Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is founded upon a strong theoretical and empirical framework. It is a unique psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behavior change strategies. The aim of ACT is to increase psychological flexibility: contacting the present moment fully as a conscious human being, based on what the circumstances allow, changing or persisting in behavior in the service of chosen values.
ACT is born of a theory of language (Relational Frame Theory; RFT) and illuminates the ways in which people get entangled in language and concommitant struggles to control psychological events. In other words, human beings get stuck in their heads, lost and wasting precious time in futile attempts to wage war against their own inner lives. Using metaphor, paradox, and experiential exercises ACT teaches clients how to make healthy contact with thoughts, feelings, memories, and physical sensations that have been feared and avoided. Clients gain the skills to make room for and accept these psychological events, develop greater clarity about personal values, and commit to needed behavior change.