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Trekking Trip

What we resist, persists.
What we accept, transforms

Develop and nurture your journey with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in your NMSK  practice

ACT in the clinic IG (1).png

Facilitated by Laura Rathbone
Psychologically-informed Advanced NMSK Physiotherapy for complex and persistent pain

Laura is an international lecturer and educator on developing a hybrid-NMSK practice which integrates ACT, psychological theaory and the philosophy of phenomenology.

She has taught and spoken on this topic in the Netherlands, the UK, Australia and the USA and her courses are often attended by medics, rehab professionals and allied health therapists from across the healthcare field.


Monday 6th May 2024

Monday 13th May 2024

Time: 9.00 - 16.00 noon (Amsterdam time)


  • Recorded live lectures

  • Video library for reference

  • Dedicated community space (lifetime access)

  • References

  • Participation certificate

  • NL physiotherapists: Points will be requested

In this course we will explore

About ACT in the Clinic

As the healthcare and rehabilitation professions embraces the transition from biomedicalism to biopsychosocialism, clinicians are becoming increasingly interested in, and aware of, the benefits a good working-understanding of a pyschotherapeutic model can bring. 


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has been shown to have similar effect as more traditional models of Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies at supporting people to live well alongside pain as well as showing improved adherence to treatment and improved work and social adjustment.




The experiential and reflexive nature of this course means that the skills and processes not only benefit the clinical relationship, but can also be utilised by the clinician to manage their own emotional load of woking with people experiencing pain, within a culture of increasing focus on targets and fast-treatments.   Work-related stress and compassion-fatigue are emerging as common experience of NMSK clinicians and rehabilitation therapists.  ACT can help to support stress-management techniques, boundaries and the skills to hold them, foster sustainability and the development of healthy clinical cultures.


This course was developed with the MSK clinician in mind and by a consultant Physiotherapist who has personal experience of, and understands the specific challenges faced by physiotherapists across healthcare settings, from acute and sports clinical settings to pain clinics and rehabilitation units. 

Breakdown of learning modules




The Hexaflex was introduced as a way of modelling ACT for clinicians that would move them from linear models of therapy to a more complex model of facilitating cognitive and behaviour change.

It forms a robust and yet flexible container for the therapeutic process which can support the clinician to manage the complexity of the pain experience and, collaboratively with the patient, develop individualised values-based therapy directions that privileges the experience and knowledge held by the person with pain whilst also being evidence-informed.

You will learn how to facilitate each of the six sub-processes within the ACT framework with your patients and feel the benefits for yourself:

  • Self as Context

  • Willingness/Acceptance

  • Defusion

  • Connection to the present moment

  • Connection to values

  • Committed action

These sub-processes and the behavioural and thought-experiments we create and share to build skills within, are thought to bring about the process of psychological flexibility.  You will learn how to open up and invite a person to explore and experience these skills in your practice and use what you know from your professional background.


Process-based formulation

Transparent and collaborative

Traditional NMSK assessments are based upon outdated models of paternalism and biomedical reducitionism. Being a psychologically-informed NMSK therapist requires us to shift our position from being the 'expert' on what a person needs, to being an active partner in supporting them to reach those goals and needs.

Formulation is a collaborative and transparent approach to decision-making and planning that will hold the person as central in the therapeutic experience.

Change is meaningless if it only makes sense in the clinical setting. Changes that we work towards in pain care and therapy must make sense for the person in their environment and with their relationships.  Formulation is a way of holding the therapeutic process close to the person.

Values-based care

Values vs Goals

Psychological Flexibility

Process-based Therapy

Embracing a values-based approach to being in the clinic and your clinical practice is a challenging shift for NMSK rehab professionals that have been traditionally taught to measure outcomes within and between session on a specific goal/activity.

Values-based approaches ask us to hold the goal lightly and focus more on living within our personal values and motivations for action, and those of the people with pain that we work with.

Process-based therapy allows to shift that focus as we understand positive change to be about facilitating the process of psychological-flexibility, rather than on the therapeutic gain being inherent to the action/exercise that we may have typically 'prescribed' for recovery.



Functional Contextualism


It's absolutely possible to learn to incorporate ACT into your NMSK rehab practice, but you will hit the ceiling of where this can take you quickly. So why stop at just having some techniques to do? 

In this course, you will be invited to dig deeper into your philosophical biases and ask - does your current philosophy reflect and agree with your practice?

We will explore three alternative philosophical frames to fill in some of the gaps you experience when trying to work biopsychosocially within a biomedical and reductionist professional tradition.

This is often felt to be the more challenging shift experienced by clinicians on this course and the most liberating and clarifying.

We often get stuck because our practice, model and philosophy conflict. You will be supported to observe and understand this conflict as well as explore other-ways-of holding the therapeutic space.

Studying Online

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