Doing Experiential Therapy

Advanced 3rd wave therapy training (online). Starting January 3rd, 2018.

This online course will be facilitated by Matthieu Villatte, PhD, clinical trainer and author of Mastering the Clinical Conversation: Language as Intervention, and of the first ACT manual published in French. He also published a number of articles and chapters on 3rd wave therapy and experiential practice.

–> What is this course about?

While third wave techniques have been widely disseminated over the past decade, their application within a truly experiential framework is often still a challenge for therapists. The desire for transparency, the need to make rapid progress, or the difficulty in transforming theoretical knowledge into concrete practice can lead therapists to be too directive and didactic, or conversely, abstract and confusing. The opportunity to develop the autonomy of clients in the fine and pragmatic observation of their experience is thereby undermined. Experiential techniques lose their power of deep transformation; exchanges become less personal and meaningful; therapeutic work becomes less interesting and satisfying to the therapist too.

In this online training for therapists who already use 3rd wave therapies, the goal will be 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 adapted to all 3rd wave approaches (ex. Mindfulness-based therapies, dialectical behavior therapy, meta-cognitive therapy) and experiential therapies in general (e.g. psychodynamic, hypnosis, gestalt).

–> What will you learn in this course?

  • Doing experiential work without exercises, in natural conversations with your clients.
  • Grounding your clinical practice in a stance of curiosity, openness, and non-directiveness.
  • Selecting, building, and delivering experiential exercises.
  • Selecting, building, and delivering experiential metaphors.

–> 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 personal life choices (e.g. how to promote autonomous observation rather than use 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 or battles of arguments with 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 exchanges client-therapist).

–> What people are saying about this course:

“This is not a training in which you have to follow a given model. Instead, based on contextual behavioral principles, Matt gives you the opportunity to work with your own style in order to help clients heal and grow with creativity and vitality. This training is an invitation to practice freedom in your work and in your life.”

— Claude Penet, Psychiatrist

“I do recommend this experiential workshop, as it both fosters the therapist’s creativity AND keeps an accurate focus on the function of the therapist’s experiential moves and interventions. I followed this training as a 2-day workshop last week-end and it proved useful in my clinical practice as soon as Monday morning!

— Sophie Cheval, Psychologist.

“This course helped me understand the meaning and impact of being experiential in therapy, for both the therapist and the client. Don’t expect to take a lot of notes. Instead, prepare yourself to live experiences in a supportive and kind environment that, with no doubt, will boost your clinical practice.”

— Paula Izquierdo, Psychologist

–> The live sessions will take place over Zoom on the following dates:

January 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st, and February 7th (last session subject to change). All sessions start at 9am US Pacific Time and last for 2 hours.

The sessions will all be recorded, so you will be able to watch them later if you miss a session. However, participation to the live sessions is highly recommended throughout this course.

–> Fees: US$350

–> More information and registration:

Limited to 15 participants!