Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

ACT is an intervention used to increase psychological flexibility. With psychological flexibility, an individual can be in the present moment more fully, allowing them to modify or maintain behavior when it proves to be more beneficial. Therapists and clients try to attain psychological flexibility through 6 primary processes including acceptance, cognitive defusion, being present, self as context, values, and committed action.

Each of these processes are considered to be a psychological skill as opposed to being a method for avoiding a mental disorder. Acceptance is instructed to be a method in which there is not avoidance of a feeling. For instance, an individual suffering from anxiety is taught to face that feeling of anxiety head on and without defense.

Another primary process, “Being Present” promotes interaction in a psychological and environmental context with a nonjudgmental outlook. This is achieved by using language more objectively, noting events and making observations as opposed to predicting and judging them.

All the processes work to allow the individual to enable themselves to enter a state of psychological flexibility. By working with the 6 primary processes, individuals may confront and deal directly with negative thoughts and other challenges.

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