What’s ACT all About Anyway?

Have you heard about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy? Referred to as ACT (as opposed to the acronym A.C.T), ACT is one of a newer generation of cognitive therapies.

The aim of ACT is to experience your definition of meaning and richness in your life while accepting the unwanted or uncomfortable emotions or experiences that go with it. Unlike other therapy models, the overall aim is not symptom reduction, however it is typically true that symptom reduction is a consequence of engaging in ACT.

The reason for this is that ACT helps us to step away from the struggle. The struggle to avoid unwanted feelings, sensations, thoughts, symptoms, images, memories and so on is analogous to fighting against quicksand. The harder we try to avoid unwanted experiences, the more we tend to get caught up in them and exhausted by the process.

ACT takes a positive approach with psychological wellbeing. Identifying your individual values and working to apply what is important to you as a guide to committed action – bringing you closer to the aforementioned meaningful and richness in life.

Mindfulness is a central element of ACT. Paying attention to the present moment without judgement. Mindfulness can help us to engage more fully with life and change the way we respond to uncomfortable emotions – thus reducing the extent to which we are affected by painful thoughts or uncomfortable emotions.

So who could benefit from working with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy? Russ Harris, a prominent ACT therapist and author cites research that demonstrates ACT to be proven effective with a diverse range of clinical conditions. These include depression, OCD, workplace stress, chronic pain, the stress of terminal cancer, anxiety, PTSD, anorexia, heroin abuse, marijuana abuse, and even schizophrenia. ACT is not just for treating difficulties but also useful for those who seek to improve life satisfaction and flourish. Piqued your interest? Get in touch to connect with an ACT trained psychologist at CBT Professionals.

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.

Blog written by CBT Professionals Clinical Psychologist on the Gold Coast, Claire Marshall. CBT Professionals are a team of clinical psychologists on the Gold Coast with offices in Coomera and Nerang. Gold Coast CBT psychologists offer services to adults, children, and couples. Please call and make an appointment on 56 683 490.

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