ACT-Informed Exposure for Anxiety: Creating Effective, Innovative, & Values-Based Exposures Using Acceptance & Commitment Therapy

About the Book

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT, said as one word, act) is a third wave cognitive behavioral treatment that offers new ways of understanding clinical change. In the past decade there’s been a steady stream of research supporting the use of exposure therapy for anxiety disorders in an ACT context. In our work as therapists, researchers, consultants, and trainers, however, there hasn’t been a comprehensive resource we could recommend people to learn about ACT-informed exposure. For these reasons, we wrote the book ACT-Informed Exposure for Anxiety Disorders in order to integrate decades of cutting-edge research and clinical experience in working with ACT-informed exposure.

Because we couldn’t include everything in the book, we created this webpage to offer additional resources about ACT-informed exposure, as well as a place for people to contact us.

Contact Information

Brian Thompson, PhD: Dr. Brian Thompson is a licensed psychologist and director for the anxiety clinic at Portland Psychotherapy. Brian completed his doctorate at the University of Montana, his pre-doctoral internship at the Portland VA Medical Center, and a post-doctoral fellowship focused on acceptance and commitment therapy under the supervision of Jason Luoma, PhD, (e.g., Learning ACT) and Jenna Lejeune , PhD, (e.g., Values in Therapy). Passionate about evidence-based treatment, he specializes in working with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive and related disorders (OCRD). In addition to working full-time as a clinician, Brian has published in peer-reviewed journals on Third Wave approaches to anxiety and OCRD, organized and contributed to professional trainings (e.g., workshops, symposia, panel discussion) on related topics, and offers consultation to professionals on integrating ACT and newer models of exposure in clinical work. He has held leadership positions, most recently as Past-President for the Oregon Chapter of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, and he was a consultant and therapist for a telehealth program focused on health anxiety through Regence. 

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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.

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Joanne Chan, Psy.D.: Dr. Joanne Chan is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and licensed psychologist in the Resident and Faculty Wellness Program at OHSU. Prior to joining the team at OHSU, Dr. Chan was a staff psychologist at Portland Psychotherapy specializing in the ACT-informed exposure therapy for anxiety and obsessive-compulsive and related disorders. As an anxiety clinic faculty member at Portland Psychotherapy, she also provided training in evidence-based approaches for anxiety and OC-related disorders (including perfectionism) to postdoctoral fellows and practicum students. Dr. Chan earned her B.A. from the University of California, San Diego, and her Psy.D. from the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium. After becoming licensed in 2009, she ran a private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area for several years, conducted clinical research on the effectiveness of various evidence-based approaches for hoarding disorder, and provided instruction to masters level counseling students as an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco. In addition to her work with anxiety and OC-related issues using ACT and exposure therapy, Dr. Chan enjoys working with clients who are experiencing issues related to culture, such as cultural identity development, anxiety related to discrimination and marginalization, and developing skills to live a life based on values in a high-pressure, fast-paced culture.

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An important part of exposure therapy is having clients track exposure homework that they do in between session. In our book, we describe many reasons why this is so important, such as by creating accountability and providing data on clinical progress. We also stress in the book that it is helpful for you to modify and personalize your clinical forms. As a starting place, here are the exposure practice forms each of us. Feel free to check them out and adapt them for your own use.

Joanne Chan's exposure form


Brian Pilecki's exposure form


Brian Thompson's exposure form


Blog posts

Increasing Transparency and Reproducibility in Contextual Behaviora...

Experiential Learning is Crucial in Exposure for OCD

Beyond Fear: Exploring the Role of Shame in Exposure Therapy

Other Blog Posts on Exposure We've Written

Read more here