What Is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an evidence-based therapy used to treat a variety of psychological difficulties including depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.
ACT helps us change the way that we relate to our thoughts and experiences. Pain – both physical and emotional – is an inevitable part of life. Yet our most common response is to push it away, avoid it, or fight against it. While we do this to protect ourselves from further pain, this paradoxically results in suffering and gets in the way of us being able to find a solution to our problems.
ACT urges us to accept all of our experiences (even the unpleasant ones) as they are and committing to changing our typical ways of responding. This is done through various cognitive (thought) and behavioral strategies.
Watch the video below to learn more about how acceptance can help.
What Can I Expect With ACT?
You and your therapist will work collaboratively to understand your current situation, past experiences, values, and goals.
The therapist will teach you strategies that you can use to live a life that is aligned with your values and goals.
Ultimately, through ACT you will learn how to live a rich and meaningful life even when you are experiencing physical or emotional pain.
ACT can be used as a stand alone therapy or as part of a tailored approach. You and your therapist will talk about what would be most helpful for you following the assessment phase of therapy.
What Can ACT Help With?
ACT has been well researched and shown to effectively treat a variety of emotional, psychological, and physical conditions including
- Anxiety disorders including obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Chronic pain and illness
- Eating disorders
- Substance use disorders
- Workplace stress