Acceptance & Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a form of psychotherapy that helps individuals accept and embrace their thoughts and feelings, while also taking action to create meaningful and positive change in their lives. The therapy approach is based on the idea that emotional and psychological suffering is often caused by the struggle to control or avoid unwanted experiences, such as painful thoughts or emotions, rather than accepting them as a natural part of life.
6 Core Processes of ACT
ACT focuses on six core processes that help individuals learn to accept their experiences and commit to behaviors that are consistent with their values and goals. These processes include:
Acceptance: Acknowledging and accepting one's thoughts and feelings without trying to change them or make them go away.
Cognitive defusion: Learning to step back and observe one's thoughts as mental events rather than as objective facts. This allows individuals to reduce the influence of negative or unhelpful thoughts on their behavior.
Present moment awareness: Cultivating mindfulness and focusing on the present moment rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
Self-as-context: Recognizing oneself as a continuous and evolving self, rather than being defined by one's thoughts or emotions.
Values: Clarifying one's personal values and using them as a guide for making decisions and taking action.
Committed action: Setting goals and taking steps toward achieving them, even in the face of difficult thoughts and feelings.
ACT is a relatively new approach to psychotherapy, but research has shown it to be effective for a range of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and chronic pain. The therapy can be delivered in a variety of formats, including individual therapy, group therapy, and self-help resources.
Overall, ACT helps individuals build psychological flexibility and resilience, which allows them to respond more effectively to life's challenges and create a more fulfilling and meaningful life.