Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

I use ACT in both individual and group therapy settings. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a form of therapy developed by Steven C. Hayes in 1982. It assumes that human suffering occurs because we have  become disconnected from being “in the now” as a way to avoid unwanted thoughts, feelings, and memories. As a result of this avoidance our day-to-day decisions are rooted in fear and we become disconnected from our values (i.e., the things that matter to us).

The goal of ACT is to help the us get unhooked from unhelpful, destructive thought patterns and accept the emotions / thoughts / memories we have been avoiding. When we stop avoiding we can reconnect with the things that matter most to us.  Practically speaking, ACT uses session-based and homework activities to practice the specific skills of: getting unhooked, being present (mindfulness), and setting / carrying out meaningful goals.