Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT)
ACT emerged to build upon more traditional cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). It uses the concepts of mindfulness and acceptance, with an emphasis on behavioural change. A key aim of ACT is to increase psychological flexibility by focusing on these six core principles:
- Cognitive defusion: Developing ways to reduce the tendency to view thoughts, images, emotions, and memories as real or tangible.
- Acceptance: Allowing thoughts to come and go without battling against them.
- Contact with the present moment: Being aware of the here and now by facing it with openness and interest.
- Observing the self: Accessing a continuing sense of self which does not change.
- Values: Discovering what is most important to you as an individual.
- Committed action: Setting goals according to your own values and carrying them out with an awareness of all consequences.
ACT based therapy uses various methods to increase psychological flexibility, which means that the client is more able to contact the present moment fully and consciously, depending upon the situation in which they find themselves, and behaving in a way that is consistent with their chosen values.