Clinical Supervision: Using Acceptance & Commitment Therapy to SHAPE Competent Clinicians

New! Filmed Spring 2020

Presented by Richard W. Sears, Psy.D., Ph.D., MBA, ABPP

Available On-Demand | Available Now


6 Hours | Pre-approved for 6 CEUs


This is an On Demand course. Participants can watch, pause, and re-watch the sessions at their convenience.

All course content (quiz, certificate, videos) will be available until April 1, 2021. Extensions cannot be granted under any circumstances. 

Registration will close on March 1, 2021. 

Are your supervision sessions becoming routine? Does it feel like you are just checking a box? Or, do you find that your supervisees only know theory, and have trouble getting comfortable with moving experientially into the therapy process?

Clinical supervision is so much more than arbitrary case reviews and signatures! Bring vitality and clinical value to your supervision sessions by infusing empirically-grounded principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, behaviour therapy, and experiential exercises.

Help move supervisees from passive participants to curious, competent, flexible professionals

by facilitating supervision using the SHAPE framework (Morris & Bilich-Eric), an accessible, contextual model that teaches supervisees to:

  • identify when to persist and when to change what they do in therapy
  • learn from experience and loosen strict rule-governed behaviours
  • avoid getting caught up in struggles with clients’ thoughts and emotions
  • construct the big picture of what therapy and supervision are all about
  • take small action steps as key to creating a pattern of change
  • engage in supervision on a deeper level as opposed to rote case review
  • and more!

Through lecture, discussion, video, case examples, role play, and experiential exercises, expert presenter Dr. Richard Sears will bring the principles of ACT and other approaches to life with his wisdom, humour, and passion to help SHAPE your supervisees into competent professionals in your very next supervision session!

Online Course Format

  • 3 Session Online Training – 2 hours per session
  • 6 CEUs
  • Each session will consist of 2 hours of teaching content
  • Non-Interactive – registrants will have access to lectures, PowerPoint presentation, demonstrations, video clips, and experiential exercises.

Why Integrate ACT Principles into Clinical Supervision?

  • What makes ACT so accessible?
  • The 6 core principles of ACT
  • Being in the moment vs. lost in the past or future
  • Accepting reality as it is right now
  • Noticing thoughts vs. getting caught up in them
  • Connecting to a bigger sense of self
  • Making values-driven decisions
  • Taking meaningful action
  • Limitations of the research and potential risks

The SHAPE Framework of Clinical Supervision

Supervision Values

  • Clarify goals and big picture values for the supervision process
  • Contract to create meaningful commitment
  • Check in regularly on direction and goals of supervision
  • How to give difficult feedback effectively
  • Attending to the highs and lows of the supervisory relationship

Hold Stories Lightly

  • How to help supervisees learn from experience to loosen strict rule-governed behaviours
  • Attend to workability
  • Monitor stories and encourage flexible responding

Analysis of Function

  • How to foster curiosity about the context and function of client behaviours
  • Functional analysis of how the supervisee affects client behaviours
  • Attending to the context and workability of what happens in the supervision sessions

Perspective Taking

  • Why it’s important to promote flexible perspective taking
  • How to help supervisees notice variations of experience and perspectives across contexts
  • How to take different perspectives of the same experience
  • Building reflective ability by seeing things from clients’ and supervisor’s perspectives, and
  • assessing workability

Experiential Methods

  • Why it’s important to use experiential methods to increase sensitivity to client-therapist context
  • How to show rather than tell – use of role play, modelling, video, direct observation
  • Noticing the effects of describing versus evaluating
  • What to do when the supervisee is stuck or when things are not working
  1. Determine how the six core principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy apply to clinical supervision practices and goals.
  1. Integrate supervisory strategies for helping supervisees develop psychological flexibility as related to case conceptualization and treatment implementation.
  1. Develop clinical strategies for giving difficult and constructive feedback to supervisees.
  2. Conduct a functional analysis of how the supervisee affects client behaviours.
  3. Prepare experiential exercises to utilize in clinical supervision to enhance supervisee competence and address barriers to effective treatment.
  1. Apply techniques to help supervisees be more present with clients, even with uncomfortable emotions.

Clinical Professionals: All mental health professionals including, but not limited to Clinical Counsellors, Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Social Workers, Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Hospice and Palliative Care Workers, Youth Workers, Mental Health Workers, School Counsellors, Behaviour Specialists, Addiction Specialists, Marital & Family Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Vocational Rehabilitation Consultants and all professionals looking to enhance their therapeutic skills.

Richard Sears, PsyD, PhD, MBA, ABPP, is a board-certified, licensed psychologist in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. Dr. Sears runs a private psychology and consultation practice, and is Director of the Center for Clinical Mindfulness & Meditation. He holds a number of academic appointments, including at the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He is author of over a dozen books, including Mindfulness: Living Through Challenges and Enriching Your Life in this Moment (Wiley-Blackwell); Building Competence in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (Routledge); Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for PTSD (Wiley-Blackwell); and The CBT & Mindfulness Workbook (PESI).

Dr. Sears is also a fifth-degree black belt in Ninjutsu, and once served briefly as a personal protection agent for the Dalai Lama with his teacher. He has studied the Eastern Wisdom traditions for over 35 years, receiving ordination in three traditions, and received transmission as a Zen master. His website is

“There is no better way to learn mindfulness and MBCT than to experience it for yourself. Richard Sears has the expertise to immerse you in these concepts and skills to improve your clinical work as well as your own self-care.” -Zindel Segal, co-founder of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy

RegistrationEarly bird FeeRegular Fee
Individual Enrollment$249.00N/A
Full-Time Student$199.00N/A

All fees are in Canadian dollars ($CAD).

For group and/or student rates please view our Terms & Conditions and contact for more information and registration. 

  • Canadian Psychological Association
    The Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) and the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers (NLASW) accept CPA-approved continuing education credits