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We are passionate about sharing with clinicians what has worked for us in our work with clients so you don’t feel stuck in your clinical work. Over the years we have been teaching doctoral students, colleagues, and other professionals interested in expanding their expertise on empirically-supported treatments including Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Exposure Response Prevention (ERP), or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

Our workshops are experiential by nature, which means that we teach you an intervention, we show you how it looks like in session, and you have a chance to practice it so we can give you feedback right away.

We deliver workshops, in-service training, and presentations on a regular basis in the community, at national and international conferences, and will be pleased to develop a curriculum that targets your clinical interests or specific interventions for the population you work with.

2019: ACTifying your exposures for OCD


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has been shown to be effective for the treatment of clients struggling with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (Twohig, M., Abramowitz, J., 2018). Thus, understanding the application and integration of exposure-based strategies within ACT is essential for effective ACT clinical work. This workshop will go deeply into the nuts and bolts of how to conduct an ACT consistent exposure session, starting with a contextual-functional assessment of OCD symptoms, organizing a values-based exposure menu, increasing clients’ willingness to get out from their fear-based zone and move into values-based exposures, and troubleshooting when getting stuck in an exposure session (e.g. clients have a high degree of believability on thought – action – fusion, client hopes that obsessions will go away, clients’ exposures turn into rituals, etc). In addition, the Choice Point, a behavioral intervention derived from ACT will be presented as an additional case formulation and treatment intervention to augment the impact of ERP sessions for pediatric OCD. And experiential exercise will be facilitated to see the choice point in action when working with OCD and help participants to (1) identify client’s hooks and helpers, (2) clarify client’s values, and (3) discriminate values-based behaviors from OCD-driven behaviors.


Details: March 28-31, 2019 at Sheraton Grand Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

For more details, visit here.


2019: Same or Similar? ACT and Inhibitory Learning Approaches to Exposure/Response Prevention for Pediatric OCD

Description of workshop training: Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is the frontline treatment for youth with OCD and anxiety disorders, and recent studies have significantly added to the conceptual understanding of its mechanisms and clinical applications. Research stemming from the inhibitory learning model (ILM) has shifted exposure treatments from fear habituation to fear tolerance. Specifically, findings emphasize that learning during ERP and long-term treatment outcomes are maximized by varying stimuli across exposures, varying settings in which exposures are conducted, varying the difficulty level of exposures, emphasizing tolerance of anxious or distressed feelings instead of habituation, and focusing on discrepancies between expected and actual outcomes of exposure. Exposure from an ACT perspective is about learning to develop a more flexible relationships with feared stimuli in ways that allow individuals to take action towards their values while incorporating all ACT processes into their life (acceptance, cognitive defusion, contact with the present moment , and perspective taking). Recent reviews suggest that both the ILM and ACT approaches to exposure are effective for treating OCD (McGuire and Storch, 2018; Bluett et al, 2014), though individual treatment response may vary across approaches. In this interactive workshop, presenters will discuss the similarities and differences between the two approaches (including their putative mechanisms of change). Presenters will also demonstrate the process of conducting exposures for youth with OCD from each theoretical model’s perspective using illustrative case examples. Further, presenters will review patient characteristics that tend to indicate using one approach over the other. In addition, the Choice Point, a behavioral intervention derived from ACT, will be presented as a case formulation and treatment tool to augment the effects of ERP for children and adolescents struggling with OCD.


When: March 28-31, 2019, at Sheraton Grand Chicago

For more information, click here.


2018: Creating flexible exposures for OCD and anxiety disorders


This 4-hour workshop, held for Polish clinicians, introduces intermediate ACT therapists to using exposure-response prevention for OCD and anxiety disorders in an ACT-consistent way.

The training goals include

  1. Describe how ACT puts a lot of emphasis on the inhibitory learning model when arranging OCD exhibition interventions.
  2. Workshop participants will learn how to influence values ​​and activities involved – processes shaping readiness to engage in work based on the exhibition.
  3. Participants will learn to apply elements of 6 ACT processes to enhance the display sessions.
  4. Participants will learn how to use the ” choice point ” model as a clinical tool that allows to separate behaviors related to values ​​from OCD-driven behaviors when working with clients struggling with such problem


The training’s details can be found here.

2018: ACT-based exposure for OCD and other anxiety disorders

2018: IOCDF: Support for Parents around OCD

At the 25th Annual OCD Conference, Dr. Z led a bilingual 1.5-hour workshop for parents of kids with OCD to provide support and parenting tools.

The presentation for parents or caregivers focused on discussing the ups and downs of parenting children and teens struggling with OCD, and how to support them through different stages of treatment. Through a brief didactic presentation, experiential exercises, and open conversations parents checked the workability of their parenting behaviors when dealing with OCD episodes at home.

2018: IOCDF: Support for Parents around OCD

At the 25th Annual OCD Conference, Dr. Z presented alongside Drs. Alec Pollard, Michael Twohig, and Jennifer Cullen on differentiating between traditional exposure therapy and an ACT-based exposure model.

The description for this 1.5-hour presentation is below:

A recent randomized clinical trial comparing ACT/ERP and ERP with adult clients struggling with OCD has demonstrated that both treatments are effective for symptom reduction, maintenance of treatment gains at post-treatment, 1 and 3-months follow up. Despite this data clinicians are faced with the challenge of figuring out which clients will benefit from a traditional behavioral exposure versus an ACT-based exposure. In order to facilitate a clinical conversation about this matter, a clinical case will be presented demonstrating how shifting approaches was necessary to maximize treatment outcomes. Next, specific questions will be addressed: (1) what’s the clinical criteria to start with traditional ERP or ACT/ERP; (2) what’s the mechanism of change within each approach?

2018: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Emotional Regulation

Clinicians joined Mind Therapy Clinic staff and Patricia Zurita Oña, PsyD for ACT for Emotion Regulation training event.

  • Presenter:  Patricia Zurita Oña, PsyD
  • When:  Wednesday, May 9, 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM
  • Where:  Mind Therapy Clinic

ACT for Emotional Regulation
ACT is based on the premise that normal cognitive processes distort and enhance the experience of unpleasant emotion, leading clients to engage in problematic behaviors designed to avoid or attenuate those unpleasant emotions. Avoidant behavior patterns can hinder and prevent client movement toward valued goals and place the client in harmful situations. ACT focuses on facilitating the client’s movement toward a more valued and personally fulfilling life, in a context in which previously obstructive unpleasant emotions no longer serve as obstructions.


  1. Conceptualize emotion regulation problems from an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy perspective (ACT)
  2. Identify specific ACT competences for the treatment of emotion regulation problems.
  3. Distinguish similarities and differences between ACT and other empirically-based treatments for emotion regulation problems
  4. Understand the integration of emotion science, affective neuroscience, and acceptance and commitment therapy in the conceptualization and treatment of emotion regulation problems.
2018: ADAA: from super-feelers to super-choosers
Dr. Zurita Ona presented at the Anxiety and Depression Conference on April 7th! The topic was “From Super-Feelers to Super-Choosers: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Clients with Mild to Severe Emotion Dysregulation.”Dr. Z spoke about how ACT as a treatment works on the driving force behind the struggles of emotion regulation. This talk provided clinicians with an idea of how to view emotion regulation issues through an ACT lens, introduce ACT interventions, and showed the efficacy of group treatment for these clients. 


She got very positive reviews on this talk:

2018: ADAA: Emotion Regulation in Action

Dr. Z chaired a symposium on Friday, April 6, at the ADAA conference. She was with a panel of experts speaking about how to work with tricky moments in therapy when working with emotion regulation issues. The speakers helped clinicians apply different treatment interventions for adult clients, integrate the latest research into treatment, and better understand how to approach working with clients struggling with emotion regulation.


2018: ADAA: ACT group treatment for parents

Dr. Zurita Ona presented at the 2018 Anxiety and Depression Conference. She led a workshop walking clinicians through how to run an 8-week group for parents of teens struggling with emotion dysregulation. Her dynamic presentation included role-plays, lecture, and experiential exercises. Clinicians were able to learn how parents get into cycles of conflict with their teens, and how to help parents use identified values for change with concrete parent interventions.


2018: ACT parent training for troubled teens

Dr. Zurita Ona presented through Praxis’s ACT webinar on how clinicians can utilize ACT principles to help their clients struggling with their teens’ emotion dysregulation. The talk covered understanding parents’ role in their conflict with their teens, identifying parental values, and teaching parents tools to shift their relationship with their teens.



2018 ACT, ERP, OCD, and treatment interfering behaviors


2017 DBT Intensive Training

We’re excited to announce an intensive 10-day DBT training with one of the most knowledgeable and down-to-earth DBT trainers, Charles Swenson, M.D. This intensive training will be hosted at our home, the Bay Area. Please see the details below and keep in mind that (1) you won’t have to travel, (2) this training will prepare you for your DBT certification, and the most important thing: (3) you will learn from one of the best. Let’s supercharge our DBT skills!

Part I: February 27 – March 3, 2017.
Part II: September 11 – September 15, 2017

Charles Swenson, M.D. is an inspiring teacher who brings DBT to life with clinical examples and demonstrations. Having published numerous articles and book chapters on the uses of DBT in treating borderline personality disorder, he recently published his book “DBT Principles in Action: Acceptance, Change, and Dialectics.” (


Full price $2,300 per person (10-day training).
Discounted Price for Teams of 3 or more (20%): $1,840 per person.
Student Price (Graduate Students in MH Professions): $1,200 per person.
CE: $ 40.- for all participants


Click here:
Closes on January 15, 2017 or when space fills.

Please send an e-mail to with the subject: intensive DBT training and provide her with your name, e-mail, and phone number so you can be contacted within 48-hours for registration purposes. You can also call us at 925.956.4636

Special Features of this Comprehensive Training:
Telephone consultation to individuals/teams between Parts1 and 2 with Dr. Swenson to address implementation and practice problems. Daily demonstrations by Dr. Swenson of DBT individual therapy, group skills training, and consultation team. Teaching of the DBT skills as presented in the revised edition of the skills manual.

Refund/cancellation policy:
Registration payment is non-refundable.




2017 ACBS: It's not my fault, it's not his fault: ACT 101 for parents of emotionally dysregulated teens

In this presentation Dr. Z helped parents identify their most common responses to their emotional pain that arose in response to teens, and to notice and address their reactions and experiences before taking action. She also showed parents ways to think about how their responses fit into the their relationship with their teen, and to re-engage with their parenting values.

2017: ACBS: The Treatment of Anxiety Disorders: Where are we succeeding and where are we falling short?

In this panel, Dr. Z spoke to her evidence-based knowledge of how anxiety disorders develop and are maintained. She explained how new research informs and shapes our understanding and treatment of anxiety disorders, and also described the research needs of the field. She was joined in the panel by Dr. Gloster, Dr. Luciano Soriano, and Dr. Meuret, with facilitation by Dr. Michael Twohig.

August 2015: ACT from moment-to-moment


Dear Colleagues,

We recently attended the annual conference of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy in Berlin, Germany.
We presented a workshop on how to conduct a full session on Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT), from moment to moment. As you know ACT integrates beautifully behavioral and mindfulness-based interventions so we showed participants how to look at those “micro-moments in therapy and make a decision about which ACT intervention or move you could make at that particular moment.
I’m hoping that in this presentation we can actually discuss together how to implement ACT based on the material we prepared. You don’t need to be an ACT expert or anything like that, curiosity is the only requirement 🙂
Because this is a low-key workshop, appetizers will be provided by our center as well as CE’s. Please see below the details below for the registration.
When: Wednesday the 26th, 2015.
What time: 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Where: Quail Court 45.
CE’s: 2.5  (Valid for  Psy.D’s, PhD’s, MFTs, LCSWs, LEP’s and LPCC’s.)
Fee: $40.- (please bring a check for 15.- if you want CE units)
Please select “clinicians” from the cover page; then from the top menu select “get schedule, and then select the option “workshop.”
More information: 925-956-4636 or
* Please be aware that we have space only for 10 participants.
The East Bay Behavior Therapy Center is approved by the California Psychological Association (CPA) to provide continuing professional education for psychologists. (The California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) now recognizes CPA continuing education credit for license renewal for LCSWs and MFTs.) The East Bay Behavior Therapy Center maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.
P A T R I C I A   E.   Z U R I T A    O N A,  P S Y.  D.
Phone/Fax: 925-956-4636
June 2015: Compassion Focused Therapy for Shyness
The Shyness Institute and the East Bay Behavior Therapy Center are pleased to announce the upcoming workshop:

Compassion Focused Therapy for Shyness and Social Anxiety Disorder: Compassionate Social Fitness

This workshop is primarily focus on compassion-based interventions to work with clients with chronic negative self-concept, negative stories, self-blame and even self-hate.

This introductory course will introduce participants to the basic ideas and interventions used in Paul Gilbert’s Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) integrated into Dr. Henderson’s protocol, Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for shyness and social anxiety disorder called Social Fitness Training. CFT teaches clients ways to cultivate self-compassion and to mindfully develop healthier relationships with difficult emotions. We will explore the roots of compassion in an evolutionary theory of attachment and emotion regulation. Through experiential exercises, role-plays, and didactic instruction, participants will learn how developing the compassionate mind can help individuals to experience positive, affiliative emotions, face painful feelings, and establish a secure base.

Facilitator: Dr. Lynne Henderson
Date/Time: June 13th, 9:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Location: New Harbinger Publications (Oakland)
Ce’s: 7.
Please select “clinicians” from the cover page; then from the top menu select “get schedule, and then select the option “workshop.”
Fee: $140.- (plus $15.- for CEs)
More information: 925-956-4636
Please be aware that we have space only for 14 participants.


Overview of Compassion Focused Therapy and its roots in evolutionary and neuroscience approach.
Focus on shame, self-criticism and links to poor outcomes
Basic philosophy – evolved minds are not our design or our fault
Overview of Social Fitness Training for Social Anxiety:
Three Vicious Cycles
Social Fitness as evolutionary metaphor
The need for emotional connection and agentic responses
Accepting and acting in face of fear: Using adrenalin like athletes & actors
Goal Setting: Desired behavior according to values
Using compassion to promote courageous action: Three Compassionate Cycles

Lynne Henderson, PhD, is founder of the Shyness Institute and was director of the Stanford Shyness Clinic for 25 years.  She has been a visiting scholar and lecturer in the Psychology Department at Stanford University, adjunct faculty in Continuing Studies, Consulting Associate Professor in Counseling Psychology, was pre-doc at the Stanford Counseling Center and post-doc in Psychiatry. Research includes translating the results of social psychology, personality theory and compassion research into treatment methods for shyness, and studying shy leaders. She wrote, Improving social confidence and reducing shyness using compassion focused therapy, published in Britain, and the U.S in 2011.

April 2015: DBT individual therapy for the NON-DBT therapist
Since 2013, when we moved our practice to Walnut Creek, we have been offering DBT skills groups for adults and families as well as DBT services in general. Because of this particular service we have collaborated with different colleagues at different times. In this process, we met many competent and dedicated clinicians that often said, “I want to help my client but I’m not sure I’m fully prepared to do DBT work.”Because of the feedback we received from our colleagues, we are excited to announce our upcoming workshopDBT-informed individual therapy for the NON-DBT therapist.”
If you’re a clinician interested, keep in mind that you don’t need to know anything about DBT or behavioral-based interventions to participate in this workshop; we would share with you all the basics of how to conduct the DBT-individual therapy that will certainly increase your competency when working with these clients.This 7-hour workshop is dedicated to clinicians who work with clients struggling with mild to severe emotion dysregulation such as borderline personality disorder (BPD) and have no prior experience with DBT, but would like to learn & practice the basics of how to conduct DBT-informed individual therapy. CE’s will be provided for  Psy.D’s, PhD’s, MFTs, LCSWs, LEP’s and LPCC’s.
Specific topics include: (1) Explaining the biosocial model of emotion regulation and BPD ; (2) orienting strategies to treatment; (3) commitment strategies; (4) use of the DBT diary card; and (5) how to conduct a behavioral chain analysis.
The workshop will have a didactic component but primarily focuses on experiential exercises that will show participants “how to” deliver each one of these five interventions, with ample opportunities for practice and individual feedback. Please notice that we are using the words “How to” because we’ll show you how we do it and then invite you to practice these interventions with us.
Date: Saturday April 25th, 2015.
Time: 9:30 – 5:30 pm. (1 hour lunch; on your own)
Location: 5674 Shattuck Avenue. Oakland, CA 94609 (New Harbinger facilities)
Facilitator: Patricia E. Zurita Ona, Psy.D.
Fee: $140.- (Please add $15.- for CE)
Registration: Select “get scheduled” and “book a clinician workshop” from the top menu.
CEs: We offer 7 CE’s for  Psy.D’s, PhD’s, MFTs, LCSWs, LEP’s and LPCC’s.
Note: Because it’s our priority to offer a quality training we’ll only accept 14 participants
Disclaimer: This workshop is not sponsored by Behavioral Tech or the Linehan Institute, and does not replace any trainings offered by those institutions.
Past workshops
December 2014
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy 101

July, 2014
Introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Association for Contextual Behavioral Science Minneapolis, MN.

May, 2014
Mind and Emotions: transdiagnostic processes in therapy.
In-service training
Kaiser Permanente Richmond Psychiatry Department.

March 27-30, 2014
Mind and Emotions: transdiagnostic processeses in therapy. A review of what we learned so far.
Annual Conference
Anxiety and Depression Association of America Chicago.

Mind and Emotions: transdiagnostic processes in therapy. In-service training Child and Adolescent Champions Northern California Kaiser Permanente Psychiatry Departments May, 2013.

Mind and Emotions: transdiagnostic processes in therapy. Annual Conference Anxiety and Depression Association of America April 4-7, 2013.

Values-based interventions President’s Salon Alameda County Psychological Association More info: Cecelia Pena: November, 2012

Cognitive defusion: In-service training Fundacion Foro Argentina, South America October, 2012

Introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Association for Contextual Behavioral Science Washington, DC July, 2012.

Mind and Emotions: transdiagnostic processes in therapy. In-service training Kaiser Permanente Oakland December, 2011.

CBT Treatment of Anxiety Disorders Continuing Education John F. Kennedy University Berkeley, Ca February, 2012.

ACT Treatment of Anxiety Disorders Continuing Education John F. Kennedy University Pleasant Hill, Ca May, 2012.



Are you dealing with intense OCD and anxiety?

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Why our clients love working with us


"I am very grateful for finding Dr Zurita. She is responsible for teaching my son skills that have changed his life socially and enabled him to leave home and attend an out-of-state university. This was the dream of a lifetime for him and it would not have been possible without her help. Her guidance has also made it possible for him to live a much richer life, full of experiences he would have never considered, prior to his time meeting with Dr. Zurita.

I encourage parents to start this process much sooner, if they sense their child is having difficulty at a social level. Had I understood what he has been going through all of these years, I would have started the process much earlier, so that his prior social experiences and especially those in school, would have been much fuller ....

"Working with Patricia Zurita Ona has changed and saved my life. I have struggled off and on for years with sever anxiety disorder and OCD . I have been to therapy throughout the years and have found some helpful but nothing really got to the core of the problem. I often felt crazy and that my incredible fear and my phobias would remain with me thorough my life, I would not drive on the freeway, eat certain things and had constant catastrophic thinking, thus creating a lot of depression.

I needed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which I saw advertised on many therapists’ websites. When I would call most of them they said they offered it and specialized with Anxiety Disorder/ OCD which was not the case. I had felt alone, hopeless and frustrated for the past 9 years. Never feeling like I was getting the help I needed. It was not until I started meeting with Patricia that I actually started to feel better and feel as if I had control over my life and started to live again ...

“Patricia and her team have completely changed my life! I cannot express my gratitude enough.

She helped me craft values and goals I wanted to have in my relationships, and walked me through each step of how to get there. Her methods are simple, manageable, and make sense when you are upset. I’ve been to therapists who have told me to take deep breaths, visualize calming colors, rip paper, go for a walk or scream in to a pillow when im angry. But in the moment, when im soooo angry, none of these world work. I would forget to do them, or I would already be so angry, that they were ineffective to help me calm down. Patricia’s methods are not only EXTREMELY effective, but they are easy to do, they make sense in the moment, and they bring about radical change when you apply them ...


“I do not know how it reflects on my credibility should I happen to brag about being a seasoned vet when it comes to therapists and mental wellness pursuits. Regardless, I am. And on top of that, I also happen to be a health care practitioner myself. This means, for the purposes of a review, that when I walk into a new Doctor’s office, there is an additional dimension of critiquing for me to process. I would never willingly put myself under the guidance and care of a Doctor who did not 1) Impress me as a capable and honest caregiver and 2) Impress me as a professional colleague.

– Empathy
– Knowledge
– Professionalism
– Respect

I think that these are the basic bulletpoints that strike me when I consider why I think so highly of Patricia. Dr. Zurita takes NOTHING more seriously than the pursuit of her profession. Except possibly you, the patient.

Some therapists really care.

Other therapists are extremely knowledgeable.

Very few therapists are both. Patricia Zurita Ona is one of those very few.”

"I have referred several of my most challenging patients to Dr. Patricia Zurita-Ona, and been extremely impressed both with her clinical skills and humanity. I recommend her most highly. John Melbourne McGraw, M.D."

“Dr. Patricia Zurita Ona truly cares about her clients. Behavior therapy with her has benefited myself and my husband regarding my obsessive compulsive behavior. She has a gentle and kind approach and I would recommend her to others.”

“I was referred to Patricia Zurita Ona from my son’s psychiatrist for cognitive behavioral therapy treatment of his obsessive compulsive disorder (ocd) and anxiety which rose to a level which was out of control. Dr. Zurita Ona is very skilled at working with teens who suffer from anxiety, especially related to academic success and test anxiety. She helped my son learn coping mechanisms and stress reducing strategies to control his level of anxiety. Dr. Zurita Ona introduced my son to a great stress relieving app which involves deep breathing and meditation. She has an amazing ability to connect with teens and get them to open up about their struggles, create realistic plans of attack and create goals so they can lead joyful lives and not be so burdened with their stress. We saw her weekly for about 1-2 years and my son’s sessions with her were very beneficial to not only him, but our entire family as his stress was causing tension for us all. Dr. Zurita Ona explained to me why my son had certain behaviors and ways to help him learn new strategies to cope with his anxiety. If you have a teen who needs help to learn how to manage and control stress and anxiety, schedule a session with Dr. Zurita Ona! I highly recommend her services!”

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