Although drugs seem to be the root cause of drug abuse, addiction doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Co-occurring mental disorders are not a component of an individual’s addiction. However, it can nonetheless be characterized by patterns of unproductive thoughts that can be both preoccupying and distressing. Intervening in these thoughts in a positive way is the aim of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) through experiential therapy in Northern VA.
What Is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)?
The big idea behind an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Program in Mclean VA is that people are better served by accepting that certain feelings are acceptable based on the situation rather than trying to avoid and deny them. Acceptance of how one feels and moving on from that turbulent emotional state can break the patterns that may contribute to addiction.
The goal isn’t to change the thoughts or feelings, but rather to engage with painful emotions or experiences in order to break the hold that they have over an individual. In short, it empowers people to control their emotional state rather than letting it control them.
Can ACT Help Me?
If you or someone you love is using drugs or alcohol to cope, there may be a role ACT can play. Sagebrush’s program for experiential therapy in northern VA has found that the resulting psychological flexibility that ACT can help an individual maintain can dramatically shift their focus away from past events or worries about the future and help them hone in on what they have to do in order to work on their recovery.
Everyone has certain unwanted feelings and even thoughts. That doesn’t mean that one has to buy in and empower them when they are standing in the way of improving your life or recovering from addiction.
ACT vs CBT
There are some similarities between the intended outcomes of acceptance and commitment therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), but the approaches differ. CBT uses coping skills to deal with and process thoughts and feelings that are harmful. It seeks to minimize or eliminate the thoughts and feelings in a methodical way.
The use of acceptance and commitment therapy is more concerned with changing the conceptual relationship dynamic between the person and their feelings. This can be especially helpful in addressing irrational thoughts and drives that are often a part of addiction.
This is not to say that there are not many situations in the course of drug rehabilitation when CBT is very useful. ACT may be best used later in the program when a client has achieved a level of wellness that they are naturally afraid to lose by relapsing.
If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, help is just a phone call away. Sagebrush’s acceptance and commitment therapy program has a place for you to heal and recover. Please give us a call at 866.488.1156 and take that all-important first step toward sobriety.