Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy – the name itself sounds lets us know that this form of therapy is not for the faint of heart. Turning to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy will require you, as a patient, to look within yourself and around yourself in ways that are challenging but also exponentially rewarding.
ACT developed as a consequence of psychologists and researches wanting to create a type of therapy that would essentially act as a long-term recovery for those suffering from mental health issues. Although there still is no long term ‘cures’ for mental health problems, ACT acts as a way of teaching patients how to live a full, happy life through having an understanding of pain as a natural and inevitable experience.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy aims to help patients live a life that is consistent with their moral values. People who suffer from mental illness often find themselves living a life that does not align with their personal values. ACT aims to guide patients to understand their values and to live accordingly through Mindfulness and Value Clarification.
Practicing mindfulness is a key factor of ACT. Teaching mindfulness as a lifestyle and as a habit allows patients to connect with their thoughts in a way that is cognitive as opposed to emotional. For example, if somebody thinks “I am worthless”, practiced mindfulness will allow a person to identify that thought for what it is – a thought. They will then be able to alter that statement to “I am having a though that I am a terrible person”. This change in thinking can have a massive impact on how people view themselves, others and how the choose to react to certain situations.
Often people who have suffered painful experiences, whether they are brought about by mental illness or not, find it difficult to navigate through what their core values truly are. Without having an understanding of what we believe in, we have little hope of having a solid direction for our lives. An ACT therapist will guide patients through a series of exercises to try and find their root values, and will assist patients in living in harmony with their values, something that can be extremely beneficial.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is not a form of therapy that aims to alter behavior and push aside past experiences, but is instead is a therapy that embraces what has happened and creates a healthier attitude towards experiences. For a professional ACT therapist in your area, please visit our homepage.
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