ACT for Depression and Anxiety

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All Group Therapy Programs

At a glance:

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Next Intake
Coming Soon
Duration of group therapy sessions in Perth, WA
Course Duration
10 weeks
, one session every
Group therapy is eligible for Medicare rebates
Fees and Costs
  • $110 per session
  • Eligable for Medicare
Duration of group therapy sessions in Perth, WA
Session Length
1-1.5 hours
per session

ACT for Depression and Anxiety

ACT for Depression and Anxiety is a group devoted to helping people encounter depression and anxiety differently and pursue a full and meaningful life. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a form of therapy that helps people relate differently to their anxious feelings, depressed moods, worrying minds, self-defeating behaviours, and anything else that causes them problems.  The aim of ACT is to limit the ways these run your life.

 ACT aims to create a rich and meaningful life while accepting the pain that inevitably goes with it. ‘ACT’ (said as in the word ‘act’) is a good abbreviation because this therapy is about taking effective action, guided by our deepest values and in which we are fully present and engaged. It is only through mindful action that we can create a meaningful life. Of course, as we attempt to create such a life, we will encounter all sorts of barriers in the form of unpleasant and unwanted ‘private experiences’ (thoughts, images, feelings, sensations, urges, and memories).

Why would I want to accept painful internal emotions?

Research suggests that attempts to suppress or control internal experiences can make them worse and lead to the kinds of problems people seek therapy for. When we stop struggling with these experiences, they paradoxically have less power. It is important to note that in ACT, we are not trying to change, remove, or reduce the frequency of unwanted moods/emotions. Instead, we are looking to cultivate a change of relationship with some of our more difficult inner reactions so that those internal events are less likely to exert an unhelpful influence over our ability to engage in actions that we care about.

What can I gain from ACT Group for Depression and Anxiety?

  • Mindfulness skills: Learn to observe your thoughts and feelings without judgment, reducing their hold on you.
  • Acceptance strategies: Discover how accepting difficult experiences can empower you to move forward.
  • Value-driven action: Identify what truly matters to you and take concrete steps to live a life aligned with those values, even in the face of challenges.
  • Supportive community: Connect with others on a similar journey in a confidential and encouraging environment.

Group Program Structure

The group's progression is roughly organised around the six psychological flexibility processes. These are defusion, acceptance/willingness, contact with the present moment, self as context (the "observing self" in the group), values, and committed action. Each session includes:

  • Engaging discussions: Share your experiences and learn from others.
  • Interactive exercises: Put theory into practice and develop valuable skills.
  • Mindfulness practices: Cultivate present-moment awareness and focus.
Session Focus Summary
Session 1 Week 1 Experiential Avoidance and Control as the Problem This session introduces participants to mindfulness practices and their fellow group members. Additionally, the group will utilise a "Tug of War" exercise (materials provided) and complete assessments to track progress. Depending on individual needs, participants are encouraged to purchase additional mindfulness and acceptance-based therapy books. Initial resources are provided.
Session 2 Week 2 Fusion vs Defusion The session will introduce the concept of "control vs. workability" and guide you through exercises like the "Take Your Mind for a Walk" to experience cognitive defusion. Additionally, you'll be introduced to helpful readings and receive an observation record form to track your progress.
Session 3 Week 3 Willingness and Acceptance This session dives into the nature of pain and suffering in life. You'll explore the concept of honoring your pain and accepting what is. Guided mindfulness exercises will help you practice accepting your thoughts and feelings without judgment. Following a review of previous exercises and a discussion on defusion, you'll engage in experiential activities to further understand how to manage difficult emotions with greater flexibility.
Session 4 Week 4 Introducing creative hopelessness and values Session 4 focuses on the crucial role of personal values in living a fulfilling life. We'll explore the difference between what truly matters to you and fleeting desires. The session dives into how losing touch with your values can lead to psychological distress and difficulty changing behaviours. We'll also discuss how even painful experiences can reveal what you deeply care about. Through a mindfulness exercise and values identification activities, you'll understand what truly matters and how to live a life aligned with those values.
Session 5 Week 5 The Observing Self and Thinking Mind During this session, you'll explore life beyond the safety net of your usual coping mechanisms through experiential exercises and guided imagery. Mindfulness techniques will help you distinguish between your "thinking self" and your "observing self." You'll delve into self-discovery exercises to identify your core values and use them as a compass for your actions, breaking free from the limitations of your conceptualised self. Each session concludes with personalised "LIFE Exercises" based on your identified values and a creative exercise where you'll practice acceptance through the lens of a chosen avatar.
Session 6 Week 6 Taking Committed Action This session starts with a mindful activity. You'll discuss your mindfulness practice and challenges, then learn how to apply it to different situations. The program also includes exercises like "Bold Moves", where you try something new, and a "Willingness Exercise" to help you accept difficult emotions. You'll also learn to identify your core values and set goals aligned with them. This session also includes group discussion, where you can share your experiences and support each other in applying ACT principles to your daily lives.
Session 7 Week 7 Psychological Flexibility - Part 1 This group therapy session will begin with a familiar mindfulness activity. The focus then shifts to open discussion, where members will share experiences while also examining how these experiences connect to the six core ACT processes. Additionally, the session will cover informal mindfulness practices, discuss "bold moves" (value-driven actions) taken by participants, and explore strategies for overcoming barriers using the "Willingness Exercise".
Session 8 Week 8 Psychological Flexibility - Part 2 This week's session focuses on developing self-compassion. It starts with relatable examples of success stories and uses a paired or group exercise to explore the impact of a "cruel coach" vs. a "kind coach" on motivation. The session culminates with an activity where participants connect with their younger selves using pictures and visualisation.
Session 9 Week 9 Psychological Flexibility - Part 3 The heart of this session involves experiential exercises that help you put previous concepts into practice. Personalised exercises will be used to continue developing your skills throughout the week.
Session 10 Week 10 Stepping forward and Relapse Prevention The ACT on Life Group Therapy Series concludes with a session focused on reflection and future planning. It begins with a mindfulness exercise to connect participants to the present moment and the impact of mindful actions. The group reviews the "LIFE Exercises" practised throughout the program. Group members then discuss their personal gains and areas for growth before diving into relapse prevention strategies to carry participants forward in the future.

Meet the Program Facilitator

ACT for Depression and Anxiety

Liam Reilly

My name is Liam Reilly. I hold general registration as a psychologist, and I am approved to practice by AHPRA through the Psychology Board of Australia.  

I am competent working with a range presentation of clients from ages 12 up. I have a diverse skill set learnt through a variety of work setting in community mental health, rural health services, Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation, and as a FIFO psychologist to rural and remote locations across Western Australia.  

I seek to be a warm, non-judgemental, and compassionate clinician to better understand a person’s own unique experience, context, and how it impacts on behaviour. My treatment approach is guided by the philosophy that every person strives for and has the capacity to fulfil their own potential for a rich, full, and meaningful life that promotes positive mental wellbeing and relationships. Being trained in trauma informed care, I can provide a supportive and safe environment for people to heal and grow beyond trauma.

Liam Reilly
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Information about Fees and Rebates

Medicare Rebates for Group Therapy

  • Medicare rebates are only eligible for the psychological treatment of approved mental health disorders. Not all group therapy programs treat conditions eligible under the Medicare scheme. As such, not all programs are eligible for Medicare rebates.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure your program is eligible. It is displayed on the 'at a glance' section. If you are unsure, please contact our reception.
  • Medicare referrals are only valid for up to 10 sessions. If a program has more than ten sessions, you may not be eligible for a rebate for every session. Please note that it is per session, not per week - if a program lasts for 20 weeks but only meets fortnightly for each session, every session will be covered by Medicare.


  • Fees for each program are as advertised in the 'at a glance' section.
  • If you are paying for each session individually, you must pay at the time of appointment. Failure to do so will impact your eligibility to attend future sessions for that program.

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