What is ACT Therapy?
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) emphasises acceptance as a way to deal with negative thoughts, feelings, symptoms, or circumstances. Unlike cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), the goal of ACT is not to reduce the frequency or severity of unpleasant internal experiences like upsetting cognitive distortions, emotions, or urges. Rather, the goal is to reduce your struggle to control or eliminate these experiences while simultaneously increasing your involvement in meaningful life activities (i.e., those activities that are consistent with your personal values).
At its core Acceptance and Commitment Therapy helps you:
- Accept your thoughts and emotions
- Choose a valued direction
- Take action
ACT therapists operate under a theory that suggests that increasing acceptance can lead to increased psychological flexibility. This approach can help people stop habitually avoiding certain thoughts or emotional experiences, which can lead to further problems.
What is ACT Therapy used to treat?
Many people ask, Can Acceptance and Commitment Therapy be used to treat Anxiety, Depression or OCD?
The good news is that Acceptance and Commitment Therapy can be used to treat all of these problems as well as panic, stress, PTSD, physical health conditions, weight management and many more.
How Acceptance and Commitment Therapy works
The process of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy involves six components:
- Acceptance: This means allowing your inner thoughts and feelings to occur without trying to change them or ignore them.
- Cognitive defusion: Cognitive defusion is the process of separating yourself from your inner experiences. This allows you to see thoughts simply as thoughts, stripped of the importance that your mind adds to them.
- Self as context: This involves learning to see your thoughts about yourself as separate from your actions.
- Being present: ACT encourages you to stay mindful of your surroundings and learn to shift your attention away from internal thoughts and feelings.
- Values: These are the areas of your life that are important enough to you to motivate action.
- Commitment: This process involves changing your behavior based on principles covered in therapy.
By working through this process, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy creates more Psychological flexibility which in turn enables you to move beyond entrenched behaviours and make adjustments that improve Psychological wellbeing
To book in for your first Acceptance and Commitment Therapy consultation please contact us.