Big results from brief consultations. Using Focussed Acceptance and Commitment therapy (FACT) in primary care

Talk Code: 
Bruce Arroll
Author institutions: 
University of Auckland, New Zealand

Workshop 13:30 - 15:00 Friday 5th July 2019

Email Bruce


The aim of the workshop is to show how FACT can be used in the primary care setting.

Educational objectives

Participants will be able to conduct a brief psychosocial assessment called the work/love/play questionnaire (available free) in  few minutes.

Participants will able to use the work/love/play information to set some tasks with the patient to expand their lives (which will almost always be constricted).

Participants will be able to do a behavioural analysis of an unwanted symptom e.g. anger and use the choice point handout to assist the patient in making values driven changes in their lives

The format will be:

A brief 15 minute talk will give an overview of FACT and will include the statistically significant results of an RCT which showed an effect size of 29% in the intervention group over an active control group.

Then an 11 minute video of a FACT interview

Interactive activities

Audience will do a work/love/play interview in pairs based on their own lives or a hypothetical or real patient. This will include the likelihood step where the patient will be asked to so some tasks that will take them towards what is important in their lives (following their values) – a likelihood of < 7/10 requires a re-negotiation of the likelihood until there is agreement on 7 or more out of 10.

A video will then be shown of the choice point which is a visual way of doing a behavioural analysis of an unwanted behaviour (e.g. anger) and finding points at which the patient could change their behaviour. This is a very powerful process and many patients take the choice point handout home and put it on their fridges to remind them of what they need to do to get their lives back on track.

Time required 90 minutes

I have been doing talks to New Zealand GPs for over 2 years and get great feedback from these training sessions. They feel it gives them a strategy to deal with distressed patients in a short space of time.

Submitted by: 
Bruce Arroll