Perspective-taking interventions for shame and self-criticism

Two hour online ACT Workshop - 8th March 2024

Course Summary


Perspective-taking is broadly defined as the ability to interpret and predict the cognitions, emotions and behaviours of oneself and others.  It is a skill that has been considered central to cognitive flexibility and adaptive behaviour change in many domains, including maintaining individual wellbeing, healthy interpersonal relationships and strengthening social bonds (Kavanagh et al., 2019).  The ability to respond adaptively to one's own cognitions and emotions is crucial to the development of the self, and this concept has been a feature of literature within CBT as far back as Skinner (1974).  There is evidence of the efficacy of perspective-taking interventions for ameliorating deficits (e.g. with children with ASD; MacDonald et al., 2006) and in providing a rationale for psychotherapeutic interventions (e.g. relative benefits of different types of defusion exercises in ACT; Foody et al., 2013).

This workshop will look at how behaviour-analytic principles can inform CBT and ACT interventions for clients prone to shame and self-criticism.  It will allow time to describe the relevant theoretical concepts and demonstrate clinical applications of perspective-taking techniques, including interpersonal, spatial, and temporal perspective-taking methods.  Practical demonstrations will be complemented with small group experiential exercises to allow delegates to practice the skills and receive feedback from the facilitators.

Learning objectives

After attending this workshop, delegates will be able to:
•Identify therapeutic interventions that promote adaptive relating to self-related cognitions
•Demonstrate skill in the delivery of perspective-taking interventions (to include interpersonal, spatial, and temporal perspective-taking)
•Discriminate between cognitive restructuring and cognitive defusion interventions

What are the potential implications for the everyday practice of therapy?

Many clinicians are familiar with the use of interpersonal perspective-taking interventions as part of cognitive restructuring interventions.  In our experience as trainers, fewer are familiar with broader applications of perspective-taking interventions.  This workshop will aim to broaden the delegates' therapeutic repertoire by describing the theoretical rationale for the use of perspective-taking and introducing a broader range of applications of the technique.  It will be consistent with contemporary developments in contextual or 'third-wave' CBT in considering how perspective-taking can also be used as a defusion technique to promote cognitive flexibility, in addition to its use within more traditional cognitive restructuring.


8 March 2024, 10am-12pm. The workshop will be recorded and delegates will have access until 31/12/2024.


£35 (plus VAT)

Course Curriculum

Richard Bennett & Dawn Johnson

Dr Richard Bennett works as a Clinical Psychologist and Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist and as an Associate Professor in Psychology at the University of Birmingham. He worked in adult and forensic mental health services in the NHS for over 20 years before setting up Think Psychology, an independent psychology practice offering, therapy, supervision, and training. Richard is also an active member of the Association for Contextual Behavioural Sciences (ACBS) and the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy (BABCP). He is recognised as a BABCP accredited psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer, and an ACBS Peer-reviewed ACT trainer. He is the co-author of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy: 100 Key Points and Techniques, The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Self-Esteem, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Responses to Frequently Asked Questions

Dr Dawn Johnson works as a Clinical Psychologist in private practice, offering therapy, teaching, training, supervision, and consultation. In a long NHS career, she gained extensive experience of adapting and differentiating ACT and other contextual behavioural interventions to work with people with intellectual disabilities, neuro-diversity, people in acute psychological distress, enduring mental health presentations, and the general public. Dawn also uses ACT systemically, having been involved in providing interventions and consultations with families, carers, non-health professionals and with NHS staff at an organisational level. She regularly delivers ACT training and ACT-informed staff wellbeing workshops. Dawn is an active member of ACBS as a board member of the UK and Ireland Chapter, and as a member of various strategic committees. She is the co-author of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Responses to Frequently Asked Questions

This workshop has been fantastic on both a personal and professional level

Course Pricing

One Time Purchase


  • A standalone workshop on using perspective-taking interventions for working with clients' shame and self-criticism

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