The ACT of Learning & Letting Life Happen
This type of therapy is becoming increasingly popular in doctor’s offices, counseling rooms, and homes around the globe. So why is it catching on so quickly, and how does it really work?
What Is Acceptance & Commitment Therapy?
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, better known as ACT, is a type of psychotherapy designed to help us accept life’s changes. More specifically, ACT is a type of mindfulness based therapy — one that helps individuals find greater well-being by overcoming negative thoughts and feelings.
ACT notices one’s intention to make changes in their life and holds them to that commitment. Through becoming familiar with ACT, you should be able to look at your traits more closely and develop beneficial coping strategies.
The Purpose of ACT: What It Treats
This type of therapy is mainly practiced on people with psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression. ACT helps give these individuals the skills they need to move forward from a traumatizing situation, negative personality trait, or overwhelming emotion.
How ACT Works
Generally, ACT invites you to accept reality and work with what you have to make the best life for yourself. It does this by reworking verbal connections to thoughts and feelings.
ACT focuses on three main areas of progress:
- Accepting one’s reactions and being present
- Choosing a direction
- Taking action
While a licensed counselor or therapist will likely teach an individual the basics and foundation of ACT, it is up to the person to continue using the strategies provided to commit to their goals.
Here are some strategies that ACT uses and encourages to help individuals move on from their negative thoughts or actions & commit to their goals:
- Let thoughts happen without the need to act
- Observe weaknesses & take note of strengths
- Give yourself permission to not be good at everything
- Acknowledge difficulty without trying to escape it
- Realize you’re in control of your thoughts & actions
- Observe physical sensations when you feel something
- Notice how you talk to yourself
- Figure out how you interpret your experiences
- Counter negative self-talk with positive affirmations
- Reevaluate your experience with a newfound outlook
Now these things are definitely easier said than done, which is why the diligent practice of ACT is so important. People who are struggling with accepting life’s changes are encouraged to take notice of their behaviors & acknowledge where they can make improvements in a way that would be more beneficial for them.
Finding Peace With ACT
Like all things, practice makes perfect with ACT. It’s one thing to say we’ll make changes in our life, and a completely different task to actually do them. By adapting the skills that ACT teaches, we will be able to get one step closer to leaving thoughts behind and accomplishing what we want.
ACT, while very beneficial, is not a long-term or stand-alone treatment for depression, anxiety, or any other psychological disorder. To learn about treatment options for these conditions and learn which is best for you or a loved one, contact our team of medical professionals by giving us a call at 267.719.8528.