“Living with the Enemy” – ACT for Physical Health Problems – SOLD OUT

Monday 10th & Tuesday 11th October, 2016


Monday 10th  and Tuesday 11th of October 2016
9.30am – 4.30pm both days
 Resource for London, 356 Holloway Rd, London N7 6PA
Presenter: Dr. Ray Owen


Living with the Enemy: Helping people live fulfilling lives despite serious health problems

RayPort4Serious physical health problems can take over a person’s existence; the daily struggle with the physical and psychological effects can take so much time and energy that it can feel as if the rest of life is ‘on hold’. They can become trapped in a war against their own illness, where every day is just about the battle, and it can seem impossible to find achievement and fulfillment in life if the health problem cannot be cured. Sometimes, they feel they’re just existing, not really living.

Many practitioners have already found that Acceptance and Commitment Therapy can heEnemylp people spot the ways of coping that haven’t been working for them, make sure that troubling thoughts and unwanted feelings don’t run their life, make sense of the changes in their circumstances, to make the most of today, and work towards a future that includes more of the things that matter to them, leading to a life with more meaning and fulfilment.

However, dealing with physical health problems in this way comes with its own challenges:

  • the range of presentations, consequences and trajectories of different illnesses
  • the prevalence of denial, hopelessness, helplessness and ‘loss of sense of self’ in these populations
  • dealing with complex family, social and healthcare systems
  • the effect of carers on living with illness, and the impact of being a carer (e.g. burden, guilt and grief)
  • how our own fears and frustrations can get in the way of helping people
  • bringing about behaviour change in people who feel ‘stuck’
  • working alongside, and through, other care professionals

This intermediate training will help you recognise, understand and respond effectively to these and other difficulties, giving you new tools and approaches for helping your clients and their carers to have a meaningful existence in the presence of their health problem – to ‘Live with the Enemy’. It is aimed at practitioners who are already familiar with the core processes of ACT, and preferably have some experience of applying them in a physical health context.

What You Will Learn

This 2 day workshop will give you the opportunity to learn more about:

  • Applying your existing knowledge of the 6 core processes of ACT to the problems of physical ill health
  • Adapting your interventions to different physical health contexts (eg illness trajectory, family systems, healthcare providers)
  • Approaching difficult issues such as ‘denial’, altered sense of self and hopelessness
  • Ensuring you are ‘doing ACT’ with clients rather than simply ‘talking about ACT’ or defaulting to supportive listening.
  • Identifying your own health related thoughts and feelings and the extent to which they drive ‘therapy-interfering behaviours’
  • Using ACT with carers and other family members
  • Teaching and supervising other healthcare providers and creating a ‘3rd wave culture’ in your healthcare setting

The workshop will use a combination of didactic presentation, video , live role-play, small-group skills practice and experiential exercises. The latter will involve evoking and being present with potentially unpleasant thoughts and feelings regarding one’s own actual or potential ill-health, in the service of becoming more able to support others with physical health problems.

About The Presenter

 Dr Ray Owen

Dr Ray Owen is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Health Psychologist with over 20 years experience of working in Physical Health settings within the NHS. He has substantial experience of teaching and supervision in a wide range of contexts, both within the Health Service and on a freelance basis. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and an accredited facilitator in the national Advanced Communication Skills Programme for senior cancer practitioners.

He has taught extensively on ACT in physical health contexts, and is the author of two successful self-help books published by Routledge – ‘Facing the Storm (2011)’ and ‘Living with the Enemy (2014)’, both of which were shortlisted for the BMA Popular Medicine Book of the Year Award.


  • Early bird – £220 (ends 12th September)
  • Special “Bring a Friend” 30% discount – book 2 places: £154 per person (£308 total) – ends 12th September
  • Standard rate £240 (up 9th October)

Light refreshments will be provided for morning and afternoon tea. Lunch is not included in the registration fee but you will have the option to purchase lunch at one of the many catering outlets outside of the venue.