Mastering the Clinical Conversation – using RFT to supercharge your experiential practice

8th - 9th Feb 2018


Workshop Featured Images Webcast Thursday 8th and Friday 9th February, 2018
Workshop times: 9am – 5pm both days
Presenter: Dr Matt Villatte

Would you like to be more experiential as a therapist; less talky and more active in session? Would you like to spend more of your session actually developing clients’ mindfulness skills (instead of just talking about them)? And would you like to do so in spontaneous, free-flowing, naturalistic ways, responding to the moment-to-moment ebb and flow of the session, (instead of sticking to standard scripts and “canned interventions”)? If so, you just can’t afford to miss out on this unique workshop with Matthieu Villatte. Co-author of the ground-breaking book, “Mastering The Clinical Conversation”, Matt is unequalled in the ACT world in his amazing ability to help practitioners “step outside the box”; to stretch their boundaries, to unleash their creativity, and help them develop more flexible ways of working. In the last ten years, we’ve seen a wide range of ACT, mindfulness and compassion techniques popping up here, there and everywhere. However, to apply them within a truly experiential framework is often still a challenge for many therapists. It can be all too easy to be directive, “teachy” or overly complicated. Eagerness to “stick to the script” of standard exercises, popular metaphors and traditional meditations can make it difficult to respond flexibly, especially when a session goes “off the rails”. RFT principles gives us lens through which to view client interactions, that can make a big difference in terms of the precision, speed and focus of your work. An understanding of the principles of RFT can help you target your use of language moment by moment to become truly experiential. In this workshop for practitioners who already use ACT and/or other mindfulness-based therapies, the aim is to reach an advanced level of expertise in experiential practice. We will build on the principles of contextual behavioral psychology, which have been particularly well developed for clinical work in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), but are readily adaptable to all mindfulness-based approaches. The training, based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Relational Frame Theory (RFT), will allow you to develop skills in:

  • Doing experiential work – without using scripted, formulaic or pre-prepared exercises – through natural conversations with your clients.
  • Grounding your clinical practice in a stance of curiosity, openness, and non-directiveness.
  • Selecting, building, and delivering experiential exercises and metaphors “on the fly”, through flexibly responding to what the client is saying and doing.

Through practical exercises, videos, demonstrations, and role plays:

  • You will learn to shape your clients’ ability to observe their own experiences, and to draw conclusions adapted to their own personal life choices (e.g. how to promote autonomous observation rather than didactic psycho-education).
  • You will develop the ability to adapt to any situation without departing from your experiential stance (e.g. how not to fall into excessive explanations, disputes, arguments, convincing or persuading, with dependent, rigid, overly-compliant or stuck clients).
  • You will learn to use experiential exercises in a way that strengthens the therapeutic relationship (e.g. how to introduce and debrief exercises without altering natural client-therapist exchanges).

About the Presenter

MV pic

Matthieu Villatte, PhD is a Research Scientist and Clinical Trainer at the Evidence Based Practice Institute in Seattle, WA. He obtained his doctoral degree in France, with an emphasis on Relational Frame Theory, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Nevada, Reno under the mentorship of Steven Hayes. He is the co-author of the first manual published in French on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and is Associate Editor of the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science. His new book, Mastering the Clinical Conversation: Language as Intervention, is co-authored by Jennifer Villatte and Steven Hayes. He also authored and co-authored chapters in several books on contextual behavioral science, such as The Self and Perspective Taking, Mindfulness and Acceptance for Counseling College Students, The Big Book of ACT Metaphors, Handbook of Mindfulness: Theory and Research, Working with Emotions in CBT, The Handbook of Contextual Behavioral Science. Matthieu Villatte is an ACT Trainer, peer-reviewed by the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS). He has facilitated over 80 workshops on the clinical applications of Contextual Behavioral Science in North and South America, in Australia and New-Zealand, and in Europe.


  • Standard rate £295 (from 20th Jan)
  • Student rate – £90 (limited places)

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.