Treating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Anxiety, and Emotion Regulation with ACT, ERP, & ERT

Integrating ACT with ERP and ERT - online course

Presented by Patricia Zurita Ona, PsyD

Course Description

Do you work with clients who cannot let go of awful intrusive thoughts, images, sensations and feelings? Clients who struggle with OCD, anxiety, or emotion regulation problems, who feel too much, too quickly, and act too soon? Do you want to get better at delivering targeted ACT interventions for them?

Some of the most powerful treatments for clients like these are targeted interventions such as Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) and Emotion Regulation Training (ERT)—interventions requiring clinical precision to target specific behaviors, specialized behavioral processes, and discrimination of form versus function when working with clients.

These targeted treatments are often left out of classical ACT training, however, and so clinicians are left wondering whether it is appropriate to use them in the context of ACT or, if so, how to implement them in an ACT consistent way. Yet ACT is uniquely suited to be paired with ERP and ERT to address anxiety, OCD, and emotion regulation problems. This course will give you boots-on-the-ground interventions for working with therapeutic challenges such as exposure, choice point, and a roadmap for emotion regulation skills. 

In this 6-week online course, you will learn how to develop structured, targeted ERP and ERT treatment models that are ACT consistent. We will focus specifically on how to apply ACT for the treatment of clients with mild to severe OCD, anxiety, and emotion regulation difficulties.

The first three sessions are focused on ERT and will teach you an ACT conceptualization of emotion regulation problems, as well as exploring how to assess for emotion regulation problems and outlining how to apply the 6 core ACT processes to teach to clients how to get off the emotional rollercoaster. A roadmap for practicing ACT skills in their daily life will also be reviewed, along with basic behavioral processes to augment committed action and potential pitfalls in treatment.

The last three sessions are dedicated to using ERP in an ACT consistent way. This includes: how to assess for OCD and other anxiety problems from this standpoint, how to develop exposure menus, and how to facilitate exposure sessions (situational, in-vivo, interoceptive, and imaginal). In addition, the application of the choice point as a tool for the treatment of pediatric OCD will be presented in detail, so you’ll be ready to use it with your clients right away.

Learning Objectives

  1. Conceptualize and assess emotion regulation problems “functionally" within an ACT frame.
  2. Apply specific 6 core ACT processes when working with clients struggling with emotion regulation problems.
  3. Demonstrate how to connect 6 ACT core processes in a roadmap for emotion regulation.
  4. Describe the similarities and differences between traditional behavioral exposure (inhibitory learning model) and ACT-based exposure.
  5. Assess “functional” OCD and anxiety problems.
  6. Deliver ACT-consistent exposures for clients struggling with OCD and anxiety disorder.
  7. Discriminate function versus form when working with clients with unique clinical presentations such as OCD, anxiety, and emotion regulation.
  8. Understand targeted ACT processes for exposure and emotion regulation in relationship to the hexaflex.


Session 1
May 1, 2019, 1:00 PM—3:00 PM EDT

  • Basics of emotion regulation.
  • ACT formulation of ER Current status of E.R. within ACT.
  • A roadmap for ER Functional assessment of ER.

Session 2
May 8, 2019, 1:00 PM—3:00 PM EDT

  • Core skills: Noticing, naming and checking workability of behaviors.

Session 3
May 15, 2019, 1:00 PM—3:00 PM EST

  • Core skills: checking values, choosing a behavior: using inner or outer skills.

Session 4
May 22, 2019, 1:00 PM—3:00 PM EST

  • ACT-Exposure & inhibitory learning model.
  • Similarities and differences (SUDS or no SUDS; hierarchies versus menus).
  • Functional assessment & ACT formulation of OCD & anxiety.

May 29, 2019, 1:00 PM—3:00 PM EST

  • ACT process-based exposure: in-vivo, situation, interoceptive & imaginal.

June 5, 2019, 1:00 PM—3:00 PM EST

  • Exposures for Pediatric OCD and the choice point.


This is training is ideal for mental health professionals with an intermediate knowledge of ACT, including psychologists, social workers, school psychologists, marriage and family therapists, educational consultants, and students in training.



Recommended Readings

Zurita Ona, P. (2018). Escaping the emotional roller-coaster: ACT for the emotionally sensitive. Exisle Publishing.

Twohig, M., Wood, W. (2008). Trichotillomania: An ACT-enhanced Behavior Therapy Approach Workbook (Treatments That Work)

Harris, R. (2009). ACT Made Simple: An Easy-To-Read Primer on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger

Luoma, Jason B., Hayes, Steven C., Walser, Robyn D. (2017) Learning ACT: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Skills Training Manual for Therapists
Second Edition
. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger

ACT Made Simple - book cover imageLearning ACT 2nd - book cover image


Twohig, M., Abramowitz, J., Smith, B., Fabricant L., Jacoby R., Morrison, K., Bluett, E.,  Reuman, L., Blakey, S., Ledermann, T. (2018). Adding acceptance and commitment therapy to exposure and response prevention for obsessive-compulsive disorder: A randomized controlled trial. Behaviour Research and Therapy.

Craske, M. G., M. Treanor, C. C. Conway, T. Zbozinek, B. Vervliet. (2014). “Maximizing Exposure Therapy: An Inhibitory Learning Approach.” Behaviour Research & Therapy. 58: 10-23.

Morton, J., & Shaw, L. (2012). Wise Choices: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy groups for people with borderline personality disorder. Fitzroy, Australia: Australian Postgraduate Medicine.

Gratz, K., Gunderson, G., Preliminary Data on an Acceptance-Based Emotion Regulation Group Intervention for Deliberate Self-Harm Among Women With Borderline Personality Disorder. Behaviour Research & Therapy. 37: 25-35.


This training is worth 12 CE credit hours if attended live. While we can only provide CE to those who are present – i.e. logged in – for live presentation(s), all Praxis webinars are recorded for later viewing. Registrants may then access these recordings at any time for up to six months from the conclusion of the training to which they pertain.

Continuing Education
Read more about our continuing education credits—how they work and how to get your certificate(s).

Technical Requirements
This is an online learning event. Access to a computer and high-speed internet is required. Refer to our FAQ page for further information on technical requirements for this training.

Refer to our FAQ page for our disclosure information.

All prices listed in US dollars and times in US Eastern time zone.