Session 193: ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Training) And How To Incorporate It In Client Conversations



It’s always interesting to learn how clinicians bring themselves into alignment with their deeper purpose and values. When this happens, the clinician will feel greater satisfaction and fulfillment in the work they do. Today’s show is another that focuses on ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Training) as we talk to today’s guest about his experience as he transitioned into private practice.

David Teachout is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, Washington, although he has branched out to a full-service online practice that incorporates acceptance and commitment therapy. We’re discussing his journey and how he transitioned into private practice from community mental health. David shares what it was like for him to take an uncertain leap from something familiar and comfortable, and how he incorporates ACT into his conversations with clients in big and small ways. David also tells about starting his online counseling practice and how that aligns perfectly with his values.

What We’ll Learn

  • How David’s work with ACT is a community collaboration
  • How David looked at private practice as an opportunity to express ideas without being tied down to a building or an organizational structure (as in community mental health
  • How private practice allows David to meet clients where they are and gives him more flexibility and freedom
  • What it was like to work for decades in community mental health, and then leave comfortable and familiar work; he shares his thought process and the steps he took
  • In private practice, the clinician provides the structure, and no one gives it to you
  • Why it’s easier to identify what you’re AGAINST than what you’re FOR)
  • How David decided to incorporate ACT into his private practice
  • How David navigates the situation when a client expects a “fix,” and how he helps them find new ways to look at their issues
  • Why David doesn’t want his clients to need his services for the long-term
  • Why David feels like he’s failed his clients if he has to have the same conversation over and over again
  • How David markets himself as an ACT therapist, which is the next step in CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy)
  • David’s approach with clients in using the language of acceptance and living in the reality of struggle—from an ACT perspective
  • Why David decided to offer online services:
    • It aligns with his values of flexibility and mobility
    • There are practical benefits to not having overhead costs of an office
    • It allows him to focus on a personal presentation instead of a structural presentation
    • He can focus on doing meaningful work with clients in a less stressful way

Resources Mentioned

Helpful resources to learn more about ACT: ACBS

The Zen Social Worker   Tim Gordon, The Zen Social Worker

Find out more about David’s work:  Life Weavings

Find David Teachout and LIfe Weavings on most social media platforms.

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