Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and commitment therapy, referred and abbreviated to ACT, is an action-oriented approach to psychotherapy. ACT receives its name from the core message: accept what is out of our control and commit to improving our lives through actions. ACT helps us embrace our thoughts and feelings, rather than feeling guilty, or fighting them. This therapy is commonly paired with other therapies, such as mindfulness-based therapy. It is mainly used to help us stop avoiding, denying, and struggling with our internal thoughts.

Running away from any problem only increases the distance from the solution. The easiest way to escape from the problem is to solve it.



ACT can be used to assist with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, addictions, substance abuse and OCD. Most commonly, ACT is used for patients struggling with chronic pain. ACT is used to develop psychological flexibility, combining mindfulness, with self-acceptance. This form of therapy teaches you to commit to facing the problem head on, with no avoidance. It with a discussion into what you want to achieve and how you will achieve these goals. For example, if you ‘just want to be happy’, will be reframed to wanting to ‘lead a more valued life’. A follow-up question such as ‘If you felt happier and more confident, what would you be doing more of?’. ACT presents six core principles that work together to help you develop a life changing mindset known as “psychological flexibility” through therapy.

The greater your psychological flexibility, the better you can handle painful thoughts and feelings. and the more effectively you can take action to make your life rich and meaningful!

These 6 core principals, according to Dr Russ Harris, author of “The Happiness Trap” are:

  • Diffusion – relating to your painful thoughts and feelings in a new way
  • Expansion – making room for unpleasant sensations instead of trying to push them away
  • Connection – connecting fully with what is happening in the present moment
  • The observing self – transform your relationship with difficult thoughts and feelings
  • Values – clarifying and connecting with your values
  • Committed Action – taking conscious, effective action, guided by your values

Each of these processes are to achieve the goal of creating a rich and meaningful life, developing resilience and mindfulness skills, that can be used alongside the existence of pain and suffering.



Aside from success in treating different issues, ACT can benefit our lives in many ways.

  • Focuses on enriching the lives of people

Instead of constantly fighting our symptoms and feelings, negatively affecting our life, ACT can help recognise these behaviours. ACT can help strive to improve quality of life. ACT helps prove to people they are more than their conditions or illnesses. It is possible to live a life of meaning, in line with personal values and goals, even with a mental illness or chronic pain.

  • Learn to increase your psychological flexibility

The core processes help us become flexible in the way we think and approach our lives. It helps us deal with the condition we are receiving therapy for and help us adapt to further events.

  • Acknowledges negative experiences are a part of life

We can’t change what has happened to us, but we can use ACT to help us accept any negative or traumatic past experiences, and work towards changing how we respond and act to them.



Tired of letting painful memories, thoughts, feelings or emotions control you? You can create a fulfilling and exciting life in spite of them and CBT Professionals’ is here to help you! Our dedicated psychologists are highly trained and passionate about helping you through Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

With three convenient practice locations to choose from, contact us now via telephone or online referral form here to book an appointment and take that first step to living your best life!

Coomera – (07) 5551 0251

Nerang – (07) 5668 3490

Mount Gravatt – (07) 3102 1366

If you require urgent help with issues affecting your everyday life, please reach out to organisations like Beyond Blue. If you are in crisis and require urgent support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or please contact 000 or visit your local emergency department.

Disclaimer: Content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only and is not intended to replace advise from your doctor or registered health professional. Readers are urged to consult their registered practitioner for diagnosis and treatment for their medical concerns. CBT Professionals is not an emergency service – please call 000 in an emergency.


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