In his overview of ACT, Dr. Russ Harris (ACT Mindfully) asks us to “imagine a therapy that makes no attempt to reduce symptoms, but gets symptom reduction as a by-product. A therapy firmly based in the tradition of empirical science, yet has a major emphasis on values, forgiveness, acceptance, compassion, living in the present moment, and accessing a transcendent sense of self. A therapy so hard to classify that it has been described as an ‘existential humanistic cognitive behavioural therapy’.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, known as ‘ACT’ (pronounced as the word ‘act’) is a mindfulness-based behavioural therapy that challenges the ground rules of most Western psychology. It utilizes an eclectic mix of metaphor, paradox, and mindfulness skills, along with a wide range of experiential exercises and values-guided behavioural interventions.
ACT has proven effective with a diverse range of clinical conditions; depression, OCD, workplace stress, chronic pain, the stress of terminal cancer, anxiety…”
The goal of ACT
“The goal of ACT is to create a rich and meaningful life, while accepting the pain that inevitably goes with it. ‘ACT’ is a good abbreviation, because this therapy is about taking effective action guided by our deepest values and in which we are fully present and engaged. It is only through mindful action that we can create a meaningful life. Of course, as we attempt to create such a life, we will encounter all sorts of barriers, in the form of unpleasant and unwanted ‘private experiences’ (thoughts, images, feelings, sensations, urges, and memories). ACT teaches mindfulness skills as an effective way to handle these private experiences.”
For an interesting, informative, and accessable overview of the treatment model please refer to Dr. Harris’ full article here.
If you’d like to get ACT working for you…