Professional Clinical Counselor
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
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What is it?
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy was developed in 1982 by Steven Hayes. It is similar to other therapeutic modalities in that it functions with the understanding that thought influences emotion, which then informs behavior. What sets ACT apart is the idea that thought and emotion cannot be controlled, and therein the relationship that we have them becomes paramount, given that its the only place where we can intentionally and deliberately have influence. ACT is values based, with the premise that what we do matters, and we fare better when acting as active participants in our lives.
What Can I expect?
Expect non-judgment. Of thought, of emotion, and of reality. Many of the techniques that ACT employs are incredibly counter-intuitive. We're used to trusting every thought that we have. They come from us, after all. Consider the amount that we have every day though. Can they all be helpful? Not likely. To approach things from a different angle feels strange and can sometimes bring discomfort, which is often a sign of change and forward movement. ACT requires practice and a commitment to focusing on what is important to you. The more you do it, the more natural it becomes until the techniques are second nature.
Duration of Treatment
Many factors influence the length of therapy. Often times, people find relief after the first session knowing that they've taken the first step, and have found a safe space. Needs differ from person to person, and so does engagement. Keeping consistent appointments, implementing recommended strategies, openness to new ideas and change, and a willingness for vulnerability will expedite the process. This is your time, be intentional with how you use it.