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

A skills-class webinar to enhance your abilities in working with defusion

Thursday 21st January, 2021


21st January, 2021
9-11am UK Time
Online Webinar + recording
Presenter: Dr. Elizabeth Burnside
Please note: you can still access the recording for 3 weeks even if you are not able to make the live event

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.


How do I access the webinar?

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.

Can I ask questions during the presentation?

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 webinar.

Will I receive a CPD certificate?

Yes, you will receive a CPD certificate.

Can I view the presentation afterwards?

Yes, a video of the presentation will be available to you for up to 28 days after the workshop is finished.  You’ll be able to go back over any part of the webinar to review or check anything that you missed. You also don’t actually have to attend the live webinar – if you’re not able to make it on the actual date, you can still login afterwards and watch the recorded version.

What equipment do I need?

You just need a computer (PC or Mac), laptop or tablet that can access the internet. You need a good broadband speed that would allow you to comfortably stream a movie (such as a video on YouTube).

Can I still participate in any skills practice work?

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

Will the Webinar work on my computer?

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.

How do I deal with any technical issues that come up?

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.