A behaviour based therapy focused on building skills with an emphasis on values, acceptance, compassion, present moment living and accessing a transcendent sense of self.
‘ACT’ (pronounced as the word ‘act’) is a behavioural therapy which places importance on the development of mindfulness skills, a wide range of experiential exercises, values-guided behavioural interventions and a commitment to action to build psychological flexibility. ACT has a large body of empirical research to support its therapeutic efficacy and has proven effective with a diverse range of clinical conditions including depression, OCD, workplace stress, chronic pain and anxiety.
In general, clients come to therapy with an agenda of emotional control. They want to get rid of their depression, anxiety, urges to drink, traumatic memories, low self-esteem, fear of rejection, anger, grief and so on. In ACT, there is no attempt to try to reduce, change, avoid, suppress, or control these private experiences. Instead, clients learn to reduce the impact and influence of unwanted thoughts and feelings, through the application of a wide range of skills. Clients learn to stop fighting with their private experiences—to open up to them, make room for them, and allow them to come and go without a struggle. The time, energy, and money that was previously wasted trying to control how they feel is then invested in taking effective action (guided by their values) to change their life for the better.