Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a type of psychotherapy that helps you accept the difficulties that come with life. ACT is used to develop psychological flexibility and is a form of behavioural therapy that combines mindfulness training with the practice of acceptance.
During ACT we identify your values. We focus on what it is in life that is really important to you, what gives your life meaning and purpose. Having identified your values, we know the direction you want to progress towards helping to set goals for therapy.
ACT focuses on 3 areas:
Accept your reactions and be present Choose a valued direction Take action
Mindfulness is a way of observing our experience, in the present moment, without judgement. Mindfulness helps us ‘defuse’ – to distance ourselves from unhelpful thoughts, reactions and sensations. Mindfulness is a useful skill because it helps you to recognise when your attention becomes focused on unhelpful thoughts, for example worrying about something that might happen in the future or criticising yourself. By practicing mindfulness, you can learn to recognise when this happens and choose when to pay attention to your thoughts and when its more helpful to let them go. This can be very helpful for stress, anxiety, worry, confidence and emotional regulation.
‘Mindfulness is not a state of thoughtlessness, it is the non-judgmental awareness of all that arises in consciousness.’