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
 

I have intensive training in ACT by one of the preeminent experts in this orientation. I incorporate ACT through the use of officially vetted materials into my daily practice.

— Stephanie Hurley, Counselor in Cincinnati, OH
 

I gravitate towards Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) because I specialize in working with individuals who are grieving the loss of a loved one or are coping with major life transitions, which is fertile ground for such a nuanced modality. ACT allows for a present moment acceptance of our thoughts and feelings; it urges us to identify our personal values; and then motivates us to move in the direction of our chosen values. It is a modality that I resonate with personally & professionally.

— Thad Frye, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Louisville, CO

As a values based therapist, I believe creating a life worth living means prioritizing your values and living your life around them. I work with clients to identify what matters to them, support them in making committed action towards their goals, and teach clients to accept and process positive and negative emotions in a healthy way.

— Michelle Smith, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in , FL
 

I have done multiple intensive ACT trainings and use this therapy as the heart of my therapeutic framework.

— Kelly White, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA
 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, known as “ACT” ( is a mindfulness-based behavioral therapy that is different from traditional psychology. It uses a mix of understanding human nature, seeing the difficulties in life, and skills that focus on mindfulness along with a wide range of exercises and values-guided behavioral interventions. Research shows that ACT has solid proof that it works and is based on values, forgiveness, acceptance, compassion, living in the present.

— Kathy Hicks, Counselor in Whitehouse, TX

My core specialization, I use tenets of ACT in my work as it holistically encapsulates the essence of true healing: learning skills while being holistically congruent with oneself.

— Neil Panchmatia, Counselor in Portland, OR
 

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

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
 

I have been involved with the Association for Contextual Behavioral Sciences (ACBS) for several years, which is the home of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I have attended and presented at several of the ACBS WorldCons and written/published with ACBS colleagues on issues related to using ACT to address gender identity issues.

— Lauren Grousd, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Portland, ME

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, known as “ACT” ( is a mindfulness-based behavioral therapy that is different from traditional psychology. It uses a mix of understanding human nature, seeing the difficulties in life, and skills that focus on mindfulness along with a wide range of exercises and values-guided behavioral interventions. Research shows that ACT has solid proof that it works and is based on values, forgiveness, acceptance, compassion, living in the present.

— Kathy Hicks, Counselor in Whitehouse, TX
 

ACT is very much in line with my personal and professional values, in that it focuses on our response to things in our lives rather than our struggle against those things. Combined with DBT, I find this model to be very effective.

— Liberty McClead, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Sharpsburg, GA

The heart of my work is to help you make sense of your challenges, clarify your values, and craft an intimate, joyful, and meaningful life aligned with them.

— Grant Gordin, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Austin, TX
 

We teach clients to notice thoughts and behaviors and cultivate non-judgmental, self-compassionate choices that lead to greater psychological flexibility, openness and loving relationships.

— Julie Noble, Clinical Social Worker in Bethesda, MD

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, Counselor in Aurora, CO
 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is an action-oriented approach that stems from traditional Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It utilizes acceptance and mindfulness strategies to help the client accept the difficulties that come with life.

— Paula Kirsch, Clinical Social Worker in Detroit, MI

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
 

Value driven life is so important for living with purpose and ease. ACT uses a psychological flexibility model which can be beneficial for everyone including those struggling with substance misuse, dysfunctional eating, overwhelming anxiety, depression, and more. Starting with mindfulness practice to narrative repair work, ACT can be used in different intensities. I use components of ACT with individuals, families and groups.

— Lena Sheffield, Licensed Professional Counselor in Miami, FL

I have been providing ACT to individual and group clients for 3 1/2 years. I find it extremely effective in addressing symptoms of depression and anxiety.

— Liz Imparato, Licensed Professional Counselor in Phoenix, AZ
 

ACT is a beautiful reflection of what happens when you take thoughts, emotions, and behavior, and spin them into beliefs, values, and committed action. Our focus with ACT is transitioning from engaging in what is known as the struggle-suffer cycle, to taking committed action in the awareness-acceptance cycle. It’s kindof like scientists and Buddhists got together and wrote a bunch of metaphors.

— Ginelle Krummey, Counselor in Asheville, NC

We will understand how the messages you’ve been told, and the messages you tell yourself, affect your psychological wellbeing. This modality is effective because we will work on developing more psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility is the ability to stay present and take note of the sensations and messages our bodies are telling us (including thoughts) and create space to choose what action to take. This is where values come in. Find out more here:https://contextualscience.org/act

— Nathan Jacquez, Counselor in Salt Lake City, UT
 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is an action-oriented approach that stems from traditional Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It utilizes acceptance and mindfulness strategies to help the client accept the difficulties that come with life. I highly recommend "The Illustrated Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living" by Russ Harris. This is a graphic novel illustrating the principles of ACT Therapy, making it easy to understand and implement into your life.

— Paula Kirsch, Clinical Social Worker in Detroit, MI

I love introducing clients to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. In most cases, they haven't had a therapist help them focus on ways to use acceptance, mindfulness to increase psychological flexibility. This helps provide a different way of approaching pain and helps clients get unstuck from multiple issues including anxiety, chronic pain and depression.

— Ginger Houghton, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Farmington Hills, MI
 

ACT is one of my favorite therapies to use with clients. ACT is known to increase "psychological flexibility" and to help clients become more fluid in life. ACT has 6 parts to it. Those six parts are acceptance, cognitive defusion, being present, self as context, values and committed action. When I work with clients using ACT, we work with mindfulness and acceptance as we go through each piece. I find that learning about my clients values, helps facilitate change and growth. I like to ask my clients if their behaviors are in line with their values. This gives us an opportunity to use values to help align the other parts of life to ensure an authentic life is being lived. We also work a great deal on remaining present. It can be so easy to get caught up in the past or future but remaining in the here and now can be of benefit to the individual. Being able to accept where we are and commit to action can help solidify the changes being. Changes can be life-lasting!

— Erica Faulhaber, Licensed Professional Counselor in Lakewood, CO