Acceptance and commitment training (ACT) in the workplace: improving employees’ psychological well-being with Paul Flaxman and Ross McIntosh

14th - 15th Mar 2019


Thursday 14th and Friday 15th of March, 2019
Workshop times: 9.30 – 4.30pm on both days
St Alban’s Centre, Leigh Place, Baldwin’s Gardens, London EC1N 7AB
Presenters: Dr Paul Flaxman & Ross McIntosh

Acceptance Commitment Training (ACT) is an evidence-based approach for increasing employees’personal resilience and well-being.

In the modern workplace, employees can at times feel overwhelmed and exhausted, and can become disconnected from a sense of personal meaning in their work and personal lives. ACT programs delivered in workplace settings are designed to help people become more aware of the qualities they most want to express in daily behaviour. ACT programs also show people how to relate skilfully to difficult or unhelpful thoughts and feelings.

Paul's book

Over the past few years, Paul and Ross have trained psychologists, counsellors, and occupational health practitioners to deliver ACT-based sessions to staff groups. Their training approach has been utilised by organisations spread across the UK, including by the staff support services in twenty NHS Trusts, by teams of educational psychologists, the prison service, and in central government departments. Their training has also been adopted by workplace practitioners in the US, Uganda, Canada, and Australia.

Evidence-base for ACT interventions in workplace settings

There is now a compelling body of research evidence supporting the benefits of offering ACT interventions to improve employees’ psychological health. Dr. Flaxman’s workplace evaluations of ACT have been published in world-leading applied psychological journals and presented at national and international conferences. In addition, other research groups based in the US, Sweden, and Australia have reported similar benefits for ACT interventions tailored for workplace settings.

What You Will Learn

The ACT in the workplace train-the-trainer course

In this 2-day workshop you will learn:

  • How to deliver engaging ACT programs to groups of employees in workplace settings
  • The behaviors and skills involved in ACT-oriented group facilitation
  • About the latest research developments around ACT in workplace settings
  • Key strategies to develop buy-in from employees and organizations

The workshop will provide delegates with unique insight into how ACT is being delivered as skills training programs to help improve mental health in workplace settings. The ultimate aim of the workshop is to provide delegates with the knowledge and skills to deliver this type of ACT-based training to working populations.

Day 1 of the workshop will demonstrate strategies used in a typical opening session of a workplace ACT program, along with examples of how to cultivate cognitive defusion in workplace groups. During their practical demonstrations, Paul and Ross will frequently pause to provide delegates with deeper insight into why they use particular strategies, and examples of how to respond to participants’ experiences.

Day 2 will provide demonstration of additional ACT strategies being used in workplace interventions. Ross and Paul will also provide space for delegates to reflect on and discuss more practical issues, such as how to market this type of program, the profile of the employees who might volunteer for the training, the use of “taster” sessions, ethical issues, and evaluation.

Delegates will be provided with a copy of the latest trainers’ manual for delivering ACT in workplace settings, and a set of personal values cards.

Who is this ACT train-the-trainer course for?

This train-the-trainer course is particularly designed for psychologists, counsellors, therapists, and other mental health or occupational health/ human resources professionals who are in a position to deliver workplace interventions designed to improve employees’ psychological well-being.

Ideally, applicants for this course will be able to demonstrate some or all of the following qualifications and experience:

  • An understanding of the basic processes and principles of ACT and mindfulness-based interventions
  • Relevant professional training (e.g., clinical, counselling, occupational, or educational psychologist, counselling/ psychotherapy, human resource management)
  • Previous experience of delivering well-being interventions in workplace settings

About the Presenters

Dr. Paul Flaxman

paul pic2

Paul is a Reader in organisational psychology at City, University of London. Since 2001, Paul has taken a prominent role in developing and evaluating ACT for staff in healthcare settings, local and central government organisations, and more recently for improving school teachers’ well-being. His latest ACT-based training protocol has been adopted by staff support practitioners across the UK, and also in Canada, Uganda, the US, and Australia. Paul’s previous ACT manual was published in the book “The Mindful and Effective Employee”.To support his ACT work, Paul and his team have received funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Charity, Mind, the British Academy, and Hefce’s higher education innovation fund. Paul’s research has been published in some of the world’s leading applied psychology journals, including Behaviour Research and Therapy,Journal of Applied PsychologyJournal of Occupational Health Psychology, and Behavior Therapy.

Ross McIntosh

Ross McIntosh headshot 4 x 5

Ross is an organisational and coaching psychologist. As a practitioner, he uses ACT in all areas of his portfolio career. In his research role at City, University of London, Ross delivered ACT Personal Resilience Training for teachers as part of research funded by the British Academy. He also delivers ACT-based training to staff in the NHS, Civil Service and the private sector. He co-founded the start-up, ACT3 Psychology, dedicated to cultivating psychological flexibility in individuals and organisations. They are currently designing interventions for three ballet companies to introduce dancers to ACT-based behavioural science. Prior to his portfolio career, Ross spent over 20 years in Senior HR roles in Government. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) and also hosts the popular podcast –People Soup –behavioural science for a more meaningful way to work.

Twitter – @RossMcCOACH

People Soup Podcast –available through many podcast apps –including


i-tunes –


  • Early bird – £240 (£288 inc VAT) – ends 25th  Feb, 2019
  • Standard rate £270 (£324 inc VAT) – from 25th Feb, 2019

The same fee applies if you are joining via Interactive Webcast. Please select this option when you book. Click here to find out more about our Interactive Webcasting.