Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) uses behavioral intervention to help people learn strategies to live life more in the present, more focused on important values and goals, and less focused on painful thoughts,feelings and experiences.
ACT teaches people how to engage with and overcome painful thoughts and feelings through acceptance and mindfulness techniques, to develop self compassion and flexibility, and to build life-enhancing patterns of behavior.
ACT is not about overcoming pain or fighting emotions; it’s about embracing life and feeling everything it has to offer. It offers a way out of suffering by choosing to live a life based on what matters most. ACT was developed within a scientific tradition, and there continues to be a thriving research community that examines the basic science underlying ACT and the effectiveness of applying ACT techniques to numerous life problems such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, substance abuse, chronic pain, psychosis, eating problems and weight management just to name a few.
“Copyright Steven C. Hayes. Used by permission.”
ACT is a type of mindfulness-based behavior therapy that helps you become willing and able to let thoughts and feelings come and go while pursuing what matters most to you. This can open to you a rich, full and meaningful life; a life of feeling well because of living well.
There are six processes that are believed to be at the core of human suffering: getting fused with our thoughts, engaging in avoidant behaviors, lack of present moment awareness, lack of sense of self, not focusing on our values and not taking committed action.
These are the areas ACT focuses on and helps people change. Ultimately the goal is psychological flexibility.