How to have the Most Out of Your Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)?
Updated: Mar 28
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) enables individuals to use mindfulness skills to help them live in peace and harmony, keeping personal values high and encouraging psychological flexibility.
Therapists that practice ACT, utilize those models in helping clients recognize solutions to manage, control and de-escalate emotional experiences that may create challenges. Once these challenges are recognized and addressed, the person now has more freedom to choose how they might react to certain situations that still allow them to live by their values and morals as a person while maintaining emotional and psychological safety.
The History of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)?
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a relatively new theory developed with a motive to increase long-term success while treating mental health concerns. Coming from the realms of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) focuses on cognition awareness and learning to accept what we have control of and what we do not have control of.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) was developed in the late 90's to teach people that they can live a joyful and healthy life by changing the thought process towards psychological pain, today it has been widely used to treat various issues including chronic pain, psychosis, depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.
The theory of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT):
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) does not consider emotional experiences as a problem. Instead, it works to help people see and understand that life is beautiful and aims to help people realize the spirit of life. It teaches that the fullness of life includes excellent human experience and pain is inevitable to human life. Finding ways to accept hard truths and pain can be hard, but being able to do so allows one to see the positives in life even clearer.
In essence Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) encourages people to embrace their thoughts and feelings rather than fighting or feeling guilty for them.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy supports that one must accept things as they come their way without focusing on changing them. The therapy never focuses on changing unwanted thoughts, but rather it always encourages the clients to empathize with these real-life experiences.
“Running away from any problem only increases the distance from the solution. The easiest way to escape from the problem is to solve it.”
The uniqueness of the therapy:
The theory of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is unique as it develops mental, emotional, and psychological flexibility and is a form of behavioral therapy that combines mindfulness skills with the practice of self-acceptance and finding inner peace. When aiming to be more accepting of your thoughts and feelings, commitment plays a key role.
The Processes of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT):
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) aims to create psychological flexibility. ACT involves helping one analyze past attempts of problem-solving and recognize the workability of these past attempts. This analysis helps further create a consistent problem-solving approach, learning to view the past and learn from what it is, rather than getting stuck on how it should have gone instead. ACT can help us learn to accept emotional experiences with an open perspective.
In the process of therapy, your therapist will utilize the ACT process and tools to help you develop psychological flexibility so that your ability to handle unforeseen events and stressors before more manageable is enhanced and you are able to build more confidence with the choice you do have ahead of you in life.
Using the therapy to the fullest:
·Mindfulness is a process of finding ways to connect to the present moment in order to connect to one’s true self. ACT can help generate deeper awareness of our emotions and thoughts. Instead of trying to stop the thought patterns of stress, anxiety, and worry, ACT aims to help you find a way through those feelings and reach a more compassionate, more accepting, and more peaceful side.
How does Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) help?
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has shown effective results in several psychological and physical conditions. ACT has proven to be very effective for people struggling with issues like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and psychosis. Anyone who finds themselves dealing with stress, anxiety, overwhelming, negative thoughts can also benefit from this form of therapy. ACT can also be a helpful support in learning to manage the emotional impacts that medical conditions like chronic pain, substance abuse, and diabetes create.
Conclusion about the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT):
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is less of a therapeutic model than it is an opportunity to shift one's mindset, life values, and philosophies. It allows one the space to explore what the learning of life and happiness means for oneself to feel empowered in their choices of how they would like to unpack and understand issues like depression and anxiety. ACT does not involve any sort of medication and teaches the clients how to process the negative thoughts and change the way they see their emotions. If you are finding yourself struggling with your thoughts and stuck in a negative self-talk loop or cycle, you might find Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to be a very effective tool for you. Many of our therapists are trained in ACT, don’t hesitate to reach out for a free 15-minute consultation today to see if we can help!
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