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

 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) focuses on dropping the struggle with life’s challenges, rather than attempting to eliminate or avoid thoughts and difficult feelings. Emphasis is placed on calling attention to difficult thoughts and feelings if it is useful, helpful, and can guide them toward effective action. Clients learn and practice mindfulness skills and strategies to live life in a way that reflects their values.

— Robyn Tamanaha, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Irvine, CA

ACT (pronounced “act”) is an evidence-based model of psychotherapy that is a branch of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It is similar to CBT in it's structure, with an intentional focus on goals and treatment plans and the use of homework. However, ACT differs from traditional CBT in that it is more focused on mindfulness and aims to increase psychological flexibility. The goal of ACT is to work towards “acceptance” of what is outside of your control and to make a commitment to change things

— Todd Schmenk, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Providence, RI
 

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

I have received clinical training and community training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and have worked with clients over the years in addressing anxiety, depression, trauma, and living a life more consistent with their values.

— Miklos Hargitay, Psychologist in New York, NY
 

Acceptance does not mean that we are okay with what is happening; instead, we can turn toward ways of being in relationship to difficult feelings or experiences, while understanding that they are unchangeable.

— Jessica Kim, Mental Health Counselor in Hingham, MA

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an evidence-based behavioral therapy that encourages people to embrace their thoughts and feelings, including the negative ones. The goal of ACT is to create a rich and meaningful life by increasing psychological flexibility. ACT combines the mindfulness skill of living in the present moment with the practice of self-acceptance. When we allow our thoughts and feelings to be as they are, even the most painful events can seem more tolerable.

— Carmen F Juneidi, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Chicago, IL
 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is an evidence-based therapy devised from how the brain works. It has been clinically proven to work with a wide range of emotional and behavioral issues. Very simply, the role of ACT is to help you to accept what is outside of your control and commit to actions that are connected to your values to enrich your life.

— ClaireMarie Clark, Clinical Psychologist in Fircrest, WA
 

We experience challenging feelings for a reason. I find that ACT helps to make peace with these inner experiences and allows you to move forward in your life.

— Annie Holleman, Psychologist in Austin, TX

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a behavioral therapy approach that incorporates mindfulness and acceptance strategies to help you change the way you relate to distressing thoughts and feelings. ACT worked to increase four psychological flexibility and reduce suffering and pain. ACT interventions include mindfulness practice, metaphors, and experiential exercises to develop psychological flexibility, drop the struggle with negative thoughts and emotions, and live a value-driven life.

— Nicholas Moore, Clinical Psychologist
 

In couples work, focus is on how we can accept our partner and allow them to be themselves in our relationship, while not losing focus on how to work together in compromise. Rather than eliminating difficulty, we will focus on embracing the challenge of relationship and find harmony.

— Heather Pierucki, Counselor in Honolulu, HI
 

Acceptance and commitment therapy, it isn't about just accepting your circumstances, but it is acknowledging them and trying to find ways to live your values.

— Stacy Stegeman, Therapist in Columbia, MO

I integrate a variety of tools and techniques into sessions but the top three that I use would fall under CBT, solution focused brief therapy, and ACT.

— Deborah Farber, Counselor in Tulsa, OK
 

ACT is an evidence-based behavioral therapy that encourages people to embrace their thoughts and feelings, including the negative ones. The goal of ACT is to create a rich and meaningful life by increasing psychological flexibility and mindfulness. When using ACT, I focus on my client's values, living in the present moment and practicing self-acceptance. When we allow our thoughts and feelings to be as they are, even the most painful events and memories can seem more tolerable.

— Carmen F Juneidi, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Chicago, IL

ACT is becoming more and more a part of my clinical work. I love the playfulness, flexibility, and metaphors associated with the spirit of ACT.

— Kate Czar, Psychologist in Austin, TX
 

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 Erie, CO

This kind of therapy focuses on thoughts and behaviours and requires you to take action (commit to it) to live out your values. We explore your values together (and I help you figure them out, if you're uncertain) to create a more satisfying life for you. Additionally, mindfulness training is a part of this kind of therapy. I teach my clients the skills necessary to stay present if they choose to do it (on purpose) and without unnecessary judgments.

— Zofia Czajkowska, Psychologist in Montreal, VT
 

There are some things that we just cannot change. I use acceptance and mindfulness combined with an action oriented approach to psychotherapy. Clients learn to stop struggling with their inner emotions and instead accept them and move through them. It has been effective at treating workplace stress, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.

— Samantha Grimes, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Laguna Hills, CA

I attended a 4-day intensive training seminar on ACT and have also presented my own training seminars on ACT to doctoral interns and practicum students. I worked exclusively from an ACT perspective for about 2 years, and though I have been cultivating my practice and expanding my base of knowledge ever since, I still consider ACT to be a major foundation of my work.

— Jason Wu, Psychologist in San Jose, CA
 

One small piece of ACT is making room to experience hard things. Everyone is different but, sometimes no matter how hard you try it doesn’t work for you to stop or change a thought. ACT helps us make room for the things that come up AND focus on living our best life. I have worked with young people of all ages who find this approach a great starting point for working with themselves as they make changes in their mental game. ACT can also be very action oriented which can appeal to athletes.

— Erin Beskid, Counselor in Annapolis, MD

ACT is all about powering up and working through discomfort by remembering what's really important to you. So, for instance, if you're uncomfortable finishing what's on your plate, you remember that the real reason you sat down for dinner was to continue your recovery, which is important because your family and friends need you and you want to be healthy so you can still go to Spain next summer. In other words, you ACCEPT the discomfort and COMMIT to your values. Get it?

— Brian Jones, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA
 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy comes from the perspective of accepting yourself for who you are with out shame or judgment. This is particular important for people from marginalized populations. I want to help you live a healthy and emotionally rich life and by accepting yourself and healing old wounds you can begin to grow toward becoming the person you want to be.

— Beck Pazdral, Counselor in Seattle, WA

We experience challenging feelings for a reason. I find that ACT helps to make peace with these inner experiences and allows you to move forward in your life.

— Annie Holleman, Psychologist in Austin, TX

Acceptance of things as they come, without evaluating or attempting to change them, is a skill developed through mindfulness exercises in and out of session. ACT does not attempt to directly change or stop unwanted thoughts or feelings, but instead encourages people to develop a new and more welcoming relationship with those experiences. This shift can free people from difficulties attempting to control their experiences and help them become more open to actions consistent with their values.

— Kevin Condon, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Atlanta, GA
 

I have experience providing ACT therapy and follow the 6 core principles, which include; cognitive defusion; acceptance; contact with the present moment; observing self; exploring values and committing to action.

— Brittany Woodley, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Dallas, TX