Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) draws from traditional behavior therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy for its theoretical form . In the therapeutic process, the clients are taught to not avoid, deny, or struggling with their inner emotions. They are preached acceptance and conveyed that these deeper feelings are actually appropriate responses to certain situations which they should accept and move forward in their lives. With this understanding is established, the clients learn to accept their issues and hardships. The clients are more committed toward making necessary changes in their behaviour, irrespective of what is going on in their lives, and their subjective feeling.
What to expect?
The theory behind Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is that it is not only painful, but usually counterproductive. When and individual try to control painful emotions and other distressing psychological experiences, according to the psychodynamic theories, suppression of these feelings ultimately results in more distress and is revealed in some form or the other. ACT is based on the view that there are valid alternatives to trying to amend the way you think, and these include mindful behavior, attention to personal values, and commitment to action. By taking steps to alter their behavior simultaneously learning to accept their psychological experiences, clients can eventually change their attitude and emotional state.
How does it work?
In the therapeutic process, one learns to listen to one’s own self-talk, that is the way in which one talks to oneself regarding traumatic events, physical limitations, problematic relationships, or other issues. The decision about what issues requires immediate attention, what are the possible changes is made thereafter, in some cases, the client has to accept the situation and learn the behavioural changes which would be effective at that specific situation. One might look at what has not worked for the person in therapy in the past, then a therapeutic plan is achieved to help the client to stop repeating thought patterns and behaviors which were causing more problems in the clients life. Once the client have faced and is ready to accept his or her current crisis, the client proceeds to make a commitment toward accepting the past and stressful emotions and, the on start practicing more confident and optimistic behavior, which is depended on personal values and goals.
When is it used?
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy have been found evidently effective in treating people dealing with workplace stress, test or examination anxiety, neirotic troubles like the social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and also in minor psychosis cases. ACT have also been employed assist the person taking the therapy in dealing with medical conditions like medic chronic pain, substance abuse, diabetes and other lifestyle disorders.
Role of an Acceptance and Commitment Therapist:
Any individual who is licensed to practice therapy in the country, who has acbasic idea about how the therapy work, social worker, professional counselor or other mental-health professional can provide ACT effectively. The role of the therapist here to establish a rapport actively with the client and make sure the client feels free to communicate. The therapist involves the client in development of the therapeutic plan and thereby creating a therapeutic which is different and unique to each client, ensuring the emotional betterment and overall well being of the client.
Forman EM, Herbert JD, Moitra E, Yeomans PD, Geller PA. A randomized controlled effectiveness trial of acceptance and commitment therapy and cognitive therapy for anxiety and depression. Behavior Modification. November 2007;31(6):772-799
Dewane, C. The ABCs of ACT. Social Work Today. Sept/Oct 2008;8(5):34.
Long, D. ACT Certification. Assoc for Contextual Behavioral Science. Accessed feb 6, 2017.