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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) emphasises acceptance to deal with negative thoughts, feelings, symptoms, or circumstances. ACT is centered around the core idea of accepting the unavoidable aspects of life and committing to actions aligned with one's values. Rather than attempting to eliminate or control negative thoughts and emotions, ACT encourages individuals to develop a mindful and accepting stance toward them. ACT encourages you to accept and allow yourself to face what you feel, even if it’s negative.


This approach involves six core processes:

  1. Cognitive defusion (disconnecting from unhelpful thoughts)

  2. Acceptance (acknowledging and allowing uncomfortable emotions)

  3. Present moment awareness (mindfulness)

  4. Self-as-context (understanding oneself from a broader perspective)

  5. Values clarification (identifying core values), and

  6. Committed action (taking purposeful steps towards valued goals).


ACT is particularly effective in helping individuals break free from the struggle against their inner experiences, fostering psychological flexibility, and promoting a richer, more meaningful life. Psychological flexibility involves 2 components; 1) the ability to be psychologically present (aware, attentive, open to, and engaged in your experience), and 2) the ability to control your behaviour to serve valued ends. ACT therapy encourages increased commitment to healthy, constructive activities that uphold your values and goals. Act encourages you to commit to facing the problem head-on rather than avoiding your stresses.

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