Wonder childlike – Curiosity as a stance of openness

Description: Openness is a central concept in ACT and other third-wave therapies. It is practiced and exercised primarily through mindfulness and flexibility.

The workshop will explore an aspect that is present everywhere in ACT and third-wave practices, but somewhat hidden: wonder and curiosity. They are necessary prerequisites for us to be able to tackle change. In therapy, this is another essential stance that we convey to our clients to motivate them to take new steps in their lives. And which we ourselves need in order to orientate ourselves in the lives of others – and also in our own.

A colorful mix of ideas and concepts, practical exercises and games, demonstrations and therapeutic strategies is planned. A willingness to join in and try things out is encouraged. It is actually less about astonishing others and more about being open to be astonished. 


1. Exploring the Role of Curiosity in Therapy: Participants will explore the importance of wonder and curiosity as foundational elements in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and other third-wave therapies.

2. Practicing Mindfulness and Flexibility: Attendees will practice mindfulness and psychological flexibility exercises designed to foster an open and curious stance both in therapy and in their personal lives.

3. Applying Curiosity to Facilitate Change: Clinicians will learn practical strategies and techniques to help clients embrace curiosity and openness, motivating them to take new steps and navigate change effectively.

Competencies Acquired:

1. Curiosity as a Therapeutic Stance: Proficiency in adopting and conveying curiosity as a therapeutic stance, enhancing client engagement and motivation for change.

2. Mindfulness and Flexibility Techniques: Ability to integrate mindfulness and flexibility techniques into therapeutic practice, promoting openness and adaptability in clients.

3. Creative Therapeutic Interventions: Enhanced capability to implement creative therapeutic interventions, including practical exercises and games, to foster a sense of wonder and openness in therapy sessions.

Bibliographic Titles:

1. Hayes, S. C., Strosahl, K. D., & Wilson, K. G. (2016). *Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: The Process and Practice of Mindful Change* (2nd ed.). Guilford Press.

2. Harris, R. (2009). *ACT Made Simple: An Easy-to-Read Primer on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy*. New Harbinger Publications.

3. Walser, R. D., & Westrup, D. (2007). *The Mindful Couple: How Acceptance and Mindfulness Can Lead You to the Love You Want*. New Harbinger Publications.

4. Carmody, J., & Baer, R. A. (2008). *Relationships Between Mindfulness Practice and Levels of Mindfulness, Medical and Psychological Symptoms and Well-Being in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program*. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 31(1), 23-33.

5. Baer, R. A. (2003). *Mindfulness Training as a Clinical Intervention: A Conceptual and Empirical Review*. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 125-143.

Ralf Steinkopff

Born and living in Berlin (Germany). Married, two adult children. I have studied Psychology in Berlin, with a 4 years stay in Rome (Italy). Living in Italy helped me understand how culture and language shape people, and build different perspectives on how to live. 

I became a Behavior therapist in 1993, Clinical Hypnosis 1995, Systemic therapist 1999, Psychotherapist for Children and Adolescents 1999. Psychotherapist in an Addiction Counseling Center 1993-1997, Counseling Center for Children and Families 1997-2003, Working in private practice since 1997.

I think I heard for the first time of ACT in 2009, red the first books, got curious and dived deeply into ACT and CBS. I work as a ACT therapist since 2012, ACL Global Leader since 2016, ACT Peer Reviewed Trainer 2018. Giving ACT Workshops since 2015, FAP Workshops since 2017, Clinical RFT Workshops since 2020, on Congresses, Psychotherapeutic Educational Instituts, Clinics and Continuing Education Centers.