What is Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)?
The core of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), is about accepting what is out of your personal control, like thoughts, feelings and emotions, and committing to values guided action that improves and enriches your life.
ACT is a unique and creative approach to changing behaviour, which is a paradigm shift to most Western psychotherapy techniques. ACT has been around since the eighties. It is a mindfulness-based, values-oriented behavioural therapy, that is not religious in any way. It is a modern, scientific approach, firmly based on cutting-edge research into human behavioural psychology.
The aim of ACT is to empower you with the abilities to lead a rich, full and meaningful life. ACT (pronounced as the word ‘act’) achieves this by:
- teaching you mindfulness skills to deal with your painful and unpleasant thoughts, feelings, memories, emotions, urges, and cravings, effectively – in such a way that they have much less impact and influence over who you are and the actions you take.
- helping you to clarify what is most important and meaningful to you – i.e your core values – then use that knowledge to guide, inspire and motivate you to make positive life changes and take well-being- and happiness-enhancing steps.
In a nutshell, ACT is about developing ‘psychological’ flexibility – the ability to be in the present moment, with awareness, openness, curiosity and non-judgement, and to take action, guided by your values and using your strengths. In other words, it’s the ability to be present, open up, and do what matters. The greater your ability to be present, open up and do what matters, the greater your quality of life will be, as well as your sense of vitality, well-being and fulfillment.
The Top 20 Benefits of ACT
- Supports with depression and anxiety symptoms
- Learning that everything changes; that thoughts and feelings come and go like the weather
- To directly experience the world, rather than living through your thoughts
- To become more connected to yourself, to others and to the world around you
- To safely experience unpleasant thoughts and feelings
- To find out what you’re avoiding
- Helps you be the kind of person you want to be
- Improves your level of confidence
- Reduces emotional overwhelm and helps you manage your emotions
- Improved your crisis-management ability and resilience
- Breaks patterns of self-sabotage and unwanted behavior
- Gets you unstuck and intentionally moving in a positive direction
- Increases your levels of wellbeing, happiness and fulfillment
- Helps you be present to all the aspects of your life
- To develop self-acceptance and self-compassion
- To have more balance, less emotional volatility
- Improves the quality of your relationships
- Clarifying what is most important to you and aligning your actions with that
- Improved self-awareness and more conscious decision-making
- Teaches skills to deal with painful, difficult, unpleasant emotions, thoughts, feeling, craving, urges and impulses, in simple, practical, safe and constructive ways
To download a simple, non-technical article by Dr. Russ Harris, my teacher, which gives a basic overview of ACT, click here
To download a simple, non-technical article on Mindfulness Without Meditation, by Dr Russ Harris, click here
ACT Has Changed My Life Too!
I was very fortunate to have discovered ACT during a particularly challenging time in my life, having just navigated a move abroad, leaving my family friends and country behind… Since then, I personally use ACT in my daily life and because of the immense positive impact it has had on my ability to be present, open, curious, non-judgmental and do what matters in all the areas of my life, I have completed training to become an ACT Practitioner and since proudly introduced it into my coaching practice, to rave reviews from my clients.
If you would like to have a conversation about how ACT might support you to create a richer, fuller, more meaningful life, you can an Initial Coaching Call with me.
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