Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or ACT, is empirically based interventions that use Acceptance practices along with mindfulness to help create committed action that increase psychological flexibility. Psychological Flexibility is the ability to be present with whatever life is at that moment and choosing to shift or stay based on your own chosen values.
ACT uses the Hexaflex to help people create psychological flexibility in their lives. The Hexaflex has 6 parts and people can flow in-between the 6 parts or be in multiple areas at once.
Contact with the Present Moment: This concept is based on mindfulness which is non-judgmental present moment awareness. Mindfulness based activities are used to help promote psychological flexibility.
Acceptance: This is a active stance towards the present moment and whatever is going on, does not mean you have to like it but you will be open and willing to engage with it. Being open and willing to experience what shows up helps create psychological flexibility.
Defusion: This is about understanding language and how we can get stuck in our thoughts which help reinforce our struggle. Defusion is about dropping the struggle with language and just being aware of it. Being present with emotions and thoughts and not being stuck in them helps increase psychological flexibility.
Self As Context: This is about understanding that we are a collection of experiences. We all have a story that we carry around about ourselves and when we are to invested in that story we tend to miss other parts of ourselves that we can grow. Being able to understand that we do not have to hold that story too tight allows us to have more psychological flexibility.
Committed Action: This is making the steps and the actually process of turning towards your chosen values-oriented life in the here and now. By turning towards and moving psychological flexibility is created.
Values: This is about you and your chosen values. Values are your compass and your direction. Values are freely chosen. They are not based on shoulds or goals. Values are ongoing and infinite. Values are apparent in how we actively and intentionally life our lives. Using our values as a guide helps us reach psychological flexibility.
ACT has been studied over and over again with people who struggle with Depression, OCD, workplace stress, chronic pain, sex the stress of terminal cancer, anxiety, PTSD, eating disorders, personality disorders, substance abuse, and schizophrenia.
Please reach out if you have questions or would like to set up an appointment with an ACT therapist.