Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Acceptance and commitment therapy is a third wave cognitive-behavioural therapy that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies together with commitment and behaviour strategies to increase psychological flexibility.
ACT is particularly effective in helping people live in the present moment in a conscious way and being able to make choices and decisions on what the situation affords, changing or persisting in behaviour in the service of their values.
The core message of ACT is to accept what is out of your personal control while committing to action that will improve the quality of your life. The aim of ACT is to help people live a meaningful life while handling the pain and stress that is an inevitable part of life. ACT teaches you psychological skills to deal with painful thoughts and feelings effectively and helps you understand what is truly important and meaningful to you. Mindfulness skills are central to ACT and are taught in order to facilitate the development of an ‘observing self’ that can help you notice both your physical experiences and your thinking processes.
ACT is a unique approach to behaviour change which differs from the traditions of most common western psychotherapies. It has a growing evidence base and is highly effective in the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, substance misuse, chronic pain and anorexia. ACT can also be used as a model for life coaching and executive coaching.
What can I expect if I receive ACT?
- You and your therapist will look into the main areas of your life such as relationships, career and education, leisure, family, spirituality and develop a shared understanding of your values and goals.
- You will develop skills and strategies that help you work towards achieving your goals and living your life in a way that is consistent with your values.
- You will be asked to do homework tasks between sessions.
- You will work towards taking effective action in order to create a rich and meaningful life.
- Your therapist will be a coach that is trying to help you stay focused on developing resilience so that you can live the life that you want rather than be constrained by the impact of negative thoughts and feelings.