Coastal Child and Adult Therapeutic Services

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a type of psychotherapy that promotes acceptance as a means to manage negative thoughts and feelings.

Unlike cognitive behavioural therapy which seeks to reduce the frequency and severity of upsetting thoughts and feelings, the purpose of ACT is to reduce the need to control or eliminate these experiences, whilst promoting meaningful life activities consistent with your values and goals.

ACT is built around six core components: Acceptance; Cognitive Defusion; Being Present; Self as Content; Values; and Commitment to Action. A range of techniques are taught to accomplish these and help to recognise the ways in which attempts to suppress, manage or control emotional experiences can lead to negative thoughts and feelings. The therapy works by promoting acceptance as a means to achieve psychological flexibility, which refers to a person’s ability to be fully aware of their positive and negative emotions, and being in contact with the present moment.

ACT is flexible to your needs, and so the number of sessions varies from person to person. Sessions may typically include mindfulness exercises, and encouragement to consider your values and actions to live life consistent with your values. ACT has shown to be helpful for a range of conditions and can be useful in helping individuals deal with overwhelming stress and many forms of anxiety.

CCATS staff trained in ACT: