Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an evidence based psychological intervention process that effectively aids in dealing with a range of psychological conditions including depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, workplace stress, chronic pain, and other conditions.
A primary assumption of ACT is that most psychological issues are caused by ‘experiential avoidance’. This describes attempts to avoid or get rid of unwanted and unpleasant thoughts, feelings, sensations, urges, and memories, which may work in the short-term, but often creates more psychological suffering in the long-term.
ACT combines traditional behaviour therapy techniques, including CBT and behaviour therapy, with more recent strategies such as cognitive defusion, acceptance, mindfulness, values, and commitment with the aim of increasing psychological flexibility enabling a healthier relationship with these unwanted experiences.
Although the goal of ACT is not to reduce symptoms, paradoxically, by having greater awareness and being in a state of mindfulness, the unpleasant thoughts, feelings, sensations, etc., have less impact and influence over you, enabling you to commit to living a rich and meaningful life.