Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) combines aspects of acceptance and mindfulness approaches with behavior-change strategies, in an effort to help clients develop psychological flexibility. Therapists and counselors who employ ACT seek to help clients identify the ways that their efforts to suppress or control emotional experiences can create barriers. When clients are able to identify these challenges, it can be easier to make positive and lasting changes. Think this approach may work for you? Contact one of TherapyDen’s ACT specialists today to try it out.

Meet the specialists

I admit it, this is my favorite type of therapy. It is practical, doesn't require you to delve into your past if you don't want to, and it provides tools for dealing with the messiness of being a human with a mind and emotions. I have had intensive training in this type of therapy, and I've even taught other therapists how to do ACT.

— Jo Eckler, Clinical Psychologist in Austin, TX

We often get into a battle with our symptoms, trying to push them away with everything we have. The problem is, what we resist, persists. These symptoms are often a normal part of life. Once we can release into them and stop fighting (as counterintuitive as that may sound), we can often learn to live a meaningful life no matter what is going on in our life. We work to defuse and take away the power from thoughts that are disturbing or upsetting so they no longer control you and your emotions. We often use mindfulness techniques to get into the present among other skills.

— Jessica Stebbins, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Merritt Island, FL

ACT helps us see the truth from the fantasy. It is empowering to know what is real from what is unreal so that we can focus our energy on changing what we can. The commitment is to change what we can and make peace with the rest.

— Sandy Demopoulos, Clinical Social Worker in White Plains, NY

After training and working in CBT for many years, I took additional training courses in ACT. I found myself drawn to the idea that identifying and living up to one's values can lead to a more fulfilling life experience. I appreciate the thoughtful and experiential nature of ACT and find it is particularly helpful for people dealing with anxiety, depression, or relationship stress.

— Sari Chait, Psychologist in Newton, MA

Acceptance and Commitment therapy involves accepting the challenges in life, while committing to follow through on a chosen valued direction. Acceptance allows us to move forward despite obstacles that we have no control over. Commitments means that we perform actions in a way that brings us closer to worthwhile goals.

— Sarah Glidden, Counselor in Portland, OR

I use ACT to inform my work with people across various areas of concern. I help people apply the principles of connecting with their current experiences, identifying the ways in which the relationships to our emotions and thoughts impact our lives and disconnect us from our values. I then help people change the relationships they have with their emotions and thoughts and move towards their values.

— Cayla Panitz, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

ACT is about recognizing what you can and can't control, and choosing to act in a way that is consistent with who you are and what you want in life. With this type of therapy, you explore what really matters to you and then develop a commitment to those values. It's really powerful when you're dealing with things that are outside your control like chronic illness or difficult interpersonal relationships. Aspects of ACT can be integrated with other treatment approaches depending on your goals.

— Wade McDonald, Clinical Psychologist in Frisco, TX

I have utilized ACT Therapy since the beginning of my career. Act therapy helps us understand that overall well being can be attained by overcoming negative thoughts and feelings. I am a certified ACT therapist and have seen this type of therapy work well with adolescents, and adults in difficult situations.

— Natasha Fortune, Counselor in Long Island City, NY

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is my primary modality. I've completed about 3 years of training, plus group and individual supervision. I believe ACT is culturally sensitive because it's values-based, flexible, and positive. ACT encourages you to be yourself, face life as it is, take purposeful action, and stay engaged in a meaningful life. I tend to combine ACT with self-compassion techniques and skills from Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

— Nancy Lee, Licensed Professional Counselor in Aurora, CO

ACT is considered a "third-wave" CBT approach. One of the many things I love about it, is the incorporation of mindfulness. The main goal of ACT is to help you identify your values and life your values, despite having some difficult thoughts and feelings.

— Audrey Atkinson, Clinical Psychologist in Davidson, NC

Classes Completed: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: 2-Day Intensive ACT Training, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression, Anxiety, Phobias and Panic Attacks. These two modalities (ACT and CBT) are at the top of my list for teaching the skills of managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

— Debbie Yoro, Clinical Social Worker in Beaverton, OR