What is ACT therapy? ACT Therapy stands for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. It is based on mindfulness, embracing their thoughts and feelings instead of judging them, feeling guilty about them. It is a type of therapy that places emphasis on overcoming one’s impulsive, negative and harmful feelings and thoughts. The argument is that if one can have a system/framework for handling those negative emotions, ultimately one can achieve greater well-being, improving their quality of life.
What is ACT Therapy?
So what is acceptance and commitment therapy? Otherwise known as ACT therapy, it requires a lot of self-reflection. A lot of leaning into the feelings and coming to understand the physical sensations and strong emotions associated with whatever life throws at you.
As the name suggests, an acceptance and commitment therapy program revolves around two phases: acceptance and commitment. Below we’ll go over what each of the phases entails and how it can help you or a loved one.
So what is ACT therapy? As mentioned above it deals with acceptance and commitment. In this section, we’ll go over the acceptance phase. When it comes to the acceptance portion of ACT therapy, the main, overarching theme has to do with understanding and accepting how one reacts to specific situations and emotions that come up.
The paralysis and frustration that comes from not being in control, whether it’s a specific situation, emotion, or even a personality trait or a habit, can be extremely overwhelming. The constant obsession and worry associated with these can make someone feel stuck and trapped.
ACT therapy’s solution to this problem is to take a step back, pause and bring yourself out of those emotions and feelings. Some strategies used when learning acceptance include the following:
- Observing your thoughts and feelings as they happen, while avoiding the impulse to act upon them
- Accepting that you have weaknesses, giving yourself permission to fail
- Understand that difficulties are a part of life and one should accept them rather than avoiding or escaping them
- Learn that you are in control of how you think, react and feel about anything.
Other skills one can learn through ACT therapy is learning how to defuse your emotionally heightened reactions. A lot of this is learning to pause before acting on impulse and asking yourself what you’re feeling, what your physical sensations are, and how you’re talking to yourself. Whenever an impulsive negative emotion or abusive self-talk comes up, one will learn how to pause, and just observe how one feels.
This can help emotions become more manageable for someone, and can be extremely empowering.
The commitment portion of ACT therapy entails discovering, exploring and clarifying your core values. You and a mental health professional will go through and discover these with you. You’ll ask yourself questions like what are your guiding principles, what do you care about? These guiding principles act as the onboard navigation system and compass for your behavior and life.
Committing to your own values gives you a sense of direction and clarity and empowers someone to have control over their lives.
Interested in Trying ACT Therapy?
Here at Sagebrush treatment center, we have an acceptance and commitment therapy program that is part of our larger holistic approach. If you’re interested in learning more about ACT therapy, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 866.488.1156.