Acceptance and Commitment Therapy – or ACT – is a lifestyle therapy with the purpose of assisting individuals to live a rich, full and meaningful life.
After all, wouldn’t it be nice to learn strategies that help us to be the best version of ourselves, and stop struggling with the constant comparison to others that is often exacerbated by social media?
How is ACT different to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)?
The main difference is that CBT aims to change negative thoughts and feelings to be more helpful and positive.
ACT on the other hand, does not attempt to change your thoughts or feelings, but to instead move towards acceptance of them (ie negative thoughts are a part of life just like helpful/positive thoughts); and learning strategies to let your thoughts and feelings come and go rather than dwelling on them or struggling with them.
Trying to constantly run from negative thoughts and feelings is extremely tiresome and often does not have lasting effects, as eventually those unwanted thoughts pop back into our head. If I tell you not to think about an orange – what happens? You most likely get a flood of words and images associated with orange! It is the same concept if we tell ourselves not to think that bad thought eg “I am a failure”. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy offers a different way to relate to your thoughts and feelings, and then shifts the focus to what you want to stand for in this life, by understanding your core values and taking committed action (setting goals).
The Principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
- Mindfulness – learning to be more present focused and thereby more engaged in what you are doing. Learning Mindfulness skills will help you deal with painful thoughts and feelings so they have less impact on your daily life.
- Defusion – noticing your thoughts rather than getting caught up and struggling with them.
- Acceptance – experiencing things as they are, rather than how your mind tells you they are.
- Core Values – identifying and understanding your deepest desires of what you want to stand for in this life.
- Committed Action – setting goals aimed at working towards living more in line with your values.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy has been proven to effectively treat a range of mental health issues including depression, anxiety, trauma, stress, grief and loss, anger and issues related to adolescent mental health.
Leia primarily focuses on clinical child and adolescent psychology although she can treat individuals and couples of all ages. She has training and experience in a variety of evidence based treatment approaches, but is particularly passionate about the benefits of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
To make an appointment with Clinical Psychologist Leia Redman try Online Booking – Loganholme or call M1 Psychology (Loganholme) on (07) 3067 9129.
- Dr Russ Harris, 2009, ACT Made Simple. New Harbinger Publications.