Acceptance and Commitment Therapy – ACT – (pronounced like the action to act rather than saying each letter A-C-T) is a behavioral therapy that asks you to examine what is most important to you. You then use these values to guide and motivate you into committed action.
A core message of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is to accept what is out of your personal control and commit to taking action that enriches your life. The ultimate goal of this treatment is to help us create a meaningful life, while accepting the pain that life inevitably brings.
ACT commonly employs six core principles to help clients develop psychological flexibility:
- Cognitive defusion: Learning methods to reduce the tendency to meld(believe and fuse) with our thoughts, images, emotions, and memories.
- Acceptance: Allowing thoughts to come and go without struggling with them.
- Contact with the present moment: Awareness of the here and now, experienced with openness, interest, and receptiveness.
- Observing the self: Accessing a transcendent sense of self, a continuity of consciousness which is unchanging.
- Values: Discovering what is most important to one’s true self.
- Committed action: Setting goals according to values and carrying them out responsibly.