What Is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Used For?
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (or ACT) is used to help to treat stress, anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and psychosis. It has also been used to help treat medical conditions such as drug and alcohol addiction. ACT is an empirically-based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies to help individuals live and behave in ways consistent with personal values while developing mental flexibility. Through mindfulness, one comes to understand how suffering is found in resistance to experiencing negative attachments and in attachment to the permanence of good things. Freedom thus lies in the ability to surrender to the full experience of human emotions, including pain and suffering, in order to stop them from having control. Distressing emotions might not be welcomed, but they have a reason for existing. They may be pointing to cognitive associations to earlier experiences that may no longer be true. For instance, most fears and phobias work this way. if you are riding an elevator that got stuck when you were a child, it’s totally understandable that you would develop this kind of fear as a result. ACT techniques allow one to observe cognitive distortions and self-judgments that often lead to maladaptive and self-sabotage behaviors. Working closely with a therapist, patients learn how to process certain events and feelings. When confronting these emotions, individuals will decide if it should be accepted for what it is and make the appropriate behavioral changes. If you or someone you know could benefit from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, contact Overland IOP’s team today for more information.
What Is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?
What differentiates mental health treatment from other sorts of medical intervention, is that treating issues doesn’t necessarily mean the goal is to eradicate them. A lot of stress comes from people who are already dealing with mental health issues feeling that they’re in the wrong for even having these struggles. They’ll see themselves as weak for conditions like depression and do all they can to feel otherwise. They might try to act cheerful or aloof when they’re feeling unhappy and tense. They might cover up their negative emotions with drugs and alcohol.
However, in trying to act like nothing’s wrong, more problems sprout up. Someone with an anxiety disorder can’t just tell themselves to calm down when having a panic attack. This is like trying to aggressively steer your way out of a skid when driving on black ice. For someone to be able to deal with long-present issues, they may have to accept that the only way out is to realize that there might not be a way out. They may have to deal with their issues, be they depression, anxiety, addiction, or another problem, in one form another, for the rest of their lives. This is what Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is all about. You can read more about ACT in our blog post WHAT IS ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY?
What Is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Used for?
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is used to help to treat stress, anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and psychosis. It has also been used to help treat medical conditions such as drug and alcohol addiction. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a mental health treatment used to treat patients who have issues that they’ve been struggling with for a long time. Some of these issues can be traced back to early childhood, such as separation anxiety. Those who struggle with addiction and intense bodily discomfort can also benefit from ACT. The purpose is to help patients come to terms with their situation. It’s illogical to try to completely reverse a way of thinking and feeling that’s been present for so long that they can’t recall what it’s like to not feel that way. The best treatment can be to help them see their feelings as just being a fact of life, not something they need to suppress.
Published: December 17, 2020
Last Updated: March 30, 2021
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