The Art and Science of Defusion in ACT: a Masterclass with Elizabeth Burnside

Course Description

Recorded Webinar – two hours
Presenter: Dr. Elizabeth Burnside
You will have access to the recording  for 6 months


Defusion is a core ACT strategy that offers incredible versatility and flexibility in working with sticky and TRUE thoughts. It rapidly allows clients to respond skilfully to thoughts to allow them to stay true to what matters to them in life.

But defusion is also a skill that practitioners can find especially challenging to apply effectively. There are a wealth of ways to implement  defusion,  meaning  that it is also a strategy that is easy to overuse or misuse. Along with this, clients report their experience of thinking in many different ways, and thought is not always described as a neatly presented set of words.

To deliver defusion strategies well, practitioners must remain in touch with their client’s individual experience, whilst also keeping a close eye on the intended and actual function of the work, and consider how their own minds are working during these clinical encounters. This is no easy feat and it’s not surprising that defusion sometimes falls flat, or heads our clients off in unintended directions.

This 2-hour clinical skills workshop is designed for any practitioners using ACT to help you master defusions skills. Elizabeth will cover theoretical factors related to the nature of thinking and the function of defusion in order to help participants master defusion work and to feel more confident about how and when to use it effectively. Practical exercises will help to consolidate learning.

Participants are encouraged to have at least a basic understanding of the 6 core ACT processes before the workshop. There will be lots opportunities for participants to ask questions!

In this webinar you will learn:

  • Common ways that people get stuck with defusion work, and how to harness other strategies to address these.
  • How to conduct a functional analysis with your client to target defusion strategies more effectively.
  • How to build compassion into defusion work
  • How to work with the range of ‘thinking experiences’ that clients describe
  • How to work with your own fusion in sessions

About Your Presenter

Dr Elizabeth Burnside is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist specialising in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. She has been delivering ACT training for over 12 years and is a peer reviewed ACT trainer. Currently working in North Wales Doctoral Clinical Psychology Training Programme, Elizabeth co-facilitates ongoing training and peer supervision for local NHS clinicians, as well as offering individual ACT supervision and training in private practice. She loves to find new and creative ways to explore and explain ACT concepts, often drawing on personal experiences of applying ACT to her own challenges.

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.

The Art and Science of Defusion in ACT: a Masterclass with Elizabeth Burnside

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