what is acceptance & commitment therapy?
Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a simple approach to some complicated problems.
With ACT, your therapy is tailored to meet your personal value system.
Whether it’s an attachment style, behavior pattern, spiritual beliefs, or a traumatic background, ACT aligns with what’s important to you.
The short explaination for the approach (and it’s name) is that you learn to accept your thoughts as thoughts, and commit to an action step in the right direction.
Most therapists use at least some components of ACT no matter which therapy approach they are utilizing.
At The Joy Effect, we weave it throughout our work to compliment the other specific approaches we are using.
is acceptance & commitment therapy right for me?
We all operate daily using a core set of values and beliefs.
However, we don’t always notice when our decisions are veering away from those values.
That’s when you might start to notice things like:
- Saying yes to more than you have time and energy for because you feel guilty saying no
- Making decisions based on whether or not someone else is going to feel bad or uncomfortable
- Running from thing to thing without any time to really rest
- Not feeling able to find enjoyment in whatever it is you’re doing in each moment
Another question to consider when you’re talking to your therapist about trying acceptancce & commitment therapy is:
Do I like to feel empowered with action steps to take with me when I leave the counseling session?
If your answer is yes, then you probably want to ask your therapist to help you incorporate ACT into your work together.
how does Acceptance & Commitment Therapy work?
The science behind Acceptance & Commitment Therapy is pretty intuitive. At the risk of over-simplifying, here it is in a nutshell.
Your therapist will work with you to build awareness around your thought and behavior patterns.
From there, you’ll work with your therapist to identify your core value system.
In ACT, we use the information about your patterns and your values to create a metaphorical lighthouse in your therapeutic work.
When sh*t goes sideways out in the real world, you will have your lighthouse as a tool to help you paddle back toward your best life.
When you feel overwhelmed, anxious, or otherwise unable to paddle back to your lighthouse, you bring that experience back into the therapy room for deeper processing.