Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (or ACT) is an evidence-based treatment modality that falls under the broader umbrella of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). However, while traditional CBT focuses mostly on helping the client to identify and challenge dysfunctional thoughts and beliefs that lead to painful emotions and unhelpful behavior, the ACT model focuses on helping clients to managing these painful thoughts and feelings in a different way. To do this, you will learn powerful tools and strategies to help you get better at diminishing the power that your unhelpful thoughts have over you, so that you can get back to living your life the way that you want to.
When I’m wearing my ACT hat (note, I do not actually have an ACT hat!), I’ll invite you to consider the values that are most important to you and who you want to be in your life. Next, we’ll identify specific actions you can take to bring you closer to being that person and how to keep yourself from being pulled off course by stressors and distractions that arise along the way. I find that this approach is particularly helpful when a client is confronted with life circumstances that they simply have no control over. In such cases, their unwillingness to accept things as they are and their continual efforts to avoid uncomfortable thoughts and feelings tend to be the greatest source of difficulty standing in their way of moving forward.
ACT is about learning to give up the struggle with uncomfortable thoughts and feelings and taking away their ability to interfere with what is truly important to you in your life.