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Aspects of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

 

What is ACT:

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a behavioral intervention established to assist individuals with learning life strategies including how to be more present in the moment and focus more on your goals and values; as an alternative to focusing on painful thoughts, feelings and experiences. Individuals learn acceptance and mindfulness techniques to assist with interacting with and overcoming those painful thoughts and feelings. In doing so, individuals cultivate an increase in self-compassion, psychological flexibility and learn how to apply these methods, leading to life-enhancing patterns of behavior. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is about welcoming life and feeling everything, it has to offer; not overcoming the suffering/pain or fighting the emotions, while choosing to live life centered on what matters most. 

What to expect:

Self-talk is a major component. Whether it is difficulty in a relationship, traumatic experience(s), physical limitations, and/or other concerns, you decide if an issue requires immediate action/change or if you can accept the situation as it is, while learning to make behavioral alterations affecting the outcome of the event. Examination of what has not worked in the past may be helpful in your pursuit to end repeating thought patterns, and/or behaviors that are continuing to plague and distress you. While learning to “lean in,” and observe events with an openness, friendliness and curiosity, you can address and accept current issues, and make a commitment to yourself to end the fight with your past and emotions; grounded by your own unique values and goals, putting into practice a more confident and optimistic outlook and/or behavior.

Are you engaged in the kind of behaviors that are relevant to living a life of meaning for you? 

The ACT Question:

Given the distinction between you and the “stuff” you’re struggling with and trying to change, are you willing to have (accept) that “stuff,” fully and without defense? As that “stuff” is, and not as what your language (thoughts) say it is; and utilize Committed Action to DO what takes you in the direction of what is vital and meaningful, at this time, and in this situation? 

If “Yes,” this is Psychological Flexibility.

 

References

Hayes, S. About ACT. Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. Accessed April 19, 2021.

 

Long, D. ACT Certification. Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. Accessed April 19, 2021.

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