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“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Meaning making is central to psychotherapy. As clinicians, we have all had clients who may be engaging in behaviors that feel incongruent with their values or who may be struggling to identify meaning or values in their life. In this workshop, Crystal Schiller draws primarily from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or “ACT” with its focus on values identification and value-based action. According to ACT, values are seen as a core process of change and essential for psychological flexibility. Dr. Schiller will provide techniques to help us to work with clients to identify values, and engage in the present moment in ways that support these values, such as deciding to change or persist in a behavior based on their values. She will also discuss the relevance of values work across therapeutic traditions and client diagnoses, and how it can increase psychotherapy engagement, motivation for change, and commitment to vital living. The goal of this workshop is to help therapists to refine their understanding of how values motivate behavior change and how to help with value identification and committed action.


s200_crystal_schillerCrystal Edler Schiller, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of psychiatry and a licensed clinical psychology and health services provider at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is associate director of behavioral health for the UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders. Dr. Schiller has expertise in third wave behavior therapies, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and her clinical work focuses on mindfulness, acceptance, and value-based action as methods of promoting wellbeing and vitality in women experiencing depression, anxiety, and chronic health conditions. Dr. Schiller’s research focuses on the effects of ovarian hormones on mood and brain function in women with reproductive-related mood disorders. Her research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Foundation of Hope, and the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.

Clinical Lecture Series at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work

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