ACT for Depression and Anxiety Disorders
with Dr. Russ Harris

Course Overview

This 6-week long course will take you from “chunky clunky ACT” to “fluent, flexible ACT”. You’ll go deeper into the ACT model, take your ACT skills to the next level, and learn specific methods for depression and anxiety disorders. You’ll learn about common stumbling blocks and sticking points, and how to quickly get around them. And you’ll discover a wealth of practical tools and strategies to effectively target depression – both major depressive disorder and dysthymia – and the full range of anxiety disorders from OCD & phobias to social anxiety & panic disorder. (Note: we don’t cover trauma in this training. That’s such a huge topic, we’ve created a whole course on it: ACT & Mindfulness for Trauma).

As with all our courses, the online format gives you total flexibility to learn whenever it suits you, and access a whole range of powerful resources that simply aren’t available anywhere else. 2.5 hours of new content will be released, week-by-week, over a 6-week period. Plus, on top of that, you’ll have an extra 4 weeks of access to the whole course – so you can watch all your favourite videos again. (And if you’ve fallen behind due to sickness, or taking a vacation, or work commitments etc, this will give you plenty of time to catch up). The entire course has been carefully designed with professional learners in mind, to ensure that you gain a comprehensive and practical grounding in the theory and application of ACT, which you can immediately put into practice depressed and anxious clients.

This course assumes at least a beginners-level knowledge in ACT. Before enrolling, you must do at least one of the following:

  • Attend an introductory level 2-day ACT workshop (with any trainer; doesn’t have to be Russ)
  • Complete our online ACT for Beginners course
  • Thoroughly work through a beginners-level ACT textbook from start to end – such as ACT Made Simple or Learning ACT. (This means not just reading it, but actively doing the experiential exercises. An ACT self-help book such as The Happiness Trap will not suffice; it must be a textbook.)

Russ will take you much deeper into the ACT model and show you how to adapt and enhance it to effectively address all the common problems of depression and anxiety disorders: phobias, panic attacks, obsessions, compulsions, rumination, worrying, withdrawal, avoidance, shame, guilt, self-hatred, suicidality, hopelessness, lack of motivation, social disengagement, comorbidity, and so on.

He’ll also show you how to overcome resistance, win over mandated clients, and work at an interpersonal level.

If you already know your ACT basics and you want to upgrade and streamline your skills to work efficiently, compassionately and creatively with the entire spectrum of depression and anxiety disorders, this is the course for you. And as with all our courses, you’ll get to see Russ’s unique teaching style direct-to-camera, discover delightful animations that bring the model to life, watch videos of therapy sessions with a range of common trauma issues, download numerous audio exercises and reading materials, participate in online discussion forums, answer multi-choice quizzes that test your learning as you go, print out powerful resources to use with clients … and a whole lot more.

Week 1: Stepping Out of The Battle

Building therapist self-confidence –ACT view of anxiety disorders – The vicious cycle of experiential avoidance – ACT case formulation of anxiety disorders – Fear versus anxiety – Worrying– The big and important differences between mindfulness and relaxation– Where to start? – How to stop running from anxiety- Creative hopelessness made simple – How to respond when clients say, “I hate this feeling! I just want it to go!” – Establishing behavioural goals – Getting to values and committed action – Working with the very roots of anxiety.

Week 2: Dissolving Worries & Dropping Anchor

How to provide rapid relief from anxiety, without trying to get rid of it – Defusion from worrying and catastrophising – Grounding & centering – “Dropping anchor” & expansive awareness – First steps with panic – Mindful ceasefires: the antidote to panic attacks – Making homework simple and practical – First steps towards acceptance of anxiety – Working with posture, movement, and breathing – Breathing exercises: myths and facts – 5 most common mistakes when treating anxiety – Moving from acceptance to self-compassion.

Week 3: Wading Out of the Swamp

The ACT view of depression – Using the choice point 2.0 for rapid change – Motivating the unmotivated – Defusion from hopelessness – Wading out of the swamp: how to get clients moving in valued directions -– When is mindfulness contraindicated? – What to do when clients say “nothing will work” – How to disarm the “I don’t know” monster – Getting to values with clients who claim to have none – Connect & reflect exercises – Resolving values conflicts.

Week 4: The Art and Science of Compassionate Exposure

What is exposure and why is it essential for anxiety disorders? – Commonalities and differences between exposure in ACT and other models – How to ensure that exposure is safe, flexible, values-guided, and compassionate – Tailoring exposure to fit the client – Building willingness – Creating Exposure Hierarchies – Enhancing exposure with self-as-context – What to look for and measure – Common exposure myths – Dipping in & dipping out: how to safely titrate exposure.

Week 5: The Stuck, The Struggling, and The Suicidal

The three “I”s of suicidality – What triggers suicidality, what reinforces it and what undermines it – Defusion from “nothing matters” – Simple ways to get to values when the client is suicidal –– Shame-busting: moving from self-contempt to self-compassion – Working with the ‘inner child’ – How to find meaning when “life is meaningless” – 5 most common mistakes when treating depression – How to disrupt regret and rumination – How to get past “I have no values” – How to set goals when “nothing matters” – Building self-compassion step-by-step.

Week 6: Onwards & Upwards

Where we go wrong: looking at our own personal barriers to working well with clients – Homework horrors: how to get clients active between sessions – Mindful, values-based problem solving – Bringing in self-as-context – Defusion from the conceptualised self – Setting an agenda – Dealing with dilemmas – Releasing the shackles of perfectionism – Being creative with mindfulness – When mindfulness backfires: how to rapidly get back on track – The therapist’s personal journey – The 7 “R”s for maintaining behavioural change.

Course outcomes


This course will enable you to deepen your understanding of ACT; to upgrade your knowledge and enhance your skills so you can use ACT effectively across a broad spectrum of anxiety and depression related issues.

Course starts October 24
6 weeks | 16 hours

Purchase ACT for Depression and Anxiety Disorders starting October 24th



100% Money Back Guarantee

Notify us within 7 days of the commencement of the course.


100% Money Back Guarantee

Notify us within 7 days of the commencement of the course.

Here’s what people have been saying
about the online training courses

“This seems like one of the most well-done online courses I have ever done. I began investigating ACT about a year ago and have gone to two workshops but this by far has been the best presentation of the material”

Sara Gold
Certified Holistic Therapist
Greater Jerusalem Area, Israel

“I just wanted to let you know how much this course is helping me already… This course takes it to the next level… Thank you so much. I love this approach and how practical and easy it is to use”

Krishna Dodds
Mental Health Counselling
Gold Coast, Australia

“Just want to express my gratitude for an extremely well-organized course. I love the course being over eight weeks as this allows me to learn and practice on myself and then my patients.”

Nanny Christie
Fort Worth, Texas, United States

Still not quite sure?
Read these endorsements
from ACT professionals
Or read these testimonials
from previous course participants

ACT for Depression and Anxiety Disorders

USD $395.00