What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)?
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is about getting out of your mind and into your life. ACT is a behavioural therapy; it’s about taking action: values-guided action. ACT can help you to figure out what you want your life to stand for and to explore what really matters to you. In ACT, you use your core values to guide, motivate and inspire behavioural change. It is also about “mindful” action – with full awareness, being open to your experience and fully engaged in whatever you’re doing. The ultimate aim of ACT is to create a rich, full, and meaningful life while accepting the pain that inevitably goes with it.
What is actually involved in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?
ACT involves a combination of talk therapy, guided meditations and exercises, activities and homework tasks. In ACT, your psychologist will teach you Mindfulness skills to help you handle painful thoughts and feelings effectively, and in such a way that they have less impact and influence on you. Your psychologist will also work with you to clarify what is truly important and meaningful to you – that is, your values – and use that information to guide, inspire and motivate you to set goals and take action steps toward creating an enriching and meaningful life.
What are the six core therapeutic processes of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?
- Contacting the Present Moment (Be Here Now): Being psychologically present and consciously connecting with whatever is happening in this moment
- Defusion (Watch Your Thinking): Learning to step back from thoughts, images and memories.
- Acceptance (Open Up): Making room for painful feelings, sensations, urges and emotions and dropping the struggle with them.
- Self-as-Context (Pure Awareness): Recognising the two distinct elements of the mind, the “thinking self” and the “observing self”.
- Values (Know What Matters): Clarifying desired qualities of ongoing action.
- Committed Action (Do What It Takes): Taking effective action, guided by your values.
If you are interested in learning more about ACT, please contact Kerry to discuss your individual support needs and arrange a consultation.