ACT Boot Camp

ACT Boot Camp

Reno, NV

March 14, 2013 – March 17, 2013

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Brian Cooper at


The ACT Boot Camp will be held Thursday, March 14th, through Sunday, March 17th.

The venue has changed to the Eldorado Hotel and Casino which is connected to the hotel that it was held in last January.

Dress code is comfortable and casual, Steve says, “I’m wearing jeans myself.”  That’s not very informative since he ALWAYS wears jeans.

Local climate during the month of March in 2012 highs ranged from 44 to 59 degrees and lows ranged from 32 to 46 degrees.

What is Boot Camp?

Boot Camp an extraordinarily intense single track training experience with three long days and a normal day back to back focused on ACT and its theoretical foundation. It is designed to give students or beginning therapists everything they need to begin doing ACT and to do so as a very low cost.  It is also designed to take intermediate and even expert ACT therapists to another level. It is a rock em, sock em experience you have to live through to understand: personally challenging, professionally transforming. And it is just plain fun.

Trainers and Topics:

We are still developing the details of the program, especially the evening sessions, but here are the basic sessions

Steven C. Hayes will cover Day 1 and some of the evening sessions. On Day 1 he will present an experiential tour of the psychological flexibility model, attempting to simplify the model by distilling it into a handful of core elements.

Robyn Walser will cover Day 2 and will focus on “Compassion and Vitality in ACTion”. She will focus on how to broadening your scope of ACT practice and skill with your own clients but also broadening your own personal willingness and sense of compassion as an ACT therapist. The key focus will be on how each of the core processes interact to promote acceptance and change and to see how these play out experientially and in the therapeutic relationship. The day will include role-plays, skills work and personal work.

Matthieu and Jennifer Villatte will cover Day 3 and will focus on producing better clinical outcomes by integrating RFT principles into ACT case conceptualizations and interventions. They will teach you how to 1) promote defusion and acceptance by expanding verbal networks that support functional coherence and workability, 2) use perspective taking and hierarchical framing to promote self-as-process and self-as-context, and 3) build verbal networks to augment motivation and sustain engagement in meaningful activities. This day will include lots of opportunities to observe, practice, and receive informative feedback on implementing RFT principles to build expert therapy skills.

Jason Luoma and Jenna LeJeune will cover Day 4. This day is meant to be highly practical and interactive so as to help clinicians practice and integrate what they have learned in the previous three days of the ACT Boot Camp by applying that knowledge to clinical situations with the benefit of feedback. Participants will work in groups generating effective responses to specific clinical situations, including to a video of a therapist moving between different ACT processes. They will also practice ACT case conceptualization. The major aim is increasing clinicians’ agility in switching between different strategies, techniques, and ACT processes depending on the behavior of the client in session. This flexibility requires reading psychological flexibility processes in the moment, and applying methods that fit individual clients needs. A secondary aim is improving case conceptualization skills so as to better fit interventions to the client’s behavioral repertoire.

Louise McHugh will cover an evening session, with half of the evening on “the flexible self” and half on “conducting ACT trainings for the public”. The other two evening sessions are being worked on. One will involve Steve, the other is really cool if it comes thru but we can’t announce it yet.

These trainers are among the best ACT trainers on the planet. They have dozens of ACT and RFT books between them and have conducted literally hundreds of ACT trainings all around the world. Steve of course helped develop ACT (he proudly notes he gave the first ACT workshop 30 years ago). Robyn was Steve’s student and is heavily involved in the ACT roll out inside the VA. She has authored at least three books on ACT; Mattheiu was a post doc with Steve and Jen is finishing her Ph.D. with him this semester. Matthieu, Jen, and Steve are working on a book on the extension of RFT into understanding clnical work (Guildford Press; due out 2014); Jason was also a post-doc with Steve and has authored multiple books on ACT. With his partner Jenna he’s conducted clincal trainings around the world; Louise is one of the world’s experts in RFT and has authored an important book on that topic.

Target Audience:

This workshop is appropriate for students and behavioral health professionals at all levels of expertise and working with any population in any treatment setting. Clinicians using ACT and 3rd wave CBT models will be particularly interested, but no prior knowledge of ACT or RFT is required. Experienced ACT practitioners will be able to use these principles to move beyond protocols and formal exercises to increase their flexibility and clinical effectiveness. While the experience is challenging your privacy will be protected.

Continuing Education:

Continuing education credits is being applied for and is expected for psychologists (through APA), for LCSWs and MFTs through the California Division of Behavioral Science, and for BCBAs. Final approval of these should be up about a few weeks before the conference but we do not expect problems (the CBA credits are the most iffy because we are taking a new route to get them).

APA Continuing Education rules require attendance for the entire duration of the boot camp.  Those who arrive more than 15 minutes after the start of the workshop and leave early will not receive credit.  CE credits will only be awarded if all sign in and sign out forms are completed.  That does include the final workshop online evaluation completed in a timely manner.

Where Does the Money Go?

Boot Camp is sponsored by “Contextual Change LLC,” owned by Steve Hayes and Jacqueline Pistorello. After the trainers are paid, funds go to support ACT work in Reno and around the globe.


  • 3/14/13 8:30am – 9:30pm  (Topics: the Psychological flexibility model; examples of intervention methods)
  • 3/15/13 8:30am – 9:30pm  (Topics: Compassion and vitality in ACT intervention methods and exploring the ACT space)
  • 3/16/13 8:30am – 9:30pm  (Topics: flexible application of ACT intervention methods guided by RFT)
  • 3/17/13 8:30am – 4:30pm  (Topics: Fitting ACT interventions to the client; case conceptualization)

The days are long (it is called boot camp for a reason!) The main part of the day during Day 1 – 3, Boot Camp goes from 8:30 to 5, with one hour for lunch and two 15 minute breaks. After 90 minutes for dinner these days finish with an evening session from 6:30 to 9:30 with a 15 minute break. If you do the math that is just under 10 hours of training a day. The last day (Sunday) goes from 8:30 to 4:30. Boot Camp covers a total of 35.75 hours of training, and at a shockingly low cost (not counting CEUs, professionals pay less than $100 a day, and students or post-docs are less than half that)

Evening topics are still being worked on. Watch this site for additional details on the content

For sake of group cohesiveness, if you come you have to attend all sessions, including those in the evening. Please plan for that.


Boot Camp ***REGISTRATION***

We understand having to close registration on the event may be an unpleasant surprise. We do have a waiting list and if there are special circumstances you can email Brian Cooper <>.


To be put on the wait list, click the LINK and take the same steps that you would if you were registering for the event.  Once you finish filling in all the appropriate demographic information, click the wait list button at the bottom of the page.  We will also put you on a mailing list for future ACT Boot Camp workshops.

We will be hosting a meet and greet with Dr. Hayes and those presenting at the Bubinga lounge in the Eldorado Hotel Casino on Wednesday (3/13/13) starting at 5:30 pm and ending around 9:30, or whenever we are finished getting all attendees registered.  There will be a cash bar for beverages.  If you’re looking to have dinner, there are many great choices just steps from where the meet and greet is being held.

***Cancellation Policy*** Up to 2 weeks before (Thursday, February 28, 2013) the workshop begins.

***REMEMBER*** If you decide to come, attendance is required for the entire 4-days (day and evening sessions).  No flying in late and flying out early, etc.  This is a “boot camp” after all.  If you’re in, you’re in.  And folks need to join ACBS before arriving because materials will be posted on the Internet site.

Eldorado Hotel Casino ***REGISTRATION***

Eldorado Hotel Casino
345 North Virginia Street, Reno, NV
There are a certain amount of rooms at a guarantee price for those who attend. Please call 1-800-648-5966 if any problems occur with room reservation.
Use the code: YCONTXT
Wednesday and Thursday room rates: $55 per night
Friday and Saturday room rates: $105 per night
These are very low rates and the meeting space is provided by the hotel because of
the rooms, so please use this hotel unless there is a major reason not to do that.
We understand that in Reno you might get slightly cheaper rooms but the conference is very inexpensive because of the room block, so pleeease be mindful of our need to fill these rooms.


AIRPORT: The Reno Tahoe International Airport (RNO) is a mere 4 miles from the resort and takes only 12-15 minutes to arrive.  There are also rental car agencies located near the baggage claim.

SHUTTLE:  The Eldorado has a complimentary shuttle service located near the baggage claim.  The hours of operation are form 5am to 12am running every 30 minutes.  The shuttle leaves hotel valet at the hour and half hour and picks up at the airport at 15 and 45 minutes past the hour.

DRIVING: The Eldorado is a landmark in downtown Reno and tower can be seen upon approach from any direction. The Eldorado is easily accessible from both the 395 and 80 freeways. The Eldorado Hotel Casino is located just minutes from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

From Interstate 80:
• Take exit 13 toward Downtown Reno
• Turn south on Sierra Street (last left before reentering the freeway)

From the Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO):
• Take US-395/I-580 north towards I-80/Reno/Sparks/Truckee
• Merge onto I-80 west
• Take exit 13 toward Downtown Reno
• Turn south on Sierra Street (last left before reentering the freeway)

PARKING:  There is complimentary valet service (left hand side of street) and a parking garage (right hand side of street) for hotel guests both located on Sierra Street when you exit I-80.

Room Share/Ride Share:

If you are looking to share a room or want to try and carpool from a location within driving distance, please post a comment (