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