Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an evidenced-based therapeutic practice that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behavior change strategies, to increase one’s ability to fully contact the present moment and choose behavior that is in service of one’s chosen values.

 

ACT helps identify the ways in which language and “stories” about our experience tend to prolong our suffering and struggle unnecessarily. This is accomplished in a variety of ways including metaphor, paradox, and experiential exercises that help teach clients how to have healthy contact with thoughts, feelings and physical sensations. In this way they are able to find acceptance for their internal and external experience, develop clarity about their personal values, and commit to behavior change that is in service of these values.

 

What is acceptance?

Acceptance is about making room for the things we cannot control. It is a kind of mindful action — an intentional stance — that involves disarming the struggle you’re having with painful thoughts, feelings, memories, worries, etc. Acceptance should not be confused with approval or resignation; real acceptance empowers us to change what we can change and let go of what we can’t.

 

What is commitment?

Happiness is not built on momentary pleasure; it’s built on a larger sense of meaning and purpose. It’s fostered by actions that are in the service of the things that give our lives meaning, the things that we care about most deeply. Commitment begins with getting clarity on what truly matters to you and what you want your life to be about. The practice of commitment involves learning strategies that help you move you in the direction of your chosen values. When we move toward our values, we increase the richness, vitality, and meaning in our lives.

If you are interested in learning more about this approach, contact me today and I can help you assess if this is a good fit for your treatment needs.