Anxiety Care NY


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or ACT, is an evidence-based treatment that is effective for treating a vast range of challenges and emotional issues. It is an “experiential” treatment, which means that it is taught through “doing” and involves practicing skills in session and at home. Hardships and painful emotions are unfortunately unavoidable parts of life. If we live long enough, we will all experience grief, guilt, disappointment, anxiety, insecurity, and sadness at one point or another. ACT teaches practical tools for how to relate to pain and distressing thoughts differently so that we can engage in the things we value and build meaningful lives even in the presence of pain and discomfort. Rather than letting distress veer us off track into unhelpful or self-defeating attitudes and behaviors, we can develop the tools to respond to our emotions and thoughts in ways that are more likely to move us toward the life we want.

What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)?

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a type of psychotherapy that helps people manage difficult emotions and thoughts. Unlike some therapies that focus on changing your feelings and thinking patterns, ACT emphasizes making room for your inner experiences, even the unpleasant ones. Imagine you’re feeling anxious about an upcoming interview. ACT wouldn’t try to make the anxiety disappear completely. Instead, it would help you acknowledge those anxious feelings and shift your attention to preparing effectively. By developing the ability to be “psychologically flexible,” ACT empowers you to take steps towards what truly matters in your life, even when faced with outer and inner challenges. 

ACT has significant research backing. Studies have shown it to be effective in treating various conditions, including anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and addiction.

What do ACT sessions look like?

ACT therapy sessions tend to be a mix of discussion and exercises designed to help you develop “psychological flexibility.” Here’s a breakdown of what you might experience:

  • Focus on Values: Your therapist will help you identify what’s truly important to you in life – your core values. This could be things like spending time with family, achieving goals, or being creative.
  • Mindfulness Exercises: You’ll learn techniques to become more aware of your thoughts and feelings without judgment and practice the skill of shifting your attention to what is most helpful in the moment.
  • Acceptance Strategies:  Through exercises and discussions, you’ll learn skills to stop struggling against your difficult emotions. 
  • Goal Setting and Action:  Once you’ve identified your values and can make room for all your inner experiences, you’ll work with your therapist to set goals and take action towards living a life that aligns with what matters most to you. 
  • Practice:  To reinforce what you learn in sessions; your therapist might assign exercises to practice at home. This could involve journaling your thoughts and feelings, mindfulness exercises, or trying out new behaviors in everyday situations.

What are the goals of ACT?

Very broadly speaking, ACT treatment aims to help us to get better at:

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in Rockville Centre, NY

ACT develops tools to move us towards the life we want. Available in Rockville Centre and online across NY & NJ. Get help today.

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