313. ACT-Informed Exposure for Anxiety with Brian Pilecki and Brian Thompson

In the treatment of anxiety, panic disorder, and OCD, exposure therapy has long been recognized as the gold standard. But what if there was an even more powerful approach to confronting your fears or trauma?

For this episode, we welcome two esteemed guests, Dr. Brian Thompson and Dr. Brian Pilecki to uncover the transformative impact of blending traditional exposure therapy with the principles of ACT.

Through practical examples from their groundbreaking book, ACT-Informed Exposure for Anxiety, we learn about the significance of acceptance, values, and how clinicians can incorporate ACT concepts into exposure sessions, emphasizing the power of creativity and psychological flexibility in the therapeutic process. This is a must-listen for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of cutting-edge anxiety interventions. Tune in for an experience that could radically change your relationship with anxiety forever!

Listen and Learn: 

  • What is traditional exposure therapy?
  • Why choose ACT-informed exposure therapy over traditional exposure therapy?
  • The impact of psychological flexibility 
  • How those who experience anxiety disorders may get caught up in rule-governed behavior 
  • How rule-governed behaviors are undermined by ACT-informed exposure
  • What exactly is creative hopelessness, and how is it applied to ACT-informed exposure for anxiety?
  • Is there a structure to ACT-informed exposure?
  • Examples of how exposure therapy incorporates ACT principles
  • The common obstacles that can show up for a client or therapist when doing ACT-informed exposure 


About Brian Thompson

Brian Thompson, PhD is a licensed psychologist and director of the anxiety clinic at the Portland Psychotherapy Clinic, Research, & Training Center in Portland, Oregon. He completed his doctorate at the University of Montana and specializes in working with anxiety and OCD using acceptance and commitment therapy and exposure therapy, and he has published and offers training in these areas.

About Dr. Brian Pilecki

Dr. Brian Pilecki is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders and psychedelic-assisted therapy. He practices from an orientation based in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and draws on his extensive experience with mindfulness and meditation. Brian is an active researcher and also co-hosts his own podcast called Altered States of Context that focuses on the therapeutic use of psychedelics. 

Together they Coauthored ACT Informed Exposure for Anxiety: creating effective innovative and values-based exposures using acceptance and commitment therapy

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Episode 313