Who Is a Good Candidate for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)?


What is acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)?

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is an action-oriented psychotherapy that focuses on accepting life experiences and committing to staying focused on the present moment. Pain, illness, grief, anxiety, sadness and regret are inevitable throughout life. ACT helps individuals accept these hardships and make necessary changes to move forward by developing psychological flexibility. This allows energy to be used for healing in the present, instead of dwelling on emotions, thoughts, and painful experiences. Dealing with chronic pain often involves grieving the loss of a previous chronic-pain-free life. Many people facing chronic pain may benefit from ACT therapy.

Who is a good candidate for ACT?

Individuals wishing to become more self-aware, stop negative thinking, and lead a life more aligned with their values may benefit from ACT. This therapeutic method can be particularly helpful to those who are experiencing struggles or hardships in their life. This includes individuals dealing with any of the following:

  • Chronic pain or illness
  • Life transitions
  • Discontentment
  • Stress
  • Grief
  • Divorce or separation
  • Parenting difficulties
  • Emotional issues

Health conditions that may improve with ACT

ACT can be beneficial for various health conditions. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Treatment-resistant depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Substance abuse disorder
  • Trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling)
  • Performance anxiety
  • Phobias (irrational fears)
  • Psychosis
  • PTSD and other trauma and stress-related issues

Looking for more information about ACT, check out Choosing Therapy.

Additional source: The Dot Canada