Creating a Peer-Led Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Consultation Group: The Portland Model

Creating a Peer-Led Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Consultation Group: The Portland Model

In 2005, the clinic directors (Jenna LeJeune, Ph.D. & Jason Luoma, Ph.D.) at Portland Psychotherapy helped found a peer-consultation group to provide a place for local therapists to learn and practice Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and to build supportive community of like-minded practitioners.

The ACT peer consultation group underwent a number of iterations in the years that followed. It took several years for the group to find its feet, and there was process and evolution in creating a workable structure and set of roles to help guide the meetings.

Recently, several of us got together and wrote a paper describing the process of creating an ACT peer consultation group and the structure we created. We’d run some workshops demonstrating (e.g., role-playing) the model—we called “The Portland Model”—and found that clinicians around the world were very interested in learning how they could start their own ACT peer consultation group. After running some workshops, we agreed we were ready to write up our experiences in order to reach a larger audience. We each contributed a section of the paper, and I took on the role of editing and putting it all together.

And it’s finally available! The paper was published in a 2015 issue of the Journal for Contextual Behavioral Science (JCBS). If you’re a member of the Association of Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS)—the core organization behind ACT—you can access and download the paper for free by logging into the ACBS website. Under the “Resources” tab, click on the “Journal for Contextual Behavioral Science” link. There is a list of issues. Our paper was published in “Volume 4 (2015) Issues 3-4.” The Science Direct link is here.

If you’d like to find out more about the Portland ACT peer consultation group, you can click on this page to find out about meeting times, as well as download copies of the mission statement, meeting structure, and a description of the roles.

The main point I’ve tried to emphasize to people in workshops is that our model is just one way of structuring the meetings—the most important thing is to have some sort of structure. Once you agree upon a structure, only then can you evaluate what is and is not working. Feel free to drop me a line if you’d like some consultation for how to get your own group started.

Article (Portland Psychotherapy authors bolded): Thompson, B. T., Luoma, J. B., Terry, C., LeJeune, J., Guinther, P., & Robb, H. (2015). Creating a Peer-Led Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Consultation Group: The Portland Model. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 4(3), 144-150.

Brian Thompson Ph.D.

Author: Brian Thompson Ph.D.

Brian is a licensed psychologist and Director of the Portland Psychotherapy Anxiety Clinic. His specialties include generalized anxiety, OCD, hair pulling, and skin picking.

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