Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is one of the emerging ‘third wave’ therapies which are evidence based therapeutic developments from more traditional CBT. Its main focus is working on the relationship we have to our thoughts and feelings.
The struggle to control thoughts and feelings can often paradoxically cause greater difficulties. Our use of language often draws us into this eliminative agenda and can maintain and deepen our distress. ACT uses a variety of techniques including mindfulness to work on how we relate to our difficulties.
Whilst efforts to control difficulties may seem to be an appropriate response to difficulties ACT helps individuals develop more useful responses of willingness in pursuit of what really matters in that person’s life. It does not focus on symptom control or eradication of difficulties; instead it focuses on changes of approach which can result in powerful changes for the better even when some difficulties remain.