Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

ACT is a type of psychotherapy that sets out to maximise an individual’s flexibility in thinking and adapting. The aim of ACT is to experience the fullness and vitality of life, which includes a wide spectrum of human experience, including the pain that inevitably goes with it. Acceptance (rather than approval) of how things are, without evaluation or attempts to change it, is a skill that is developed through mindfulness exercises in and out of session.

ACT does not attempt to directly change or stop unwanted thoughts or feelings (as in cognitive behavioural therapy), but to develop a new mindful relationship with those experiences that can free a person up to be open to take action that is consistent with their chosen values. Thus, values clarification of one’s values is a key component to ACT. ACT can be summed up with the following three concepts: Accept your reactions and be present, choose a valued direction, take action.