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Skills Group: Acceptance & Commitment Training (ACT) – Week 1
January 25, 2023, 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Updated: Registration for Skills Groups is now closed. Our next Acceptance & Commitment Training Skills Group will run from April 5 through May 10. The application window for that group will open in early March. Stay tuned for updates to the event calendar.
Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) is an evidence-based approach that uses mindfulness and other strategies and experiences to reduce the impact of difficult or unpleasant thoughts and feelings. The goal of ACT is to help you learn through experience how to strengthen your mind and create psychological flexibility, which includes:
- the ability to be fully present (that is, to be aware of what you are thinking and feeling, as well as what is going on around you)
- being willing to accept what you are thinking and feeling, even if it is uncomfortable, unwanted or unpleasant
- the ability to direct your behavior to do what matters to you.
This is accomplished through six core processes:
- Contact With the Present Moment: being fully aware and present in your here and now experience vs. getting lost in thoughts or trying to control feelings.
- Acceptance/Willingness: making room for unpleasant feelings, thoughts etc., without trying to change them
- Cognitive Defusion: stepping back from, and observing thoughts and feelings, without being caught up in them.
- The Observing Self: contact with part of you that is an observer of thoughts, feelings, memories
- Values: clarifying what matters to you, the person you want to be, the things you want to do
- Committed Action: Considering your values and your willingness to experience some discomfort can help you to do what matters.
Research has proven ACT can be effective with a diverse range of people, (including autistic and neurodivergent individuals) and those with a range of conditions (including ADHD, trauma, substance abuse and psychosis).
What are Skills Groups?
Skills Groups are small group skill development workshops that are facilitated by two Sinneave staff members (one is an autistic self-advocate). In each 90-minute workshop, participants learn a variety of strategies that are foundational to success in various aspects of daily life. They are then given opportunities to practice the strategies with the support of the facilitators and other group members.
Are Skills Groups for Me?
Skills Groups are best suited for autistic and neurodivergent individuals who…
- Are 15 years of age and older.
- Self-identify (or have been diagnosed) as being neuro-diverse and/or autistic.
- Are able to commit to 6 weeks of programming (90 minutes to 2 hours) once weekly.
- Are interested in learning and practicing key strategies that can have a positive impact on their daily routines.
- Can communicate verbally.
- Are willing to practice reflecting and sharing their thoughts with the group.
- Can reliably and independently participate in a group setting (e.g., arrive on time, communicate with group leader if you are unable to attend, do not require a one-to-one assistant).
- Will commit to keeping an open mind, and actively participating in program activities.
- Have reliable transportation arrangements to and from the program
If you can answer “Yes” to each of the statements above, our Skills Groups may be a good fit for you.
How Do I Apply?
Because we keep the groups small, Skills Groups are in high demand. Enrolment is limited to 4-6 participants per group and individuals may only register for one group at a time to allow for the greatest participation.
All applications are completed online. The online application portal opens three weeks before the start of the next Skills Group. When the application window is open, the link to apply will be LIVE on this page. (If you don’t see a link, we are not currently accepting applications.)
Please Note: Skills Groups are not intended for support workers, aides, caregivers, or other professionals.
If you would like more information about a particular group, please contact us at 403-210-5000 or firstname.lastname@example.org to book an Information and Navigation meeting to learn about other programs and services.