Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

ACT is an action-oriented approach to psychotherapy that stems from traditional behavior therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Clients learn to stop avoiding, denying, and struggling with their inner emotions and, instead, accept that these deeper feelings are appropriate responses to certain situations that should not prevent them from moving forward in their lives. With this understanding, clients begin to accept their issues and hardships and commit to making necessary changes in their behavior, regardless of what is going on in their lives, and how they feel about it.

ACT has been used effectively to help treat workplace stress, anxiety, depression and OCD. It has also been used to help treat medical conditions such as chronic pain, diabetes, and substance abuse.

Sometimes, it is quite ineffective and counter-productive to try and control painful emotions and psychological experiences. ACT works by accepting certain things a client is not capable of changing at the time and using techniques such as mindfulness and strengthening values. The client should ideally be committed to taking action as guided by the counselor. When clients learn to accept their situation or psychological experience, they can learn to change their attitude towards it and thereby change their emotional state