ACT NOW for a New You in 2022
The New Year is a time for resolutions. It is a time for intentional self-reflection and for thinking about the changes we might like to make, so that we may improve our lives.
Think back to this past year… how have you been feeling?
- Did your emotions ever feel overwhelming?
- Did you feel exhausted by anxiety, intrusive thoughts, panic or stress?
- Did you feel stuck or trapped in your own mind?
- Did you ever question why you aren’t happy?
- Did you feel as though you were at a crossroads or needed a change, but weren’t quite sure what to do next?
- Did you feel like your life was chaotic or out of control?
For Canadians, the majority of resolutions centre around improving personal fitness and nutrition or focusing on financial goals, travel and leisure, spending more time with family and friends, letting go of unhelpful habits, and learning something new.
But for the past year, resolutions and goal setting have not necessarily been on our minds. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, gyms and borders were closed, and it was difficult to stay connected with friends or family. Unemployment records were also at a record high, which added barriers to the types and kinds of goals we could set for 2021.
Since 2020, most Canadians have also been experiencing more distressing feelings. It is for this reason that experts have been suggesting to reframe our resolutions – to focus less on the physical and more on introspection and the feelings behind our goals.
Approximately 70% of Canadians make New Year’s Resolutions, but most of these habit changes will drop off after about 6 weeks! So… how do you turn your New Year’s Resolutions into habits for life?
With the right support you can set introspective goals and learn how to:
- Manage painful feelings and thoughts
- Build self-awareness and promote mental flexibility
- Let go of unhelpful thoughts and behaviours
- Gain a sense of freedom and clarity
- Control yourself and your path in life
- Work toward meaningful goals that reflect your values and what you want from life
- Shift your habits for the long term and attain your goals!
Imagine feeling in touch with what REALLY matters to you and living the life that you have been dreaming of. Personal growth and introspection is important, especially when so much feels chaotic and out of our control. There is truly no better time to take charge of your habits and goals…
ACT NOW for a New You in 2022: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Group is a powerful tool for growth and change, keep reading or check out this introductory video to learn more…
WHAT TO EXPECT
Prepare yourself to engage and participate in group discussions for 90 minutes, once a week for five weeks (Saturday January 15 – February 12, 2021).
During this time, you will learn and incorporate a combination of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Mindfulness activities in order to learn how to accept life as it is, while also committing to action that will improve and enrich your life each and every day.
Our facilitators, Sheila & Valentina will teach you grounding activities and remind you that emotions are a normal and necessary part of the human experience. By emphasizing acceptance, kindness and understanding toward yourself Sheila & Valentina will support you in your practice of psychological flexibility and commitment to self-compassion.
As a group, we will heal through the power of connection. Together, we will create a community by offering a private, confidential and safe space and inviting like-minded individuals, seeking to come together to support and hold each other accountable in reaching our desired goals. With the support of your group and the facilitators, you will identify a set of values which will guide you through life and identify ways in which you will be able to adjust your behaviour so that it is in accordance with those values. In doing so, you will learn how to approach difficult situations by grounding yourself in your own self-knowledge, acceptance, and compassion.
This group will provide you a workbook with guided activities to complete during each session and exercises for you to practice at home throughout the course.
Some of the most common topics discussed when using ACT as a tool for growth and change include:
- Acceptance and Compassion for Self and Others
- Addiction and Substance Use
- Anxiety, Fears and Panic
- Body Acceptance
- Bipolar and Borderline Personality
- Emotional Regulation and Consideration of Multiple or Alternative Perspectives
- Generalizations (i.e., all or nothing thinking)
- Past Experiences
- Positive Thinking
- Problem Identification
- Reframing Negative Thought Patterns
- Self-Esteem and Self-Worth
- Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Symptoms
- Underlying Assumptions and Interpretations of Events
- Value Systems, Personal Biases and Beliefs
- Workplace Balance and Stress Management
HERE’S WHAT WE WILL COVER OVER 5 WEEKS
Week 1 – Introducing ACT
We will begin our first session with a grounding exercise. We will discuss your initial interest in joining this group and establish group ground rules and group norms. We will dive deeper into Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) as a therapeutic tool and approach to meeting your goals and introduce mindfulness, such as “dropping anchor.” We will observe our thought patterns and behaviour in order to enhance our self-awareness. We will begin to uncover our strengths and what it is that adds meaning to our lives. We will end our first class together, with a survey inquiring about your satisfaction with the group.
Week 2 – Letting Go & Regaining Control
We will begin our second session with a grounding exercise. We will develop skills for letting go of unhelpful thoughts and feelings, and focus on building skills to support accepting factors that are outside of our control. As a group, we will run through a few exercises that demonstrate the suffering and struggle, which result when we refuse to accept our reality. We will end our second session together, with a survey inquiring about your satisfaction with the group.
Week 3 – Enhancing Communication & Developing Self-Compassion
We will begin our third session with a grounding exercise. We will discuss and learn more effective communication styles and strategies. We will look at how communication can be used as a tool for fostering compassion. We will participate in an exercise to build greater compassion and a sense of internal peace with self and others. We will share strategies to develop self-compassion for your current and younger self.We will end our third session together, with a survey inquiring about your satisfaction with the group.
Week 4 – Overcoming Mental Barriers & Setting SMART Goals
We will begin our fourth session with a grounding exercise. We will bring our senses into the group, as we mindfully hold an object, experiencing textures, scent, weight, visual and auditory details in order to promote flexible attention and presence. We will apply these skills to our own thinking, observing the ways we get “hooked” by thoughts. We will learn how to set SMART and value guided goals in order to develop an actionable plan so that we may start living our desired lives. We will end our fourth session together, with a survey inquiring about your satisfaction with the group.
Week 5 – Challenging Ourselves & Concluding the Course
We will begin our fifth session with a grounding exercise. We will learn about a values-guided approach to change. We learn the “Challenge Formula” and discuss how we might respond to any challenging situation. We will share ways in which to deal with dilemmas, difficult decisions and tough choices so that we may feel more equipped when confronted with these challenges. We will conclude the course with a general review of our journey together, what we learned and how we will use these skills moving forward. We will end our last session together, with a survey inquiring about your satisfaction with the group.
Are you interested in joining us? Great! We would love to have you. Our work begins on Saturday, January 15 at 10:00am – 11:30am. Join the waitlist here and we’ll be in touch with the next steps.
When: Saturdays from 10:00am-11:30am, January 15 to February 12
Where:This is a virtual course. We will send you the link 30 minutes before our first session!
Size of the Group: This group will consist of 5-10 individuals.
Coverage: For many people, group therapy with a Social Worker (MSW, RSW) or Psychotherapist (RP, Qualifying) is covered by extended health benefits. If you intend to pay via insurance, please let us know when you are signing up.