Acceptance Commitment Therapy: An Overview

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that helps you accept your thoughts and feelings, and then choose to act according to what is most important to you.  ACT can help you live a rich, meaningful, fulfilling life. This blog is a quick overview of ACT.

What are the benefits of Acceptance Commitment Therapy?

The primary benefit of ACT is helping you to live a meaningful life.  One of the biggest problems for people is that they live their life as if it has little meaning. Some people might believe that their only purpose is to make money. Others believe their sole purpose is to have children and raise them. Some people believe that the only purpose of life is to have fun. It helps you to develop a fuller life with meaning.

Acceptance Commitment Therapy also draws on the idea that all people have a certain amount of mental pain that they need to accept. The therapy helps people to accept the pain, but also to commit to living a worthwhile life.

This approach is beneficial for people with a variety of mental health challenges, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and addiction.

What is the focus of ACT?

According to the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, “ACT is a psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behaviour-change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility.”

Acceptance Commitment Therapy focuses on the idea of accepting your thoughts and feelings and committing to your values. The goal is to help people stop avoiding the things that they fear and instead focus on the things they want to do. ACT targets certain types of unhealthy behaviours that can allow a therapist to help a person finally move in the direction of their goals. A few of these behaviours are avoidance, cognitive fusion and experiential avoidance.

There are six core principles in ACT:Acceptance Commitment Therapy

  • Defusion.
  • Acceptance.
  • Contact with the present moment.
  • The Observing Self.
  • Values.
  • Committed action.

How can ACT help?

Acceptance Commitment Therapy helps people to change their behaviours and thoughts to be more in line with what they want and to take the action to achieve that. This therapy can be used to help people get rid of their addiction to unhealthy behaviours and thoughts. The modality helps people to be more accepting of themselves and their feelings, no matter what they are. It helps people to feel better about themselves and their behaviours and to accept that they are not perfect and never will be, thus giving people the freedom to make changes to be more content, healthy and happy.

Summary of Acceptance Commitment Therapy

In summary, ACT is a form of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) that was developed in the 1990s by Drs. Steven Hayes, Kelly Wilson, and Spencer Smith. This form of therapy is based on the idea that we can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we react to our experiences. It’s a method that’s used to help people achieve their goals (e.g., recovery from substance abuse), and research has shown that it’s an effective therapy for many types of psychological problems, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). More and more addiction treatment centres are using ACT to treat all types of substance use disorders.

Acceptance Commitment Therapy can be a very effective treatment for many of the problems people struggle with, including anxiety, depression, and addiction. If you are interested in learning more about how Acceptance Commitment Therapy can help you, please feel free to contact our office at 08 87251843. Thank you for reading!