What is Acceptance & Commitment Therapy?
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) helps individuals explore painful emotions or overthinking that may be interfering with the ability to live their lives with purpose and intention. ACT can help people live more congruently with their values and in a way that feels natural and fulfilling.
Why Acceptance & Commitment Therapy?
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy that uses mindfulness to increase an individuals ability to engage in values-based, positive behaviors while experiencing difficult thoughts, emotions, or sensations. ACT has been shown to increase helpful action and alleviate psychological distress for individuals with a broad range of mental health issues.
We want the individuals we serve to have a clear idea of what we are doing and why we are doing it in therapy. While everyone has thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, it is far easier to identify, explore, and accept these on the journey to change. Resistance often impedes our ability to tolerate difficult things and directs our focus to the future, which may end of being more of the same. An Acceptance & Commitment Therapy approach to treatment simply takes a look at an individual’s experience through the lens of their thoughts, feelings and behaviors and seeks to move toward acceptance versus resistance. Ultimately, entering therapy can be intimidating, especially when you don’t know what to expect. The transparency and ease of understanding associated with Acceptance & Commitment Therapy can help calm any uncertainties.
This may just be a personal preference of ours, but we value practicality. At its core Acceptance & Commitment Therapy is a behavioral theory, and it’s about taking action. Treatment focuses on an individual’s values and using them to guide, motivate and inspire.
We believe in the adage, “It is a therapist’s goal to work themselves out of a job.” At Mindly, we understand that the reason why people come to therapy is because they are looking for help in escaping some sort of distress. We want to help you feel better as soon as possible while also setting you up for long-term success.
At Mindly, we do not delude ourselves into thinking that we know how to solve every problem that our clients experience or that we can somehow lead an individual down a path towards “enlightenment” or “self-actualization” (think Gandhi). Instead, we strive to assist individuals to overcome specific obstacles that may be in their self-defined path towards whatever larger end they choose to pursue. Why? Self-actualization is life-long process, whereas therapy shouldn’t have to be. ACT works to address the tendency of individuals to view themselves as damaged or flawed and aims to help them realize the fullness and vitality of life.
ACT works well within a awareness/coaching framework and is not just for treating mental illness. We believe that while there is such a thing as mental illness, most of the distress and dysfunction that people (including those with a mental illness) experience is the result of ineffectively utilized mental and behavioral responses to environmental demands. In this sense, mental illness becomes just another obstacle to overcome in pursuit of one’s goals. Because thoughts, emotions, and behaviors underlie all human conscious experience, ACT can be useful in a wide-range of human pursuits including improving physical health, career advancement, and even spirituality.