Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy? 

 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT, said as one word rather than A-C-T) is contextual CBT that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behaviour change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility. 

Psychological flexibility means contacting the present moment fully as a conscious human being, and based on what the situation affords, changing or persisting in behaviour in the service of chosen values. 

Based on Relational Frame Theory, ACT illuminates the ways that language entangles clients into futile attempts to wage war against their own inner lives. Through metaphor, paradox, and experiential exercises clients we teach how to make healthy contact with thoughts, feelings, memories, and physical sensations that have been feared and avoided. 

Clients gain the skills to recontextualise and accept these private events, develop greater clarity about personal values, and commit to needed behaviour change.