Sunday, 18 August 2019

Exploring ACT training with Leo Hepler, Jaimie Persson & Paul Flaxman - Part 2

Season 3 Episode 5

The conversation continues with a focus on how to introduce the concept of skilfully relating to the content that our minds can produce, which is also known as cognitive defusion. We also how Jaimie uses her experience of the context of the ballet world in a way that is both curious  and cautious - she's keen not to make assumptions based upon her own experience. Paul reflects on the embodied nature of the new protocol, many people we train report feeling quite disconnected with sensations in their body. He also reveals how the Flaxman Manoeuvre was born. Leo, continues to reflect on the impact of the training on his life in his characteristic thoughtful and insightful way.



Show Notes

Images of Leo by Amber Hunt for Photography by Ash

Flaxman Manoeuvre - the note below is our guidance for how to demonstrate this in a workshop.

"...we use two sheets of paper (see photos below). On one sheet we write something like, “Unhelpful thoughts, mood/ emotion, urges/impulses”. On the other sheet we write “Value” or “Personal Values”. To capture the aim of this training we say that these are things have the potential to influence our behaviour. We’ve looked at how personal values can provide a personally meaningful guide to daily behaviour. However, our thoughts and feelings can also influence our behaviour. We may intend to express a value in action, but when opportunities arise we might not feel much like it, or the mind might tell us to put it off until another time.

The trainer then moves the personal values sheet to the front while stating that a basic purpose of this training is to learn how to make personal values a more prominent guide to daily behaviour. Note that the unhelpful thoughts and feelings sheet does not move. The trainer points out that the unhelpful thoughts, feelings, and urges have not gone away. The message is that we will be developing a set of skills designed to help us relate more skilfully to these internal states, to ensure they do have an unhelpful or excessive influence over our behaviour." Flaxman & McIntosh, 2019

A lifetime of gentle returns - here's that quote in full from Kelly G Wilson, 2009.

No one lives in accordance with their values all the time. "Some days, some moments, we will be well oriented within that pattern [of living by our values]. Other days, other moments, we'll find ourselves at odds with our values. In that moment, the moment in which we notice that we're out of alignment with our value, can we pause, notice our dislocation and gently return? It's difficult to imagine a value of any magnitude that will not involve a lifetime of gentle returns."

Kelly G Wilson (2009) Mindfulness for Two

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Exploring ACT training with Leo Hepler, Jaimie Persson & Paul Flaxman - Part 1

Season 3 Episode 4

That's quite a title and this is quite a two parter! I was lucky enough to have a chance to discuss ACT in the workplace training from three different perspectives - with Dr Paul Flaxman, Jaimie Persson and Leo Hepler.

We’re exploring the delivery of training based upon acceptance and commitment therapy in the workplace from three different perspectives. We have Paul Flaxman – together we redesigned an ACT in the workplace training protocol, which was then adapted by our colleague and pal – Jaimie Persson – to deliver to the students at Canada’s National Ballet School. One of the students was dancer – Leo Hepler – our star guest – who came on the show to reflect upon his experiences of receiving ACT training.

In part 1 we talk about the ballet school and ballet company environment and hear how Jaimie (as a former student of the school) presented a compelling case to the Director – Mavis Staines – known for her progressive approach to education – to introduce the students to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. We also hear what Leo took away from the training.


Show Notes

The photographs of Leo were taken by Amber Hunt at

Unfortunately, no photos exist of Paul taking part in his Disco Dancing Competition.

There are photos of Jaimie from her dancing career which I'll add here asap.

Monday, 5 August 2019

Imposter Syndrome with Maddy Scott

Season 3 Episode 3

What fun we had recording this episode! There are two firsts, our first live recording with an audience and our first mash-up with Maddy Scott - one of the co-hosts of the Freaking the F Out Podcast!

After sharing our freaks of the week we go on to share the first mention of Imposter Syndrome that we found in the literature in 1978. We give some example from our lives and them move on the consider what we can do about it. There are some tips from behavioural science as well as a sense of collective compassion - most of us are in the same boat with this experience of feeling like a phoney.   


Apple Podcasts

Show Notes

Clance, P. R., & Imes, S. A. (1978). The imposter phenomenon in high achieving women: Dynamics and therapeutic intervention. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice, 15(3), 241-247.

In psychological terms, it is known more accurately as the ‘impostor phenomenon’, an “internal feeling of intellectual phoniness”, and was first noted by clinical psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes in 1978. Clance and Imes called it the “impostor phenomenon” because they noticed that high achieving women were believing their success was down to luck, or that they had somehow fooled others and therefore felt fraudulent and unworthy of their success.

Here's the passengers on the bus cartoon with speech bubbles - have a go at printing this off and adding some of your own everyday, unhelpful thoughts.