Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), is a skill-based approach to mental health treatment.

ACT teaches you new ways to respond to psychological pain and uncertainty

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a clinically effective form of therapy for people who struggle with self-doubt, anxiety, trauma, stress, and depression. Clients commit to facing problems head-on and to stop avoiding situations or denying feelings and emotions. The goal is to accept discomfort and make behavioral changes in your best interest.  Mindfulness training teaches you to notice your inner experiences without judgment, thereby changing your relationship with uncomfortable feelings

Through ACT, you will be taught how to: 

  • Live life based on what you value
  • Open-up to difficult feelings
  • Change your relationship to intrusive thoughts
  • Pivot from the past and future to the present
  • Develop self-compassion
  • Embrace uncertainty and challenge

Figure out what matters most to you

Values and valued living are personal and vary across individuals, cultures, communities, races, ethnicities, religions, families, and workplaces. Our ACT therapists work with you to understand what is most important to you, what domain(s) of your life you are struggling with and what specifically can be done to reach your goals that are value consistent.

Learn strategies to accept the present

ACT provides an evidence-based set of skills to let go of the struggle with our mind’s negativity bias and real-world challenges. Even when opportunities or change seem risky or unimaginable, creativity and a willingness to experience disappointment free us up to doing what matters. We teach acceptance strategies such as “unhooking” or defusion from automatic negative thoughts.  We also experiment with non-judgmental perspective taking by observing ourselves with more objectivity and compassion.

Accept that suffering is normal

The presumption is that pain is inherent to meaningful living and we all vary in how we cope. The aim of ACT is to improve psychological functioning and the goal is to increase psychological flexibility.  Research has validated ACT’s effectiveness for significantly lowering the frequency and severity of symptoms such as anxiety and depression. ACT teaches you to focus on the present, observe your internal thoughts without judgment, and behave in ways that are consistent with your values.

How do I find an ACT therapist?

There are many Ross Center clinicians with years of experience in utilizing Acceptance and Commitment therapy to treat anxiety and other disorders. With proper treatment, you’ll learn practical tools leading to greater self-awareness, acceptance, and change.

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