Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or ACT is an action-oriented approach to psychotherapy. Clients learn to stop avoiding, denying, and struggling with their inner emotions and, instead, accept that these deeper feelings are appropriate responses to certain situations that should not prevent them from moving forward in their lives. With this understanding, clients begin to accept their hardships and commit to making necessary changes in their behavior, regardless of what is going on in their lives and how they feel about it. ACT can help treat many mental and physical conditions. These include:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Psychosis
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance use disorders
  • Workplace stress
  • Chronic pain

The theory behind ACT is that it is counterproductive to try to control painful emotions or psychological experiences; suppression of these feelings ultimately leads to more distress. ACT adopts the view that there are valid alternatives to trying to change the way you think, and these include mindful behavior, attention to personal values, and commitment to action. Some ACT techniques include:

  • Anchor Breathing
  • Struggle Switch
  • Mindfulness
  • Determining Values
  • Exposure

By taking steps to change their behavior while, at the same time, learning to accept their psychological experiences, clients can eventually change their attitudes and emotional states. If you or someone you know would benefit from acceptance and commitment therapy, please contact me today. I would be happy to speak with you about how I may be able to help.