Course Description

A seven week group for scuba divers to learn stuff that can help us stay fit-to-dive in lots of different ways through improving psychological flexibility.  Whether you want skills to help you get off the sofa and go for a run, or strategies for dealing with the intrusive "what if ...." thoughts, learning psychological flexibility skills will help you.

It's a dry group and your participation is separate from your own diving activities.  There is no dive training and no in-water practice at all, and it's suitable for all levels and qualifications. 

How it works

Seven divers meet on Zoom.

Every Friday at 12 noon [UK time / BST] , starting 12th February 2021.

Each lasts 70 minutes.

You will also access a private online area, for you and the rest of your group, to download the program resources (pdfs, audios, exercises) and discussion forum.  

The program includes:

  •  7 weekly sessions (small, personal groups, not webinars); 
  • Access to the resources area for the duration, and for 1 month afterwards.  

What will we do?

  • Try out some mental exercises - e.g. games for shifting perspective, skills for difficult thoughts -  may bring up a bit of discomfort, these will be described in advance so you can decide whether or not to play.  (A bit like in a yoga class / exercise, where you get options ) 
  • Talk about what we notice in the exercise 
  • Work on some ways to stay psychologically fit-to-dive, for example, but not limited to:
    • what to do with the thought "I don't feel like it" when trying to convince yourself to go for a run / the thought "just one more" when standing at the fridge or the biscuit tin
    • sit with difficult feelings like fear of failure when learning a new skill, or speaking up when concerned about the dive plan 
    • step back from unhelpful worries or rumination
  • Apply the techniques to areas of your choosing, for example, to engage in your learning, improve performance, increase physical fitness or psychological resilience.  
  • Select and work towards your goal, using the psychological flexibility skills.

The skills we will learn are highly transferable, so although we will be focusing on your scuba diving, you may see unexpected benefits to other areas of your life!

Instructor & Course Creator

Dr Laura Walton

Diving since 2007, Laura is an active scuba diver and instructor with range of experience from low visibility, cold water dives to tropical locations and the various challenges different sites offer. Her perspective in training is influenced by 20 years of studying psychology & 7 years as a diving professional. Alongside this she previously co-managed an active dive club and school in Scotland, and has experience of the dive industry and community. Laura holds multiple relevant qualifications including PADI Master Instructor, DDI Instructor, EFR Instructor & DAN Instructor. With her interest in diving psychology and physiology, she seeks to learn more through research and to share understanding through creation of unique courses that help divers to be physically, mentally and emotionally fit-to-dive.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Before you start ...

    • Your reason for being here

    • Questions

  • 2


    • The Aim

    • Quick Quiz

    • What is ACT?

    • Quick Quiz

    • Philosophy On Training

  • 3


    • Discussion Board

  • 4


    • The Diving Lifeline

    • A safety note

    • Practices for this Week [1]

    • Your direction of travel

    • The One-Minute STOP

    • DOWNLOAD | The One Minute STOP

    • "Between stimulus and response ...

    • In-Neutral

    • DOWNLOAD | In Neutral

    • Further Resources

  • 5


    • Flexible Attention

    • Practices for this Week [2]

    • DOWNLOAD | 54321 Check In

    • GUIDED PRACTICE | The 5-4-3-2-1 System Check

    • Attention Beam

    • ESSAY | Attention is Precious

    • DOWNLOAD | Hovering in the moment

    • The Attention Flip

  • 6


    • Difficult Thoughts

    • Practices for this Week [ 3 ]

    • DOWNLOAD | The Beach Ball & The Weight Belt

    • DOWNLOAD | Thought Bubbles

    • GUIDED PRACTICE | Thought Bubbles

    • "When something scary happens ...

    • OPTIONAL Games

    • Hands As Thoughts

    • DOWNLOAD | Is it Useful

    • Defusion

  • 7


    • Practices for this Week [ 4 ]

    • Feeling Uncomfortable

    • GUIDED PRACTICE | Physicalising

    • Quicksand Metaphor

    • DOWNLOAD | React vs Respond

    • ESSAY | Breathing Space

    • DOWNLOAD | Expansion

    • Mind the Dive / The 3Rs

    • DOWNLOAD | Mind the Dive / The 3Rs

    • Further Resources

  • 8


    • DOWNLOAD | Facing Sea Monsters

    • GUIDED PRACTICE | Sea monster

  • 9


    • Taking action

    • Practices for this Week [5]

    • Committed Action

    • DOWNLOAD | Diving Goals

    • SMART Goals

    • DOWNLOAD | SMART Goals


    • R is for Realistic

    • Further Resources

  • 10


    • Noticing "You"

    • Practices for this Week [6]

    • DOWNLOAD | The Diving Lifeline

    • Curious

    • DOWNLOAD | Function spotting

    • Remember your ABCs

    • Further Resources

  • 11


    • Reflect & Gather

    • Practices for this Week [7]

    • DOWNLOAD | Checklist

    • Presenting the Scubaflex!

    • DOWNLOAD | The ScubaFlex


    • ACT for Scuba Divers - Reference List

    • Further Resources

    • The End!

  • 12

    Before you go ...

    • How did it go?

    • Post- Questions