Kate Morrissey

Kate Morrissey


The Yoga and Psyche Conference

Kate Morrissey Stahl, LCSW, does clinical work specializing in mindfulness-based interventions, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and yoga in Athens, Georgia. She started down this track as a long-time practitioner of Zen meditation and yoga. She is a certified yoga teacher and also has a master's degree in communication, as well as a master's degree in social work and LCSW license. She worked as a mind-body therapist at a yoga studio before returning as a full-time Ph.D. student in Marriage and Family Therapy. She has co-led professional trainings in ACT, and she co-founded an ACT peer consultation group.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Yoga: A Pilot Study

Our presentation will both provide an experiential introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and describe an initial pilot study we conducted with ACT and yoga. In the experiential portion, we will describe the six main components of ACT and how they are complementary to a yoga practice. Some gentle yoga poses will be included. Next, the pilot study will be discussed. The pilot study we conducted explores a group approach incorporating both ACT and yoga to address the needs of clients who self identify as having struggled with anxiety. Two six-week groups met (N =8 and N =6) and were measured using the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (AAQ-II), an ACT measure of psychological flexibility; General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), an overall measure of well-being; Valued Living Questionnaire (VLQ-M), a measure of whether actions are aligned with values; and a brief weekly experience questionnaire (WEQ) measuring distress over the week. Mixed outcomes from the groups will be compared and discussed, especially how yoga can be an effective complement to an ACT approach, as well as possible pitfalls of the combination.

CE credit (MFT, LCSW, RN) offered for the session