Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) involves a variety of experiential exercises to alter and diminish the significance and power of damaging cognitive and behavioural patterns and so helping individuals change their relationship with negative thoughts and feelings.
ACT addresses the attempt to avoid or get rid of unwanted unpleasant thoughts and feelings as a method for building long-term solutions for negative cognitive and behavioural patterns. ACT is usually applied in individual client- sessions or in groups and visualisation exercises, metaphors and behavioural work can be used.
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) teaches mindfulness skills to help individuals live and behave in ways consistent with personal values while developing psychological flexibility. It assists individuals recognise how their attempts to suppress, manage, and control emotional experiences may cause challenges and how to handle these challenges to become better at following values-based actions to support valued life direction.
How ACT works
The processes involved in ACT interlink and connect and take place through direct experiences which are identified and carried out during the course of therapy treatment. Psychological flexibility which is one of the main processes of ACT refers to a person’s ability to be present, be open and what matters to them. This can be the hardest process to handle as often thoughts, perceptions and patterns of behaviour have become involuntary such as addictions.
Act works to assist individuals with building and developing core processes for life which include;
Building psychological flexibility which is the main process typically achieved through ACT through several core processes.
Building creative hopelessness involves exploring past attempts at solving or getting away from those difficulties bringing an individual to therapy. Through recognition of the workability or lack of workability of these attempts, ACT creates opportunity for individuals to act in a manner more consistent with what is most important to them.
Coming to terms with our emotional experience, which is the process of learning to identify and handle the range of human emotions with an open and accepting view.
Identifying and following valued life directions, which involves the process of defining what is most important in life and detailing they way in which our lives would be lived most happily.
Taking action looks at the individual making changes and developing behaviour which takes in a valued direction.