The ACT for OCD Toolbox: A Guide for Therapists

Earn 8.75 CE/CME Credits and ACT Right Away in OCD

Have you found yourself exhausting all the available ERP resources for your OCD clients with no significant improvement?

Are some of your clients too scared to even think about exposure therapy?

If you said yes, let me introduce you to our new course: "The ACT for OCD Toolbox: A Guide for Therapists".

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an empirically based treatment that has shown efficacy in treating different mental conditions, including Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, throughout the lifespan.

This course is designed to help you broaden your therapeutic skills for treating OCD beyond the traditional exposure-based therapies.

In ACT, we believe that each human is capable of a rich and meaningful life regardless of their situation or their internal distress.” - Kate Morrison, Ph.D.

A Practical Framework to Conduct an ACT-Based Treatment for OCD

This on-demand, self-paced online training covers the ACT framework for OCD treatment.

Our expert, Kate Morrison, Ph.D., walks you through the therapy process and gives you the necessary tools to integrate it smoothly into your clinical practice.

The course covers the theory as well as concrete exercises that you can implement directly into your sessions. Moreover, you’ll have access to the necessary handouts and assessment tools that are used during the therapy process.

By the end of the training, you will have a deeper understanding of how to conceptualize the treatment course. Also, it works to improve your confidence to apply ACT principles in therapy.

Module 1 – Initial Concepts of ACT for OCD

In the first module of this course, Dr. Morrison explains the initial concepts regarding OCD and the effectiveness of ACT in treating it.


  1. ACT for OCD: Initial Concepts
  2. OCD: Diagnostic Criteria and Differential Diagnosis
  3. What is ACT? General Concepts
  4. Treatment Targets and Goals
  5. Measuring Treatment Progress
  6. Deciding on a Course of Treatment
  7. The Basics of ACT for OCD: Summary

Module 1 duration: 00:45:24

Module 2 – An Introduction to ACT Treatment for OCD

Dr. Morrison addresses session 1, which includes introducing ACT for OCD to the patient, the role of experiential avoidance, and the relationship between the client’s internal and external experiences.


  1. Session 1: Introducing ACT
  2. ACT for OCD: The Therapist Role
  3. ACT for OCD: Introducing the Client to Therapy
  4. ACT for OCD: Experiential Avoidance
  5. ACT for OCD: Internal vs. External Distinction
  6. ACT for OCD First Steps: Experiential Avoidance and Creative Hopelessness

Module 2 duration: 00:35:38

Module 3 – Understanding the Function of the Behavior

In this module, Dr. Morrison explains the function of the behavior. She compares immediate versus delayed consequences, focuses on the source of the problem in OCD, and conveys the concept of creative hopelessness through metaphors.


  1. Analyzing the Function of the Behavior in OCD
  2. Immediate vs. Delayed Consequences
  3. The Source of the Problem in OCD
  4. How to Convey the Concept of Creative Hopelessness
  5. Tug of War With a Monster Metaphor
  6. End of Session 1: Homework
  7. Clinical Case: Processing Creative Hopelessness
  8. How to Do Behavior Tracking
  9. The Essentials of Creative Hopelessness in OCD

Module 3 duration: 00:52:11

Module 4 - Control as the Problem

Dr. Morrison addresses sessions 2 and 3. She introduces the concepts of acceptance and willingness. Moreover, she emphasizes the importance of establishing behavioral commitments.


  1. Session 2: Control as the Problem
  2. Acceptance and Willingness
  3. End of Session 2: Homework
  4. Session 3: Openness to Obsessions
  5. Clinical Case: A Willingness Practice
  6. Start Planning for Behavioral Commitments
  7. The Essentials of Willingness and Behavioral Commitments in OCD

Module 4 duration: 00:47:43

Module 5 – Being in the Present Moment and Defusion

In this module, Dr. Morrison addresses sessions 4 and 5. She introduces the concepts of being in the present moment and defusion from internal experiences through metaphors and exercises.


  1. Session 4: Introduction to Being in the Present Moment
  2. Present Moment Activities for OCD
  3. End of Session 4: Mindfulness and Compulsions
  4. Session 5: Defusion
  5. The School of Fish Metaphor
  6. Defusion Techniques and Exercises for OCD
  7. End of Session 5: The OCD Tracking Form
  8. Clinical Case: Practicing Defusion in Session
  9. The Essentials of Being Present and Defusion in OCD

Module 5 duration: 00:46:54

Module 6 – Self as Context and Values

Dr. Morrison covers sessions 6 and 7. She introduces the concept of self-as-context and its importance in OCD clients. She also explains the concept of values through exercises.


  1. Session 6: Self-as-Context
  2. End of Session 6: Self-as-Context Exercises
  3. Session 7: Values Clarification
  4. ACT for OCD: Values Practices
  5. ACT for OCD: Values Homework
  6. Clinical Case: Values Conflicts and How to Respond
  7. The Essentials of Self-as-Context and Values in OCD

Module 6 duration: 00:45:41

Module 7 – Engaging in Flexible Patterns

In this module, Dr. Morrison presents committed action, which is the last ACT process. She explains how to apply this process through the ‘passengers on the bus’ metaphor. Moreover, she describes the implementation of ACT in exposure and response prevention therapy.


  1. Session 8: Committed Action
  2. Committed Action Practices for OCD
  3. The Passengers on the Bus Metaphor
  4. Adding ACT to Exposure and Response Prevention
  5. End of Session 8: Homework
  6. Clinical Case: An ACT-Based Exposure
  7. ACT for OCD: Summarizing the Most Important Concepts
  8. The Essentials of Committed Action and Exposures in OCD

Module 7 duration: 00:47:35

Module 8 – Final Considerations in ACT for OCD

Dr. Morrison brings this course to a close by explaining when it is time to end treatment. Moreover, she gives guidance for ACT beginners and advice for busy clinicians.


  1. ACT for OCD: Maintenance Sessions
  2. The ACT Advisor for OCD
  3. ACT for OCD: Determining When to End Treatment
  4. ACT for OCD: Gradual End of Treatment
  5. The ACT Beginners’ Guide
  6. ACT for OCD: Suggestions for Busy Clinicians
  7. ACT for OCD: Special Considerations with Telehealth and Medication
  8. ACT for OCD: Therapy Termination and Tips

Module 8 duration: 01:00:00

Module 9 – Mock Sessions and Follow-up Interviews

In this module, Dr. Morrison conducts two mock sessions with Dr. Díaz. She demonstrates how to guide the first session in ACT for OCD treatment and mindfully do compulsions with a client.

After each session, there is an interview with Dr. Morrison, explaining the highlights of the interaction and clarifying doubts about the practices.


  1. ACT for OCD: Introductory Session
  2. Follow-Up Interview: ACT for OCD Introductory Session
  3. ACT for OCD: Doing Compulsions Mindfully in Session
  4. Follow-Up Interview: Doing Compulsions Mindfully

Module 9 duration: 01:58:00

Module 10 – Handouts

These are the necessary handouts and assessment tools to implement during the therapy process. They are clearly labeled to distinguish which ones to use for each assignment.


  1. Y-BOCS Checklist
  2. AAQ-II
  3. VLQ-II
  4. The ACT Advisor
  5. Self-Monitoring of Obsessions and Rituals
  6. Daily Willingness Diary
  7. Tracking Defusion Practices
  8. The Observer Exercise Handout
  9. The Guide to Your Action Plan
  10. Value's Bulls Eye

Module 10 duration: 00:30:00

Sample Video: "The Passengers on the Bus” Metaphor

Sample Video: Mindfully Doing Compulsions Practice and Interview

Meet Your Instructor: Kate Morrison, Ph.D.

Dr. Morrison web
Kate Morrison, Ph.D.

Kate Morrison, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist specializing in the assessment and behavioral treatment of OCD, anxiety, and related concerns. Her career has focused on the research, training, and application of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and exposure therapies for these concerns.

She completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Nevada-Reno, doctoral degree at Utah State University, and internship and postdoctoral training at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System-Seattle Division.

Dr. Morrison leads an independent telehealth practice at Juniper Mental Health in Sandy. She has been practicing and studying ACT and clinical behavior analysis for well over a decade.

Moreover, Dr. Morrison has authored numerous articles and book chapters related to ACT, OCD, exposure therapy, and OC-related disorders. In addition to her clinical practice, she serves on the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science editorial board and trains other professionals in her areas of expertise.

Accreditation Information

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Medical Academy LLC and Psychotherapy Academy. Medical Academy LLC is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.


Credit Designation
Medical Academy LLC designates this enduring material for a maximum of 8.75 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

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