Avoiding the fatal Second Arrow: Acceptance

1 module


Dr William Davies



In this module from the APT, we'll be talking about how to neutralise the extremely destructive 'second arrow,' through a principle of mindfulness: acceptance. The 'second arrow' refers to the spiral that so often occurs when for instance a person becomes depressed and then becomes frustrated that they are depressed, which makes them more distressed, which makes them more depressed and frustrated, and so on downwards. An exactly parallel effect occurs with anxiety, irritability, psychotic conditions and more.

This module is part of the exciting Higher Order Therapy series of one hour modules. Each consists of an audio lasting 15-30 minutes, plus an exercise and resources for you to you use and practice with afterwards. The series is so named because it features all the 'higher order' factors that make therapy successful. If you examine the leading therapies they overlap to a fascinating degree, so by studying all the overlapping elements and then 'picking off' the elements that are unique to each particular therapy you achieve an extraordinary power and breadth in your ability to help others. And this is what the Higher Order Therapy series enables you to do. 

If you are an experienced therapist looking at the Higher Order Therapy modules you will quickly be able to see the ones you are proficient at and the ones you maybe need to brush up on, and that's exactly what you can do here. 

Every module in the Higher Order Therapy series is designed to be accessible, relevant and engaging, so encouraging both novice and expert therapists alike to develop exactly those elements they want to.

Finally, don't be misled by the price; you may feel that the low price suggests these are not serious modules whereas in fact they very much are. The APT's purpose is to make the best, most relevant and engaging training accessible to as many mental health professionals as possible.


To understand what the second arrow is, and how destructive it can be.

To understand how to neutralise the second arrow effect.

To be able to achieve the above in clinical practice.


By completing/passing this course, you will attain the certificate 1 hour CPD

Learning Credits

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Added 8 months ago, by Anonymous
Excellent. The speaker was easy to listen too, I very much enjoyed his analogies of thinking, I learnt a lot about "standing still and accepting the moment" . Will recommend this course to my Colleagues.
Added 10 months ago, by Anonymous
some really useful ideas and strategies
Added about 1 year ago, by Anonymous
great, thank you
Added about 1 year ago, by Vynne
This was a good module. I expected more but there is so much that one can say about this without become repetitive. Thank you for offering it.
Added about 1 year ago, by Anonymous
Very useful
Added about 1 year ago, by Anonymous
Good course
Added over 1 year ago, by Anonymous
Great introduction
Added over 1 year ago, by Analisa
Added about 2 years ago, by Anonymous
great! The reference to the Buddhist story of the Second Arrow is not so clear. Unless the reader / listener knows the story, the metaphor of the 2nd arrow might be difficult to understand
Added over 2 years ago, by Anonymous
Nice introduction to the concept of Acceptance. I would have liked the audio to have lasted longer. The 1 hour course is actually 15 minutes, with the 45 minutes left to the learner to practice mindfulness exercises from a written document which is described in the audio. I would have appreciated being informed about this before purchasing.

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