The NYC-ACBS ACT Study-Practice Group

An open ongoing study-practice group that meets about every other month.  


            The open ACT Study-Practice Group focuses on developing ACT skills and theory through the discussion of cases.  Participants are invited to bring in and discuss challenging or difficult cases that they are currently working with or have worked with.  The facilitator, Dr. Mike Femenella, helps demonstrate how to identify ACT processes and apply ACT interventions through an interactive format.  This is an opportunity to see ACT applied to a variety of client problems and is aimed to promote a practical and applied understanding of ACT theory.  Practice groups may involve discussion, role-plays, experiential exercises, or theoretical discussions based upon the type of client presented and participant needs.

We cannot stress enough that there is NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY to attend any of these groups!  We understand that you have busy lives. So, monthly announcements will be posted to allow you to attend groups when you are able to do so.  We draw a very diverse group of participants, including students, ACT newbies, very experienced ACT practitioners, and professionals from other therapeutic orientations and disciplines within and outside of mental health.

The NYC-ACBS Study-Practice Group values a safe and supportive collegial environment where individuals will be encouraged, though not required, to take risks, ask questions, try new perspectives, and challenge their comfort zone.  Therefore, we are extending an open invitation to interested individuals who are willing to learn, grow, and be part of a growing local community.

WHAT: The NYC-ACBS Study-Practice Group serves as a place where individuals of all levels of experience and backgrounds can alternately learn and practice Contextual Behavioral Science (CBS), Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Relational Frame Theory (RFT). It is open to anyone interested in learning more about CBS.

WHEN: It generally meets every other month on the Third Wednesday or Thursday of the month, from 7:00-9:00 PM.  For more information on the next study group, please email nycacbs@gmail.com.

WHERE: The Village Community School, 272-278 West 10th Street, NYC

WHO: Experienced CBS facilitators from within and without our NYC-ACBS community host study groups, providing the opportunity to experience ACT from a variety of perspectives.

Dr. Mike Femenella is our ongoing host and alternating monthly facilitator to the group.  He will often be facilitating the case conference meeting. Mike is one of the earliest practitioners of ACT on the east coast and has been committed to ACT as his exclusive treatment modality since 2001.  He has received extensive training in ACT with Steve Hayes, Kelly Wilson, Robyn Walser, Kirk Strosahl, and other notable ACT trainers. He is an ACT consultant for the VA and has trained and supervised numerous clinicians, including watching over hundreds of hours of audiotaped sessions, rating for them for adherence, and providing supportive feedback.


  • $20 non ACBS members

  • $15 ACBS members

  • $10 for any & all students

*This contribution will not only go towards the rental of our meeting space, but also help to develop the local CBS community by providing our Chapter with more resources to sponsor events, trainings, and social activities in the future.

RSVP: If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to our membership chair, Amanda Aster, at greaternycacbs@gmail.com. Although you are not required to RSVP in order to attend, your notification will aid us in preparing for your arrival. You can also feel free to contact Brian with any questions about the group.

ONLINE SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS AND PARTICIPATION:  The sharing of readings and other materials may take place before or after certain meetings, check our NYC-ACBS dropbox link.  In addition, questions may be posted for discussion on this websites discussion blog before or after certain meetings.  These activities will occur on our listserv which is available to ACBS-NYC members. 


  • NYC-ACBS Facebook Group: The virtual networking and social media site for our Greater NYC CBS community.

  • NYC-ACBS Google Group: One of our two networking groups for starting your own topic threads for our greater metro CBS community.

  • NYC-ACBS Yahoo Group: One of our two networking groups for starting your own topic threads for our greater metro CBS community. Eventually either the yahoo group or the google group will become primary, the other deleted.


NYC has at least three running supervision groups running and  intermittently taking new members.  They usually require a willingness to commit to attending monthly meetings for at least a period of several months to one year.  These groups are primarily focused on peer case presentation and ACT case conceptualizations.  They sometimes assign books and/or chapters for dicussion.  Other activites may include role-playing, ACT experientials, and rehearsing specific ACT interventions.  They are usually hosted by at least one ACT experienced professional.

ACT-NYCE (ACT in NYC & Environs):

In an effort to address some of these barriers to access and welcome more diverse voices in the field, this study group is specifically for therapists who are (1) relatively new to ACT (licensed professionals only) and (2) who identify as coming from historically disadvantaged groups, including people of color and GLBTQ+. In 2019, we will meet on the following Wednesdays from 7:15 - 9 pm at the SoHo CBT + Mindfulness Center, 210 Sixth Avenue, Suite 1A:

February 13 - Review of ACT; February 27 - ACT case conceptualization (Hexaflex model); March 13 - ACT process (defusion); March 27 - ACT process (acceptance); April 10 - ACT (contact with present moment); May 1 - ACT process (self as context); May 15 - ACT process (values); May 29 - ACT process (committed action); June 12 - Integration; June 26 - Integration

This group is now full and not accepting new participants. For future groups, Interested parties should contact, the coordinator & facilitator, Jonathan Kaplan, PhD, at kaplan@sohocbt.com.

Union Square ACT Study Group: 

 Meets monthly, at 41 Union Square West, Suite 736, facilitated by Rob Handleman, PsyD.  Open to new members.  Contact Rob Handelman, PsyD. Drrobhandelman@gmail.com

If you know of another NYC or local ACT peer-to-peer supervison group that you would like listed, please inform us and we will consider posting here.

The ACT Matrix Experiential Study Group
This study group covers the six steps to the ACT Matrix. The group will discuss weekly readings and then practice utilizing the matrix through roleplays and other experiential exercises. The Matrix embodies the six core processes of ACT and principles of clinical RFT in a practical and easy to learn way that facilitates the development of psychological flexibility.

In 2019, This experiential study group meets on the following Thursdays at 6:30pm in midtown (36th & 5th Ave.) and one additional group may be added toward the end: Jan 10, 17, 31, Feb 7, 21

If interested, please contact Michael Maher at micmaher@gmail.com

4. AFFILIATES:    Metro Area Regional NYC-ACBS Affiliates:


If you are an ACBS member living or working in Connecticut, you may also wish to join the ACT-CT Yahoo Group (an email listserv). For questions about the group, or to request to be added, please send an email to actct-owner@yahoogroups.com with your name, preferred email address, and organizational affiliation.

New Jersey:  North Jersey Central Affiliate

If you are an ACBS member living or working in NJ and are looking for local ACBS community consider joining, "The North Central Affiliate of ACBS".  For questions about the group or to request to be added, please send an email to Drrobhandelman@gmail.com with your name, preferred email address, and organizational affiliation.

Buffalo, NY

If you are an ACBS member living or working in Buffalo and are looking for local ACBS community consider joining, "The Buffalo Affiliate of ACBS".  For more information, please go to: https://contextualscience.org/usa_buffalo_ny_affiliate_of_acbs

Long Island: ACBS Affiliate  (currently forming)

If you are an ACBS member living or working in Long Island, or Queens and are looking for local ACBS community, consider joining, the LI-ACBS affiliate.  For questions about the group or to request to be added, please send an email to sisticbt@optonline.net, with your name, preferred email address, and organizational affiliation. 

5.  Materials & Links

The Journal Of Contextual Behavioral Science: Check out the official ACBS journal and consider submitting for publication.  

ACT In Context Podcast: A great source for beginners looking to learn about ACT concepts. 

IRAP and RFT: Get caught up to speed on the latest Implicit Relational Procedure and Relation Frame Theory Research.