Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)


ACT or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a method that allows patients to accept difficulties that may have been present in their lives for a long period of time and move forward by learning coping techniques. As a form of mindfulness counseling the therapy outlines behaviors and traits to help the client acknowledge the issue and cope with it. ACT stands for Accepting reactions, Choosing value in a direction and taking action. By focusing on these elements and the client commitment, progress is made. Because the difficulty stems from an issue that can no longer be controlled the individuals often have challenging personality traits that makes it difficult to accept the pain and move forward. ACT allows them to accept the reality through model strategies.

Goals of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a short term or medium term treatment that focuses on reworking with mental and verbal connections. Through a strategy called comprehensive distancing the counselor brings about thoughts and feelings that are helpful in overcoming an issue and treating behavior disorders such as depression and nervous energy. By preventing the hardship from affecting the patient it will improve not only their personal lives but character traits which may be blocking healthy relationships from occurring.

When is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Used?

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is used when a patient benefits from a plan of action that enriches their lives and eliminates traumatic emotional and cognitive burdens. When an individual is in need of spiritual cleansing ACT teaches them how they can deal with pain in a way that is less detrimental to their health and sense of balance. Mindfulness is taught to the client which is a strategy needed when dealing with these recurring thoughts and feeling. ACT is implemented on patients that benefit from knowledge that guides them toward a more fulfilling life.

How Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Works

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy works by increasing awareness and emotional intelligence. When the counselor is teaching the patient mindfulness techniques it leads to clarity and a new formed identity. Being that the techniques promote openness and focus it allows the client to also engage in what they are doing at the moment instead of focusing on trauma and anxiety.  The therapist will teach the individuals ways to prevent emotional dystrophy by focusing on the moment instead of worrisome patterns.

ACT works by learning meditation which promotes mindfulness. By distancing the patient from their current beliefs and emotional patterns they experience "defusion." They'll learn how to accept the pain that's been associated with their past and urges, allowing them to overcome the struggle in a strategic manner. The counselor will teach the client how to connect with the present moment holding an unbiased attitude and curious embrace. Defusion, acceptance and living in the now are the three skills that are gained from ACT. The patient will learn that their mental, emotional and physical intelligence contributes to their actual 'self.'  As a unique form of treatment creativity is used to change the client's behavior in a psychotherapeutic manner. Mindfulness benefits all clients because it is a way to alter a cognitive and emotional process which in turn builds a new perspective that is powerful and calm. While some of the technique attributes are similar to Buddhism this is a scientific approach that is based solely on behavior in psychology.

During the counseling session the therapist may deliver treatment as a long- term, medium-term or ultra-brief therapy. Being that energy is discharged during this time the patient will recall on a repressed event that has been painful for them to tolerate. While they are reliving the event it will feel as if it is happening currently in both an emotional and physical manner known as revivification. This reaction from the client can happen abruptly or be induced through verbal mentions made by the counselor. During ACT hypnosis may be performed with the approval of the patient. During hypnosis the counselor would perform the same technique which allows the patient to relive the event. This not only gives the counselor an idea of what event has happened but how it affected them and what measures need to be taken in eliminating the pain and creating a new self that is aware and mindful.

Criticism of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

The criticism toward Abreaction Therapy is based on ineffectiveness only if the counselor has not prepared the right cognitive framework. If the memories are relived too early the patient will not progress due to the fact that they cannot practice the appropriate coping skills.

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