Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

What is ACT?

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a behavioural treatment that aims to help individuals accept discomfort and commit toward value-driven action. It is based on the idea that suffering comes from our attempts to avoid emotional pain, not the experience of pain itself. Therefore, it focuses on helping individuals be open and willing to experience distress (because it’s impossible to avoid all distress), while focusing on living a meaningful life. ACT has been shown to be effective for difficulties such as anxiety, depression and work related issues.

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The goals of ACT

Remain in contact with the present moment, consciously connecting to what is happening now
Defusion from negative thoughts, worries and memories. Stepping back from our thinking, rather than being caught in our thinking
Allow for negative feelings, rather than struggling with or avoiding them
Increase awareness of your thoughts, feelings, urges, judgments or beliefs
Clarify what you want your life to be about and what you want to stand for
Take action that is guided by your values, even if it is difficult or uncomfortable

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