Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, commonly referred to as “ACT”, is a type of therapy that can help you with a variety of disorders and behavioural problems, including Addiction, Alcohol Problems, Anxiety, Depression & Low Mood and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

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How Does ACT Work?

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is one of the ‘new wave’ Cognitive Behavioural Therapies.  It combines aspects of traditional CBT based treatment with a range of other psychological techniques including: acceptance, mindfulness, commitment and behavioural change.  There are six processes central to the effectiveness of ACT these are diffusion, acceptance, attention to the present, self-awareness, individual values, and committed action.

The principle goal of this treatment approach is to increase psychological flexibility; instead of teaching strategies to facilitate the control of thoughts, feelings and behaviours, individuals learn to develop a different relationship with their experience whereby they notice and accept what occurs and then step back or distance themselves from it. This creates space in the mind between the individual and their immediate experience which can be used to explore options that were not visible before.

Faced with a range of alternatives the individual is much better equipped to manage their experiences and if they choose, change their responses to them.

How Stress Affects You

I had a course of CBT Counselling with The Harley Psychology & Therapy Group (Richmond) and although it didn’t provide me with the quick fix miracle solution I was hoping for, it has made my problems feel more manageable.

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All of our Therapists offer Counselling, click here to view the team.

What the Research into ACT Says

Research into Acceptance & Commitment Therapy has a developing evidence base with over 20 randomised controlled trials across a variety of problems and this research suggests consistent support for ACT for a broad range of problems including: chronic pain, addictions, smoking cessation, depression, anxiety, psychosis, stress, diabetes management, weight management, epilepsy control, self-harm, body dissatisfaction, eating disorders and burn out.

More Reading on this Subject

Recommended Books:

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: The Process and Practice of Mindful Change by Steven C. Hayes, Kirk D. Strosahl & Kelly G. Wilson

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