ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)
One of the recent developments in Psychotherapy is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy(ACT), generally considered to be in the family of cognitive-behavior therapies. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a research based psychological intervention which has been around for 25 years, and has over 100 basic and applied studies. ACT makes use of Acceptance and Mindfulness strategies, together with Commitment and Behavior Change strategies, to increase the flexibility of psychological functioning. Psychological flexibility is defined as the ability to make full contact with the present moment in a conscious way, changing or maintaining actions in the service of individually chosen values.
One of the basic assumptions of ACT is that human suffering is a normal part of the human experience, and that prolonged suffering often stems from people’s efforts at control of and avoidance of painful experiences. ACT works to assist people to relinquish their struggle with painful experiences by using a number of strategies, Mindfulness being one of the key ones, and move in the direction of what is most important to them, and in so doing, increasing the aliveness and fullness of their lives. In sum, the goal of ACT is not to eliminate areas of one’s experience, but rather to learn to experience one’s life in its fullness with less struggle and greater vibrancy and commitment to what one values.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy has been successfully used in the treatment of:
- Substance Abuse
- Chronic Pain
- Eating Disorders