Holmes, one of the pioneers of PBBT. Yvonne will explore three key areas:

  1. An introduction to the therapeutic use of PBBT and explore the tight theoretical connection between PBBT and the updated version of RFT, highlighting its implications for clinical interventions.
  2. An exploration into the concept of different “layers” within PBBT and how they manifest in clients. Yvonne will explain the process of identifying these layers and discuss the clinical interventions that PBBT suggests.
  3. Lastly, Yvonne will offer valuable insights into what PBBT could look like during therapy sessions, providing a practical understanding of its application.

The lecture will introduce and illustrate all of the key components of PBBT as outlined above. Clinical examples will be used throughout. There will be time for questions and discussion at the end.

Who is this workshop for?

This workshop is for clinicians, practitioners, BCBAs, and therapists who work therapeutically with clients and who want to deepen their understanding of the clinical applications of RFT.

By the end of this training, you will be able to:

  1. Identify the ways in which the overall structure of PBBT is used as a holistic therapeutic approach.
  2. Describe the theoretical connections between PBBT and the updated principles of RFT (Relational Frame Theory) within the context of behavioural therapy.
  3. Describe the practical implementation of PBBT during therapy sessions, including some of its key techniques, strategies, and interventions.

Barnes-Holmes (D), Barnes-Holmes, Y., & McEnteggart, C. (2020). Updating RFT (more field than frame) and its implications for Process-based Therapy, The Psychological Record, 70, 605-624.

APA psychologists: This program is sponsored by Contextual Consulting and is approved for 3 CE credits for psychologists. 

Behaviour analysts: This workshop is available for 3 BACB Learning CEUs. Contextual Consulting is an approved BACB ACE Provider # OP-20-3415.

Nationally certified counselors: This workshop is available for 3 credit hours. Contextual Consulting Ltd. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 7578. 

To find out more, including attendance requirements and how to access your certificate, go to our continuing education information page.

If you have disability and require adjustments or accommodation, please email us at to discuss your needs and we will do our best to help you.

Booking cancellation 

The registration fee will be refunded minus a administration charge if cancellations are received at least two weeks before the workshop date.

Cancellations within two weeks of the event date are charged the full registration fee, other than in exceptional circumstances that can be verified.

Event cancellation 
In the event of cancellation of the course outside of our control we will not be held accountable for travel and/or accommodation costs incurred. However, the workshop fees will be refunded.

All workshops will be subject to minimum delegate numbers being met; in the event that a workshop should be cancelled delegates will be given no less than 2 months’ notice.

Replacing delegates

If a delegate is unable to attend and a replacement is nominated there may be a charge depending on the individual circumstances, this will be advised at the time. Please contact the us to request a replacement of delegates at least a week before the workshop date.

Contextual Consulting is committed to the identification and resolution of potential conflicts of interest in the planning, promotion, delivery, and evaluation of continuing education. Potential conflicts of interest occur when an individual assumes a professional role in the planning, promotion, delivery, or evaluation of continuing education where personal, professional, legal, financial, or other interests could reasonably be expected to impair their objectivity, competence, or effectiveness.

There was no commercial support for this event. None of the planners or presenters for this educational activity have relevant financial relationship(s) to disclose with ineligible companies whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.

Applying RFT in therapeutic settings
25th Feb 2025
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (New York time) change timezone
$64.00 (+ VAT if applicable). Early-bird rate valid until 8th Nov 2024 and then the normal price of US$80.00 + VAT will apply.
Student price US$40.00   Select:


To find out more, including attendance requirements and how to access your certificate, go to our continuing education information page.

To access this workshop you will need a stable internet connection and a set of smart phone ear buds with built in microphone. Your internet speed should be a minimum of 1.5mbs  DOWNLOAD & UPLOAD. You can check that here at

We will have dedicated technicians on hand throughout the entire duration of the workshop. They will be there to help you manage any issues that may come up and get you back in to the workshop again. Also, if you think there may be a problem, be it with your work access or anything else, you can log in early to check if things are working for you, and be prepared. There may of course be technical issues that come up on your end, which will be your responsibility to look after. But these are rare and we have an extra handy troubleshooting guide that comes with tips and tricks to deal with any problems.

Yes! As long as you have access to a web browser and you’re connected to the internet, you will be able to attend. It’s that simple – all you need to do is go to the webpage link, login and you’re set to go. You can join the workshop on any device including your home computer or iPad. You can even join in using your smart phone.

Yes, we have a special portal in the system to allow you to connect with other participants joining via the workshop.

Yes, a video of the presentation will be available to you for up to 6 months after the workshop is finished.  You’ll be able to go back over any part of the workshop to review or check anything that you missed. You also don’t actually have to attend the live workshop – if you’re not able to make it on the actual date, you can still login afterwards and watch the recorded version.

Yes, you will receive a CPD certificate.

Absolutely. You will be able to ask the presenter questions, just as you would in any workshop. You’ll also have the extra benefit of being able to interact with other colleagues who have also joined the workshop.

It’s super simple. All you need to do is follow a link that you will be provided prior to the course, along with instructions.

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