ACT for Children: Accept Identify & Move (AIM)
Weekly 1-hour sessions
The AIM curriculum was designed after years of research by Dr. Mark Dixon and Dr. Dana Palliluinas to support children with psychological and behavioural flexibility. Based on the science of Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT), this curriculum is designed to teach children through experiential teaching and mindfulness practices the skills needed to accept challenges they face, identify a value-oriented response and take committed action. Each lesson has a mindful component and hands-on demonstrations that support the use of metaphor and visualization for each concept. Building social-emotional skills through experiential learning gives children skills to be aware of the present moment, and start to track the outcomes of their actions. Short activities are assigned throughout the week for parents to do with their children. There is a pre and post assessment scale to assess your child's flexibility in response to this group intervention. This group is designed for younger or more concrete learners.
ACT for Adolescents: DNA-V
Weekly 1-hour sessions
From Louise Hayes comes the DNA-V model of acceptance and commitment training for young people. Teens learn flexible thinking by identifying their Discoverer, Noticer and Advisor as ways of thinking. Through the use of video, mindfulness practice, hands-on activities and discussion, teens learn to use these ways of thinking to their advantage and orient their behaviour towards their values. By employing the use of activities that are developmentally appropriate for adolescents, young people learn to identify their values and take steps to act in a manner that is in line with those values. Groups are based on an intake process to ensure there is a good fit between participants. Social-emotional skills are critical for adolescents and learning to engage in value-directed behaviour supports them into their transition to adulthood. Weekly 90-minute sessions. The first 60 minutes are for the teen and then final 30 minutes is for a caregiver or parent.
ACT for Parents and Caregivers
By using the science of human behaviour, Acceptance and Commitment Training has been demonstrated through research to be an effective way to support families that are supporting children with complex needs. Sometimes it can be hard to take the first steps of follow through when implementing a behavioural health support plan. Using techniques from ACT, parents are guided in the process of making the changes needed to support positive behaviour in service of their values and goals. I facilitate reflection about the home environment and support families in seeing how this can influence behaviour, while empowering families with the skills they need to create positive behaviour change towards a better quality of life for the child and those around them.
Social - Emotional Skills Groups for
Children and Teens
Young people can learn the prosocial behaviours and skills they need to enhance their flexibility and social-emotional development. Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) is a therapeutic approach rooted in the science of Behaviour Analysis. ACT employs the use of mindfulness, experiential activities and rehearsal to support positive behaviour change. The goal of behavioural health intervention and ACT is to help individuals live a life of vitality by engaging in behaviour that are functional, positive and in line with one's values. For more information on ACT and the research behind it, see the Contextual Behavior Science website.