ACT gets its name from one of its core messages: to accept what is out of our personal control, while committing to action that will improve our quality of life.
ACT helps people to fundamentally change their relationship with painful thoughts and feelings, to develop a transcendent sense of self, to live in the present, and to take action, guided by their deepest values, to create a rich and meaningful life.
ACT takes the view that most psychological suffering is caused by experiential avoidance, ie, by attempting to avoid, escape, get rid of unwanted private experiences (such as unpleasant thoughts, feelings, sensations, urges and memories). Our efforts at experiential avoidance might work in the short term, but in the long term they often fail, and in the process, they often create significant psychological suffering.
ACT is a mindfulness-based, values oriented behavioural therapy, that has many parallels with Eastern philosophy, yet is firmly based on cutting-edge Western research into human behavioural psychology.
There is a steadily growing body of scientific data that cultivating acceptance, mindfulness, and openness to experience is highly effective for the treatment of:
What to expect
In ACT, we develop the mindfulness skills (both traditional techniques, and many modern, innovative ones) which enable us to fundamentally change our relationship with painful thoughts and feelings. When we practice these skills in everyday life, painful feelings and unhelpful thoughts have much less impact and influence over us. Therefore, instead of wasting our time and energy in a fruitless battle with painful thoughts and feelings, we can invest our energy on taking action to change our life for the better - guided by our deepest values.
The number of sessions depends on the presenting difficulty. Often this will be between 6-20 sessions (50 minute duration).