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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a psychological therapy with roots in mindfulness and acceptance philosophies combined with behavioral change and commitments. It includes the use of Relational Frame Therapy (RFT) in a way to assess current situations in life.

It was developed by psychologist Steven C Hayes in 1982. Hayes explained “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.

In an attempt to ease internalized suffering, ACT works with clients’ inflexibility to move toward a willingness to experience things as they are and become more present, and and recognition that attempts to avoid these thoughts and emotions are not able to bring about long term relief from that suffering. Instead, learning how to accept things first as they are, to practice mindfulness and then create actions that one can commit to in order to improve life based on their values. It is a combination of more traditional behavior therapies and more recently developed therapies.

For more information, check out this video below form Timothy Gordon:

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