Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Background

Contextual Behavioural Science has made great strides in the clinical world through Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)- an approach that has contributed to the evolution of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, and helped to support CBT empirically.

ACT is an application of contemporary contextual behavioral psychology. ACT is a psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behavior change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility means contacting the present moment fully, and based on what the situation affords, changing or persisting in behavior in the service of chosen values.

Building upon Relational Frame Theory (RFT) basic research, ACT clairifies the ways that language can entangle clients into futile attempts to wage war with their thoughts and feelings. Fusion or inflexibility with thoughts and feelings decreases psychological flexibility, often moving clients away from valued living. Through experiential exercises clients learn how to make healthy contact with thoughts, feelings, memories, and physical sensations that have been feared and avoided. Within ACT, clients gain the skills to see their thoughts and feelings from a new perspective, and accept private events they typically struggle with and have prevented them from behaving in a way that is aligned with their values. They also learn to develop greater clarity about personal values, and commit to needed behavior change.

ACT Work in ANZ ACBS Community

A majority of our ANZ ACBS Community are ACT practitioners- whether it’s in private practice, hospitals, organizations, or education. Please explore other areas of our website where we detail local ACT trainings (practical and academic), research, worthy causes, and resources.

Resources

ANZ ACBS Annual Conference
ANZ ACBS ACT Training
Resources for Novice ACT Practitioners
Become a member of ACBS International
Hayes, S. C., Strosahl, K.D. & Wilson, K. G. (2011). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Second Edition: The Process and Practice of Mindful Change. The Guilford Press.

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