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Therapeutic Modalities

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

The goal of ACT is to create a rich and meaningful life, while accepting the pain that inevitably goes with it. “ACT” is a good abbreviation, because this therapy is about taking effective action guided by our deepest values and in which we are fully present and engaged. It is only through mindful action that we can create a meaningful life. Of course, as we attempt to create such a life, we will encounter all sorts of barriers, in the form of unpleasant and unwanted “private experiences” (thoughts, images, feelings, sensations, urges, and memories.) ACT teaches mindfulness skills as an effective way to handle these private experiences.

When It's Used

ACT can help treat many mental and physical conditions. These include:


  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Psychosis
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance use disorders
  • Workplace stress
  • Chronic pain

How Acceptance And Commitment Therapy Works

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy has become a promising treatment for a variety of challenges including anxiety, eating disorders, and substance abuse. ACT works in three areas: accept the emotion and be mindful, choose a direction, and then act accordingly. The first part involves the radical acceptance of things that are out of your control, as focusing on things outside of your control may cause more distress. In the second and third areas, you are taking charge and committing to the action that aligns with your values and will push you forward instead of remaining stagnant in a muck of emotions.

You might envision yourself as different than who you are in reality. By shaving away the negative pieces, you can find your true self underneath. You are not part of the apprehensive thoughts and feelings that frequently pop up during the day. You are so much more than your psychological experiences. When you commit to this type of therapy, you will discover the amazing stillness that can come from it, and the power of this psychological stillness. The more you practice mindfulness techniques, the better you may become at handling those curve balls that life likes to throw. ACT is based on six primary guiding principles or ACT skills. They are:


  • Acceptance – accepting the situation so that a plan for action can be made.
  • Cognitive defusion – changing the way you view or interact with thoughts so that their negative or unhelpful aspects are lessened.
  • Contact with the present moment – also called psychological flexibility, means learning to be more mindful and present in the current moment to gain a greater sense of self and events without judgment.
  • The Observing Self – you are not your thoughts or feelings, and you can learn to consciously observe, experience, and process them without attaching your self-value or identity to them.
  • Values – “chosen qualities of purposive action” without “avoidance, social, or fusion.”
  • Committed action – developing and choosing effective action and concrete goals related to the chosen values.

Acceptance and commitment therapy requires a certain degree of psychological flexibility. Think of yourself as a filter. When a feeling comes to the surface, allow it to pass through you like a liquid. Don’t obsess over the feeling or judge it or yourself, and don’t give it the ability to warp into another aggravating thought. Give it time to wash through you, imagining it like a wave that will eventually break over the shore. Once it passes, you can sit down and process what you felt.

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We work with most PPO insurance’s out-of-network benefits. Our team is happy to help you verify benefits.

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Insurance benefits vary greatly depending on the policy you have, so we obtain a detailed quote of your coverate. It usually takes between sixty to ninety minutes depending on how fast we can connect with your insurance company and the time of day.

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