Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
A = Accept your thoughts and feelings, and be present.
C = Choose a valued direction.
T = Take action.
ACT is a unique empirically based intervention that aims to increase psychological flexibility through use of acceptance and mindfulness techniques, together with commitment and behavior change strategies.
ACT is based on these six core principles:
1. Acceptance: You will practice creating space for difficult thoughts, feelings, sensations, and memories to exist. Acceptance is a way to release the struggle, which allows you to be more at ease with the way things are. By learning to surrender to what is out of your control, you actually win.
2. Cognitive Defusion: You will practice letting thoughts, feelings, and sensations come and go. Rather than constantly wresting with your mind, you learn to take a step back and calmly observe your experience. This way, you can respond effectively rather than getting tangled up in the stories created in your head.
3. Being Present: You will practice consciously connecting to whatever your experience is in the moment, without judging or trying to change anything. By being in the “here and now”, you give yourself permission to just simply live and be. You let go of the past and resist the urge to anticipate the future.
4. Self as Context: You will practice objectively observing, bearing witness to your own inner world. Getting in touch with your observing self allows you to become more conscious and aware without being drained by mind traps like over-thinking and over-analyzing.
5. Values: You will practice becoming familiar with what truly matters. Your values are what you care about, what is important to you, and what you stand for. What do you want to do with your time on this planet? What ultimately matters to you in the big picture? What would you like to be remembered for by the people you love?
6. Committed Action: You will practice taking action steps guided by your values—doing what matters—even if it’s difficult or uncomfortable.
These six core principles give you knowledge and tools to improve your life. The greater your ability to be present, open up, and do what matters, the greater your sense of vitality, wellbeing, and fulfillment will be—and who doesn’t want that!?
ACT is part of the third wave of cognitive therapies. It is best explained through experiential exercises and metaphors and thus it helps to be open and willing to try even if some things seem silly or don’t make sense at first.
Want a little more pep in your step? Joy in your life? If not now, then when? Call or message me today!