ACBS 2022 logo

UK and Republic of Ireland ACT and Contextual Behavioural Science 5th Conference

Preparation is underway for our 2022 Conference.  On-line Pre-conference workshops will be running on 8th, 9th and 10th November 2022 (these are half day workshops).

The conference itself will be in-person on 17th and 18th November in Liverpool at: HILTON LIVERPOOL CITY CENTRE 3 Thomas Steers Way I Liverpool I UK I L1 8LW

Please contact Eyas Ltd for any queries or questions you may have 

Funded student places

Following our recent fundraising event, we are excited to say that we are now in a position to offer a limited number of free places for students wishing to attend both days of our conference. These will be offered on a first-come first-served basis. Please note, to access a place you will need to register with your student email address (from your academic institution), and after registering you may be asked to provide further details about your student status. if you are interested in accessing this amazing opportunity, please follow the link below to register.

Keynote Speakers

Lynn Farrell

What’s in a Frame? Understanding and influencing gender bias in STEM.

Gender bias in STEM has contributed to inequities in career opportunities and outcomes and lower feelings of belonging among women in these fields. Relational Frame Theory (RFT) conceptualizes bias and stereotypes as forms of arbitrarily applicable relational responding maintained by current and historical contextual factors, with gender stereotypes being no exception. This can help us better appreciate the persistence and also potential for flexibility in gender stereotypes and bias. If we can better understand the relations underpinning gender bias in particular contexts, such as STEM, then we may better understand what relations to target in interventions to influence and reduce this bias. Additionally, we must understand how the framing of gender equality initiatives are perceived so that we may reduce unintended negative attitudes towards these initiatives. In this talk I will discuss my research that has focused on trying to better understand and influence gender-STEM stereotypes and attitudes towards gender equality initiatives in STEM, combining learning and approaches from social psychology and RFT. This will highlight how these approaches may complement one another and how RFT helps us conceptualise gender bias in terms of dynamic relational networks that are context-dependent and influenced by social contingencies.

Dr Lynn Farrell is a Lecturer in Psychology at National College of Ireland. She graduated with a BA in Psychology (1st Class Honours) from Maynooth University where she was introduced to Relational Frame Theory (RFT) and discovered new ways to explore social psychological phenomena such as stereotypes and bias. Dr Farrell went on to complete her PhD as an Irish Research Council postgraduate scholar at University College Dublin (UCD) where she explored the nature and malleability of implicit bias towards women in STEM through the lens of RFT as part of the UCD CBS lab. She received the ACBS Student Spotlight award for her work on gender bias and previously served as a student representative on the Women in ACBS SIG during its establishment. After completing her doctoral research, Dr Farrell took up a Research Fellow position at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) where she continued to empirically explore how to improve gender equality efforts in STEM as part of the EPSRC funded Inclusion Matters project and was awarded the QUB Engineering and Physical Sciences Faculty Postdoctoral Outstanding Engagement award. Her research interests and publications to date have focused mainly on understanding and influencing implicit and explicit stereotypes and bias particularly related to gender and improving attitudes towards gender equality initiatives.

Lynn Farrell

Evelyn Gould

Thriving in the face of adversity: Supporting neurodiverse and autistic youth to ACT mindfully.

From a behavior analytic perspective, psychological well-being and resilience involves flexibly interacting with your experiences in context-sensitive ways that connect you with meaning and purpose, even in adverse contexts. This highly adaptive repertoire can be referred to as psychological flexibility and is the primary target of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT; Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 2003). In this presentation, Dr Evelyn Gould presents an ACT-based, developmentally sensitive approach to promoting psychological flexibility and long-term positive outcomes for Autistic and Neurodiverse youth. At the heart of this approach, is the establishment of an affirmative and empowering therapeutic space where young people can go beyond their comfort-zone and explore new ways of navigating their world. Dr Gould will discuss various ways that practitioners can meet the individual needs of clients, including consideration of unique strengths, differences, interests and identities, as well as emphasizing the importance of adopting a broader systems approach to care for this population.

Objectives: At the conclusion of the talk, participants will be able to:
1. Describe key contextual factors that impact well-being and quality of life for Autistic youth and their families
2. Identify the key benefits of utilizing an ACT or DNAV (Ciarrochi & Hayes, 2015) approach when working with Neurodiverse and Autistic individuals
3. Identify at least one ACT-based strategy that might create a more affirmative and responsive context for your Neurodiverse clients 

I am a Clinical Behavior Analyst and Licensed Psychologist (PSY#31701) at New England Center for OCD and Anxiety. I am also a Clinical Assistant Professor at Keck School of Medicine at USC and Research Associate in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
Originally from Belfast in N.Ireland, I currently reside with my partner and three cats in Los Angeles, CA. My pronouns are she/they. I am involved in a wide variety of clinical, training and research activities around the globe, and am committed to the dissemination of evidence-based practices and contextual behavioral science. I am a member of the queer community and my work reflects personal and professional values of authenticity, compassion, social justice, and cultural humility. I strive to support and create affirmative and empowering spaces for marginalized young people and their families. 

Evelyn Gould

Karen Salt

ACBS: Fractured Community or Fractal Community?

Many people have dedicated their lives and energies to fighting for inclusion and greater diversity. Organisations and individuals now talk about biases, think about ways of making hiring practices more accessible and work to augment any gaps in their knowledge about the histories of people from down the road and across oceans.

Yet, as much as their has been attention on processes and policies, there have been areas left out of this consideration that aren’t just about diversity and inclusion, but good practice, good governance and good work.

This talk will navigate that terrain and ask participants to critically consider the piping in their practices and in their organisational and institutional frameworks.  

Karen has over 26 years’ worth of experience working in and with communities, organisations, charities and governmental bodies, including running non-profits and engaging in community development work. Prior to taking up her post at the UKRI, she was director of the Centre for Research in Race and Rights at the University of Nottingham.

Karen Salt

Jacob Martinez

ACBS: Fractured Community or Fractal Community?

In this keynote, ACT Therapist Jacob Martinez, explores the nature of participation and complaint in the ACBS community. You’ll learn about fractal organisations, the commodification of communities and how to help an organisation thrive.

Educational Objectives:
1. Describe common DEI related complaints within ACBS
2. Define fractal model of organization and how it applies to ACBS
3. Apply model of variation, selection, and retention to participation within ACBS 

Jacob is Licenced Professional Counselor, ACT Therapist and trainer from Texas now living in Wisconsin, USA. Jacob specialises in using the ACT Matrix and creating novel ACT interventions. He is the former past president of Texas ACBS Chapter and leading contributor to the Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Special Interest Group in ACBS, which aims to helps members with different backgrounds share their perspectives.

Karen Salt

Online Preconference Workshops

All workshops £40 per half day and will be recorded and available to watch for up to 8 weeks

Please note: 
Workshop 2 - How to set up and use ACT peer skills development groups for continued professional development - Em Perera, Tomas Castillo, Sara Freeman & Cindy Winski
Workshop 3 - "Relational Frame Theory: Applications with Children and Schools." - Duncan Gillard and Freddy Jackson Brown.
Workshop 5 - An Introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) - David Gillanders
are no longer available

Workshop 1: 'The Flexible Mind' Approach to Supporting Mental Health and Wellbeing of Elite Athletes 

(8th November from 1.00 pm – 4.30 pm)

By Ross White.

The workshop will provide attendees with opportunities to understand how the three core components of the P.O.D. of psychological flexibility (Present, Open and Doing What Matters) can be applied with athletes. An overview of a seven-session programme that can be used to deliver the 'Flexible Mind' approach will be provided. Case study material from various sports will be used to illustrate how the approach can help athletes to excel and stay well.

Workshop 4: 'NeuroDivACT': ACT for Neurodivergent Clients: Autism and ADHD - A
Neurodiversity Affirming Approach.

(8th, 9th and 10th November from 1 – 4.30 pm)

By Lene Thormgrimsen, Dr Trish Leonard-Curtin & Aisling Leonard-Curtin.

This workshop will focus in on working with clients who are neurodivergent, from a minority stress theory (Meyer, 1995, 2003), human rights based and neurodiversity affirmative approach. It will also present data from clinical practice to highlight the impact and consequences of undiagnosed neurodivergence in psychological therapy, and will address the potential challenges of traditional therapeutic and behavioural approaches if not modified for neurodivergent populations. We will present a modified Hexaflex applicable to neurodivergent people, and a specialised minority stress and human rights consistent and affirmative guide to ACT intervention, for this client group.


Thursday 17th November

Suite 1
Suite 2
Suite 3
9.00 – 10.15Lynn Farrell
10.30 – 12.00Skills Class
The Art of  Creating Transformational Metaphors in ACT
Investigating the post-COVID-19 wellbeing of those who care for children with Additional Learning Needs (ALN): a psychological flexibility perspective
Pegram, Hulson-Jones, Hooper, Noone & Hughes

The feasibility, acceptability, and initial efficacy of a values-based digital behaviour change intervention (DBCI) targeting co-regulation of physical activity between parents of and children with Spina Bifida: A protocol for a single-case experimental design (SCED)

Breast Living Well Course - Adaptions to the Virtual Era
Donnelly, Hubert-Williams, Kershaw & Warre
Recent theoretical and empirical advances in message framing and rule-governed behaviour in accordance with relational frame theory
Stapleton, Gamble & McCloskey

1:00 - 2:00Skills Class
"I want to love myself BUT I hate myself!" Using RFT informed methods to resolve oppositional selfnarratives to deepen selfacceptance
Investigating the role of formal mindfulness practice in ACT interventions for undergraduate mental health Hope
Bell & Hooper

Modelling RFT and Artificial Intelligence
Jackson Brown

Can acceptance of pain and negative thoughts enhance rowing performance?

Does an Incorrect Understanding of Mindfulness Reduce the Impact of a Mindfulness Intervention on Levels of Mindfulness?
Skills Class
Unspoken Womanhood: The woeful and the wonderful
Savage & McGillivray
2:45 - 4:15Skills Class
Sex ACT - A Workshop, not an offer
Johnson & Kjelgaard
Symposium Taking Action to tackle work-related burnout
Palmer, McGillivray & Savage
Skills Class
Small n Mighty: Using Single Case Design to bridge research & Practice
Stapleton & Lavelle

4:30 - 5:30Karen Salt

Friday 18th November

Suite 1
Suite 2
Suite 3
9.00 – 10.15Evelyn Gould
10.30 – 12.00Skills Class
No one is to blame. Combining ACT & Moral Philosophy to enable forgiveness & compassion
Johnson & Bennett
Recovery from Substance Addiction: An ACTbased Group Programme and a Companion App.
Hogan & Greenhalgh

Adaption and pilot evaluation of 'ACTivate your wellbeing' a digital health and wellbeing programme for students and young persons.

Feasibility of RESTORE: an online Acceptance and Commitment Therapy intervention to improve stress and wellbeing amongst palliative care staff.
Finucane, Gillanders, Hubert-Williams, Swash, Spiller & Lydon
ACT for Health Conditions
Taylor, Mehew, Lavelle & Kingston

1:00 - 2:00Skills Class
Bend and break rules (when it works!). Using the RFT account of rule-governed behaviour to shape flexible responding
Stapleton & McHugh
Why PBS needs CBS. It just doesn’t realise it yet!
Noone, Jackson-Brown, Oliver & Johnson
Skills Class
Using Contextual Behavioural Science at multiple levels in the real world: ‘PROSOCIAL’ as a set of tools, a framework and as a perspective to meet the challenges we face in Health & Social Care settings.
2:45 - 4:15Panel
Shaping Psychological Flexibility: Which Processes in what order? Responding to Video Vignettes from Different Points on the Hexaflex.
Bennett, Black, McGillivray, Oliver & Savage
Educational Communities: Recent research on application of ACT & DNAV in Schools.
Gillard, Grindle, Taylor, Searle, Nisar & Owen
Skills Class
Finding Health through the Matrix.

4:30 - 5:30Jacob Martinez

Registration Fees

2 day: 17th & 18th November 2022£200.00£150.00£250.00
1 day£115.00£85.00£135.00
*Reduced Member Rate (student/low-income)

Hotels nearest the ACBS UK & ROI Conference Venue 

All hotels are no more than a 10-minute walk from the Conference venue.

  • Hilton Hotel, Liverpool City Centre  - rated at 8.4 on, 2 nights stay for 1 person costs approx £260 B&B
  • The Baltic Hotel  - rated at 8.8 on, 2 nights stay for 1 person costs approx £215 B&B
  • Hotel Indigo - rated at 8.6 on, 2 nights stay for 1 person costs approx £190 B&B
  • Ibis Hotel - rated at 8.0 on, 2 nights stay for 1 person costs approx £140 B&B
  • Jury’s Inn - rated at 8.3 on, 2 nights stay for 1 person costs approx £270 B&B
  • Hampton By Hilton - rated at 8.2 on, 2 nights stay for 1 person costs approx £172 B&B
  • Novotel - rated at 8.2 on, 2 nights stay for 1 person costs approx £194 B&B
  • The Pullman - rated at 8.9 on, 2 nights stay for 1 person costs approx £207 B&B
  • Staycity Aparthotels Liverpool Waterfront - rated at 9.1 on, 2 nights stay for 1 person costs approx £174
  • Holiday Inn Express -rated at 8.7 on, 2 nights stay for 1 person costs approx £205 B&B

This is a selection of hotels found nearest the Hilton, they are not recommended by ACBS UK & ROI merely suggested!

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