As therapy has advanced over the years, one of the most important aspects is the growing range of therapeutic modalities available. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to mental health treatment. Offering a variety of modalities ensures that each person can find the type of therapy that best suits their needs.
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is one of these options. It serves as an alternative to more traditional methods like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). What is ACT, and what are some of the benefits of employing acceptance and commitment therapy techniques?
What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)?
Most people’s natural response to discomfort and pain is to remove or avoid it. By definition, pain is not a pleasant experience. However, pain, in varying degrees, is an inevitable part of life. Trying to avoid pain only strengthens its grasp on you and worsens its effects in the long run.
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) recognizes that things like grief, disappointment, illness, and pain are unavoidable parts of life. No one escapes the world pain-free. Any attempt to avoid this unfortunate truth only causes more harm as time goes on.
Instead of aiming to avoid unpleasant feelings or reducing their frequency, acceptance and commitment therapy techniques teach you to reduce your resistance to them. Accepting difficulties as a natural part of life increases your psychological resilience and enables you to face challenging situations head-on instead of hiding from them.
The long-term goal of ACT is improved psychological flexibility and reduced reliance on harmful coping mechanisms. ACT also encourages you to build and pursue a valuable life in the face of pain instead of giving into the natural desire to avoid or escape troubling experiences, emotions, and thoughts.
Benefits of ACT
Using acceptance and commitment therapy techniques leads to a wide variety of benefits. While it isn’t the most traditional therapeutic approach, it has lots of positive impacts on the people who make use of it. Some of the benefits of ACT include:
Teaches acknowledgment and acceptance of painful truths about life
Again, it’s impossible to avoid painful experiences in life. Learning to acknowledge and accept their inevitability is one of the most helpful ways to approach life effectively. Acceptance and commitment therapy techniques focus on equipping you with this invaluable skill.
Encourages the development of psychological resilience
Psychological resilience refers to your ability to mentally adapt to whatever circumstances you find yourself in. The stronger your psychological resilience, the more effectively you will navigate life. Improving your mental strength is a primary goal of acceptance and commitment therapy techniques and one of its greatest benefits.
Provides important tools and skills
Mindfulness is a primary skill used in acceptance and commitment therapy. Developing a balanced perspective, identifying values, and setting goals are also important parts of the process. These acceptance and commitment therapy techniques are useful not only for managing your mental health but for handling all kinds of situations in life.
Finding an ACT Program
Pasadena Villa is a mental health treatment program that employs the use of acceptance and commitment therapy techniques. We understand how invaluable psychological resilience is and the need for acceptance if you want to manage life effectively.
To learn more about ACT or any of our other programs and therapeutic modalities, call us at 407-574-5190 or submit an online contact form today. Our admissions specialists can help you understand your options and find the fit that best suits you.
- Neurotherapeutics. (2017). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.