Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Developed by Steven C. Hayes
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) gets it name from one of its core messages: accept what is out of your personal control, and commit to action that improves and enriches your life.
The aim of ACT is to maximise human potential for a rich, full and meaningful life.
Developed within a coherent theoretical and philosophical framework, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a unique empirically based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behaviour change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility.
Psychological flexibility means contacting the present moment fully as a conscious human being and based on what the situation affords, changing or persisting in behaviour in the service of chosen values.
Based on Relational Frame Theory, ACT illuminates the ways that language entangles clients into futile attempts to wage war against their own inner lives. Through metaphor, paradox, and experiential exercises clients learn how to make healthy contact with thoughts, feelings, memories, and physical sensations that have been feared and avoided. Clients gain the skills to recontextualize and accept these private events, develop greater clarity about personal values, and commit to needed behavior change.
What is unique to ACT?
ACT is the only Western psychotherapy developed in conjunction with its own basic research program into human language and cognition—Relational Frame Theory (RFT).