Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Open up to what shows up.
Part of the Third Wave of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, ACT is a therapeutic model that began in the 1990's. It provides an option for therapy that focuses on acceptance versus the change oriented platforms of its predecessors. Working from a theory conceptualized by the Hexaflex it orients the course of therapy by focusing on Contact with the Present Moment, Acceptance, Defusion, Self as Context, Committed Action, and Values.
As the serenity prayer advises to 'accept that which you cannot change, and change that which you can' ACT similarly helps clients. It allows us to better understand when we're suffering due to our struggle with reality or by our battles with unwanted thoughts, feelings, memories, and physical sensations. It helps us reorient to our guiding North Star values. By doing so we can live a life that we're proud of even during difficult times. The aim is not to avoid all painful experiences, but to have a life worth living in the midst of them.
Stephanie Johnston is an adjunct professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in the Masters of Social Work program where she teaches both DBT and ACT courses in psychotherapy. Whereas DBT is primarily a skill based model that address emotion dysregulation, ACT is helpful for those in all levels of their self actualization journey. With innumerable research studies that have shown its efficacy, an 8-session course of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is an evidence-based option for the successful treatment of depression, anxiety, or PTSD.
If you're struggling to accept the reality that you've found yourself in, feel lost without direction in life, or are overwhelmed by incessant thoughts you should request a consultation today to discuss how ACT can help.