Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a form of mindfulness-based therapy where greater well-being can be attained by exploring the internal experience of thoughts, emotions, body sensations and behaviour.
ACT helps you bring about the acceptance of the difficulties that come with life. ACT clarifies what and who is important to you in your life, reduces avoidant coping styles and helps you make committed change moving you towards what is important to you.
There are six principles that form the basis of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy:
- Contacting The Present Moment – being present with what is happening right here, right now.
- Defusion – detaching from unhelpful thoughts, watching your thoughts flow your mind like branches floating down a river, letting go.
- Acceptance – creating space within you for painful feelings that arise rather than using all your energy to try to push them away or control them. With acceptance, we learn to make friends with our feelings rather than letting them overwhelm and frighten us.
- Self as Context – learning to notice the difference between your thoughts (fears, fantasies, judgements, self-talk) and the part of you that is able to observe those thoughts and create distance between the thought and ‘you’.
- Values – getting clear about what is important and what matters to you as an individual, and defining your values as distinct from the values you’ve been taught by your family, the church, or the values of the society in which you live.
- Committed action – deciding on how to live each moment of your life according to your own values and then following through, no matter how uncomfortable those steps may be at first.