ACT & Psychedelics: Using the Psychological Flexibility Model to Facilitate Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy

May 20, 2022 | 9am-12:15pm PST

w/ Dr. Brian Pilecki and Nathan W. Gates, MA, LCPC

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About The Workshop

As psychedelic-assisted therapy is emerging as a highly effective new form of treatment, there is a need to better understand what types of psychotherapy may lead to the best outcomes. With over 600 clinical trials conducted, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a model of psychological flexibility that has been shown to be effective for a range of mental health problems and clients and is currently being adapted in countries around the world. This workshop will focus on the core processes of change described by ACT and discuss how those same processes may be usefully applied to understanding and maximizing benefits from psychedelic experiences.

Additionally, ACT’s focus on experiential learning, non-pathologizing the human experience, and conceptualizing the role of language in mental health problems all relate well to commonly described features of psychedelic experiences. Participants will also learn about how ACT has already been used to inform several clinical trials using psilocybin to treat depression. This workshop will involve the use of lecture, case studies, and break-out rooms involving experiential exercises to practice with content that is introduced.

Meet Your Instructors

Brian Pilecki, Ph.D.

Dr. Brian Pilecki is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders (OCD, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic disorder), trauma and PTSD, and matters related to the use of psychedelics. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and practices from an orientation based in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Brian also has extensive experience in the areas of mindfulness and meditation, and incorporates them into his therapy with clients. He is an active researcher and has published on topics such as anxiety disorders, mindfulness, psychedelics, and the relationship between theory and practice in psychotherapy. At Portland Psychotherapy, Brian is also involved in research in the use of psychedelics for the treatment of mental health problems.

Nathan W. Gates, MA, LCPC

Nathan W. Gates, MA, LCPC is a psychotherapist and regenerative cattle farmer in west-central Illinois. His career and training have been inspired by insights from psychedelics medicine for more than 20 years. From practicing wilderness therapy to earning his MA from Naropa University to finding his theoretical home beneath the umbrella of contextual behavioral science, he has consistently pursued an integrative understanding of the human condition. He is also a founder of the psychedelic special interest group with the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science and has spoken at regional and international conferences on the usefulness of utilizing contextual behavioral perspectives to make sense of and integrate insights from psychedelic experiences.

Join us!



for up-and-coming professionals

  • Access to exclusive webinar setting with Dr. Brian Pilecki and Nathan W. Gates, MA, LCPC
  • Free Access to Portland Psychotherapy Community Resources
  • Must be enrolled in accredited study program

w/ CE Certificate


Most Popular

  • Access to exclusive webinar setting with Dr. Brian Pilecki and Nathan W. Gates, MA, LCPC
  • Continuing Education Certificate
  • Free Access to Portland Psychotherapy Community Resources

w/o CE Certificate


for casual learners

  • Access to exclusive webinar setting with Dr. Brian Pilecki and Nathan W. Gates, MA, LCPC
  • Free Access to Portland Psychotherapy Community Resources
  • For practicing mental health professionals



This workshop is aimed at individuals who are new to ACT or have prior experience with ACT. Similarly, this workshop is aimed at individuals who are new to psychedelic-assisted therapy or who have prior experience.This training is appropriate for mental health providers at all skills levels who are interested in learning how to be a more culturally responsive therapist and embody anti-racist values in their personal and professional lives. 


After attending this training, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the theory and practice of psychedelic assisted psychotherapy.
  2. Summarize how the ACT model can be applied to enhancing the therapeutic benefits of psychedelic experiences.
  3. Explain how the psychological flexibility model can be used to make sense of altered states of consciousness catalyzed by psychedelics.


Registration is online. Presentations will be recorded and sent to anyone who registers for the event. 


We reserve a number of partial scholarships for potential attendees who could not otherwise afford to come. We give particular priority given to those who would add diverse and under represented voices to our field. To submit an application, please click here.


Portland Psychology Clinic, Research & Training Center is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Portland Psychotherapy, Clinic, Research & Training Center maintains responsibility for all programs and content.

This workshop grants 3 CE credits for therapists with the purchase of Professionals with CE Certificate ticket and live attendance of the entire workshop. Credit will not be given for only watching the recording.

REFUNDS/CANCELLATIONS: We charge a $15 administration fee for cancellations made by participants more than two weeks before the training event. For cancellations within two weeks of the training event, we will refund 50% of the tuition. Alternately, participants may elect to apply 100% of their tuition to a future training event. No refunds will be given after training events.

SPECIAL ACCOMODATIONS: Please contact us if you need accommodations to enable you to fully participate in the workshop. We will work with you and do our best to find a way to ensure your participation.

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