Are unpleasant thoughts and feelings stopping you from living life to your fullest?
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) encourages individuals to accept the difficult feelings that come when faced with adversities in life.
The focus of the therapy approach helps individuals to accept what they cannot control and commit to actions that bring positive changes to their lives.
It is all about accepting life’s hardships, and taking actions that align with the individual’s values to create a meaningful life.
Issues That Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Can Help With
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy helps a diverse range of clinical conditions including but not limited to:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Eating disorders
- Chronic pain
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Any mental illness
How Does Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Work?
The practice of acceptance and mindfulness skills will be introduced to change the way individuals react to unwanted experiences. During ACT sessions, the therapist will guide individuals to accept unwanted thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations.
Observation of thoughts will be practised, as well as finding core life values. Together with the therapist, individuals will work out a willingness and action plan and stay committed in taking steps towards living more purposeful lives.
Core Processes of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
1. Cognitive defusion
Cognitive defusion means taking a step back to observe thoughts and recognise that they are not realities.
It is a process of detaching identities from thoughts. Through this, individuals will learn that thoughts have no control over them and that they are just mere pictures, words or sounds.
2. Being present
The goal is to engage individuals fully on what they are doing while allowing feelings to still be present.
For example, a psychotherapist might ask a client to take a shower and pay full attention to the water that trickles down instead of being distracted by thoughts.
To fully understand this, it is important to practise mindfulness exercises with all 5 senses in daily living.
Acceptance is allowing one to feel inner thoughts and feelings, and learning how to let them come and go at ease.
Imagine thoughts to be the voices on a radio and allow the voice to be there.
It is knowing that the thoughts do not have to be liked, wanted or approved to be accepted.
4. Self as context
Self as context means to distinctly separate the process of thinking and the process of observing that thinking.
It is knowing that one is thinking and feeling because there is a part that is observing them.
Self as context is the individual who does not change but experiences everything that is happening.
In this portion, one will be asked questions to work out their true life values.
Values are what is most important and significant to the heart and what one wants to stand for in this life.
Clarifying values will allow the willingness to accept uncomfortable feelings in order to achieve goals.
6. Committed action
Committed action is about setting the right goals guided by values and pledging to achieve them.
It is a step-by-step process to create a meaningful life in alignment with one’s core values.
With committed action, one will be able to follow through with goals even in the presence of obstacles.
Our Counsellors Skilled In Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Why Choose Sofia Wellness Clinic?
At Sofia Wellness Clinic, our psychotherapists are equipped with a minimum of a Masters degree in counselling.
They have extensive experience in evidence-based counselling to provide the best for our clients.
Our psychotherapists practise different evidence-based approaches to improve the quality of treatments and our clients’ mental well-being.
These approaches include cognitive behavioural therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and dialectical behavioural therapy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy a form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)?
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is not a form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). They are both behaviour-based therapies but differ in their views with regards to negative thoughts. CBT hopes to eliminate the negativity of destructive thoughts, while ACT encourages us to accept negative thoughts.
What is the difference between Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)?
ACT and DBT both focus on practising mindfulness while accepting problematic thoughts and emotions. However, DBT’s approach uses logical reasoning and analysis while ACT’s approach is more experiential.
Is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy effective?
Since its development in 1982, there have been many trials of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for individuals who struggle with challenges. Statistics from multiple scientific studies such as this review by Golster et. al. have shown that ACT is effective.