by Jacob Martinez, MA, LPC

There’s nothing more satisfying to me than conducting an intake session with a new client. Especially an intake session where the client leaves feeling heard, and excited to take part in the treatment ahead. Over the years I’ve been tweaking and adjusting my methods for intakes.

As an ACT therapist who takes a very active approach, it’s important to me that the work begins as early as possible (yes, even on session one). My main goals when conducting an intake are to allow space for the client to tell their story, then begin to work with the client collaboratively in sorting their story out in an ACT consistent way. We focus on experiential learning and simplicity.

If we can build this solid foundation early—really get to the heart of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy. Then the client’s goals begin to align with treatment and clients leave the office with a healthy dose of hope. They are often, dare I say, eager to complete their homework and show it off at the next session. From there, the rest of the work flows – and it all begins in session one.

Intake sessions are, in my opinion, the most important moment in the therapeutic process. What is the secret to conducting these intakes? Why, the ACT Matrix! I’ve learned to apply the ACT Matrix in such a way as to structure the intake session so that it maximizes rapport building, defines treatment goals, and increases the likelihood of clients returning for their next session.

Starting with The Matrix in session one also helps me keep applying ACT in a consistent manner throughout the course of treatment. If all of this piques your interest, I invite you to check out our on-demand training, “Conducting Intake Sessions with The ACT Matrix.”

I’ll walk you through how to structure ACT consistent intake sessions, how to conduct an ACT Matrix with any client, and give you my scripts of how I set up and explain each step of the process in clear and simple way that you can use with clients instantly.

Jacob Martinez, MA, LPC is an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) therapist and trainer living in Wisconsin. He is the former President of the Texas ACBS Chapter and host of ACT Naturally where he interviews great therapists, talks mental health & wellness, and demonstrates ACT skills. Learn more about his work at Learn more about Jacob Martinez, MA, LPC and other trainers on our Trainers page.


Angela Coreil, PhD

Angela Coreil, PhD

Consultant and Educator

Angela J. Coreil, PhD works with individuals and organizations to promote better connected, purposeful, and effective living through behavior analytic principles. She has over a decade of clinical experience treating human suffering and promoting human excellence using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and other behavioral therapies. She now focuses on the promotion and translation of Clinical Behavior Analysis as a way to improve our science.

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