Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) focuses on accepting and embracing life’s challenges, rather than attempting to eliminate difficult feelings. It is a therapy based on the concept that pain/discomfort is a natural, essential, and inevitable condition for humans as well as a source of fulfillment when we do not flee from what scares us. Rather than struggling to get rid of unwanted thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations (like pain), ACT teaches us to be mindful and observe our own thoughts and emotions, without judgment and without getting drawn into habitual negative patterns. We have an instinct to control our experiences, but this instinct does not always serve us. In ACT, clients learn mindfulness skills and strategies to live life in a way that reflects their core values and goals.
ACT is an adaption from cognitive behavioral therapy and found to be helpful to individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, addiction, and a wide variety of mental health concerns. ACT is also helpful to individuals coping with illness, pain, stress, and major life transitions.
As your psychotherapist, I integrate and incorporate ACT approaches regularly into CBT or DBT work with clients, particularly in working with clients who have depression, anxiety and addiction concerns.