Find Calm in the Chaos with Acceptance Commitment Therapy
What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?
Acceptance Commitment Therapy is based on mindfulness therapy which has been very popular in the last year if you’re seeking the best way to live through change and anxiety associated with the pandemic. In technical terms, ACT is an evidence-based behavioral therapy that is proven to work.
How Can ACT Help Me?
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or ACT, helps you to develop a sense of self, live in the present moment, and take action that is guided by your values. The goal of ACT is to create a meaningful life. Or as Russ Harris, an internationally acclaimed ACT trainer and bestselling author of The Happiness Trap, stated “If I had to summarize ACT on a t-shirt, it would read: ‘Embrace your demons, and follow your heart’”.
In ACT you’ll learn how to change your relationship with unwanted thoughts and feelings. You’ll develop an understanding of how to be fully present and aware in the moment while staying calm and not being overly reactive or overwhelmed by what is happening.
What is it like to be in an ACT session?
The therapist will assist you in identifying unwanted experiences that you have tried to avoid or eliminate. A therapist will work through an understanding of the effectiveness of that avoidance and the cost to the quality of your life.
You’ll learn to not fight your own experiences and instead open up to them, make room for them, and allow them to come and go without a struggle.
Experiential exercise and homework are provided to enable you to work through the six core principles of ACT:
- Diffusion (watch your thinking)
- Acceptance (opening up)
- Contact with the present moment (Being in the here and now)
- The observing self (awareness)
- Values (what matters)
- Committed action (Doing what it takes).
Throughout therapy, you’ll develop psychological flexibility which allows for a rich and meaningful life, while learning to accept the pain that comes with it.
What concerns are best treated with ACT?
ACT has been proven effective in with a diverse range of conditions including but not limited to depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, PTSD, anxiety, and chronic pain.
Written by Jacqueline Deily, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
If you, a family member, or a friend are interested in ACT, call or text (801) 872-5516.