What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)?

ACT is a mindfulness-based behavioural therapy that uses experiential exercises, mindfulness and values-guided behavioural interventions. It has been proven effective with a diverse range of clinical conditions such as Depression, Anxiety, OCD, Chronic pain, PTSD and Substance use disorders.

ACT views the reduction or absence of symptomatology as a byproduct rather than the goal of its therapeutic approach. It poses psychological distress as uncomfortable transient psychological events and invites a person to “make room for” or “sit with” this distress while creating rich and meaningful lives that focus on the person’s values.

There are six Core Principles in ACT: Diffusion, Acceptance, Contact with the Present Moment, the Observing Self, Values, and Committed Action. These six core processes are interlinked and are used to develop increased psychological flexibility.

In this time of uncertainty try these tips using the ACT based approach by Russ Harris:

F – Focus on what’s in your control.

A – Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings:
What thoughts, feelings, and emotions, are showing up inside of you?

C – Come back into and connect with your physical body:
Notice how your body is responding, What your body is doing?

E – Engage in what you are doing:
Focus your attention on what you are doing and stay in the present moment.

C – Committed Action:
Consider what are the simple ways to look after yourself?

O – Opening Up and make room for difficult feelings and be kind to yourself.
Ask yourself if someone you loved was going thought this how I would treat them? Then try and treat yourself the same way!

V – Values:
Be guided by what you value in life. Choose and activity that brings you closer to your values.

I – Identify Resources:
Offer support to others and stay connected with loved ones

D – Disinfect and Distance:
This one you are already doing so instead I’m changing it to DANCE! (1.5 meters from each other) because your commitment and care for health and safety is something to be celebrated!

Jezreel Besterwitch – Provisionally Registered Psychologist