What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Used to Treat?
Numerous studies have discovered acceptance and commitment therapy treats a wide variety of mental conditions.
ACT has produced promising results for clients that suffer from addictions. Clients that live with one or more addictions typically experience negative thoughts that motivate them to dull their feelings by abusing drugs and/or alcohol. ACT educates an addicted patient to make sense of the negative thoughts by discussing them with a therapist. Once a patient reveals negative emotions, the therapist treating the client can help the client find ways to confront the negative thoughts and emotions.
What to Expect with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?
By working with an ACT therapist, you can expect to learn how to pay attention to the way you internalize negative thoughts and emotions that develop because of issues such as coping with a traumatic event or dealing with a contentious relationship. After you learn how to listen to your negative emotions, you take steps to change how you think by not relying on the strategies you have used in the past when trying to overcome difficult emotional challenges.
Your ACT therapist is instrumental in educating you about how the five core principles that form the foundation of acceptance and commitment therapy can improve your mental health.
Accept every one of your thoughts, instead of denying they exist. Your ACT therapist teaches you how to stop trying to change negative thoughts and emotions by accepting they are a part of your thought process.
In the Moment
Applying basic mindfulness techniques keeps you in the moment instead of dwelling on past challenges that diminished the quality of your life. One of the most important techniques taught by your ACT therapist involves controlling your breathing pattern.
Cognitive defusion represents a psychologically-driven exercise that changes the way you react to negative thoughts and emotions. By distancing yourself from stressful thoughts and emotions, you alleviate the harmful consequences that are associated with dwelling on negative thoughts and emotions.
The values component of ACT requires you to recognize your values and take steps to live your life according to those principles. One of the obstacles for an ACT client to overcome involves not following the personal values that can help the client avoid distressing interactions with other people.
The bookend core principle of ACT is called commitment. This core principle asks you to make changes in your life that match your values, which can lead to several positive changes in the way you view challenges. You might establish goals and/or develop skills that mitigate the impact of negative thoughts and emotions.