What is ACT?
What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?
I usually explain Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (also referred to as ACT) to my clients in the following way.
Think of a time (or the many times) you are stuck in your head, ruminating and worrying nonstop to the point where it’s hard to do anything else. It’s as if you are in a tug of war with your thoughts and worries, like they are a monster on the end of the rope. Even if you are actively trying to fight your thoughts and continuously tell yourself why you shouldn’t be worrying or thinking that way, you are still using all of your energy tugging on the rope as much as you can. You miss out on important things, and any sense of calm, because you are so focused on playing tug of war with that monster in your head. In ACT, it’s the process of dropping the rope. Letting that monster be there (not fighting the thoughts) and going on with your life. Living, instead of constantly being caught up in games of tug of war. With ACT-Based Coaching, we will focus on giving you strategies to be able to drop that rope, and take committed action toward a your best life.
Description from the Association for Contextual Behaviour Science:
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has developed as a behavioural intervention to help people learn strategies to live life more in the present, more focused on important values and goals, and less focused on painful thoughts, feelings and experiences. ACT teaches people how to engage with and overcome painful thoughts and feelings through acceptance and mindfulness techniques, to develop self-compassion and flexibility, and to build life-enhancing patterns of behavior. ACT is not about overcoming pain or fighting emotions; it's about embracing life and feeling everything it has to offer. It offers a way out of suffering by choosing to live a life based on what matters most. ACT has developed within a scientific tradition, and there continues to be a thriving research community that examines the basic science underlying ACT and the effectiveness of applying ACT techniques to numerous life problems such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, substance abuse, chronic pain, psychosis, eating problems, and weight management, just to name a few.
Click here to watch videos explaining the ACT process: