What is acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)? Acceptance and commitment therapy helps you to fully accept the struggles in your life so that you can find a solution to them and act accordingly. Acceptance and commitment therapy is a type of mindfulness-based therapy that encourages you to push past negativity by redirecting your thoughts and feelings.
Through ACT, a therapist can assess your character traits, your history, and your behaviors to help you develop a coping strategy. They guide you to a place where you are ready to commit to changing your life and setting goals to overcome your mental health issues or addiction.
What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?
Three areas form the foundation for acceptance and commitment therapy, including:
- Accepting how you act in a situation and focusing on the present moment
- Choosing how to redirect your thoughts, actions, or behaviors
- Taking action that reflects your mental or behavioral strategy
The first step in changing a problem is to accept that there is a problem. Thus, accepting your personality traits, mental health issues, or behaviors is something you have to accept upfront. This is a significant step in your growth.
For instance, the first step in addiction is admitting that you have a substance use disorder. Your willingness to accept that simple fact can create a powerful shift in your attitude toward dealing with.
During the acceptance phase, therapists may teach you different concepts, such as:
- Controlling your action regardless of how you feel
- Finding a balance between your strengths and weaknesses
- Allowing yourself to make mistakes without beating yourself up
- Acknowledging that struggles are just a part of life – you are not immune
- Accepting full responsibility for your thoughts and actions
2. Cognitive Defusion
Not every thought or feeling that passes through your brain is valid. Additionally, it does not always represent a realistic view of a situation. Cognitive defusion helps you to recognize what your thoughts and feelings really are. In many cases, your thoughts may be irrational. In other cases, they may be fleeting and not something that you want to pay too much attention to.
Cognitive defusion helps you manage your feelings rather than avoiding them. By identifying the truth of an emotion, you are better equipped to act on it – or not.
Your therapist can help you with some defusion strategies, including:
- Take an honest look at your emotions and how they make you feel
- Listen to the voice in your head – what is it trying to tell you
- Are your thoughts, feelings, or emotions valid – if so, why
- Identifying the negativity that is brewing in your mind
- Re-evaluating the current situation with a fresh mindset
Cognitive Defusion helps you distinguish how you would react to a situation now compared to when you were suffering from an addiction and needed addiction counseling. It can liberate you from negative mind patterns and destructive behaviors.
Find Out More About Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Are you wondering what is acceptance and commitment therapy? First Step offers acceptance and commitment therapy as a part of our umbrella treatment plan. If you are looking for a strategy for overcoming your addiction, we recommend ACT as a viable treatment. To find out more, call us today at 866.832.6398. We can help you get on the road to recovery from substance abuse.