New Directions Psychology

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy

What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a mindfulness-based, third generation cognitive-behavioural therapy. The ACT model applies to all human beings and is a radically different way of looking at emotional pain. ACT focuses on the premise that uncomfortable inner experiences (thoughts feelings etc.) are not the source of human suffering. Rather, it is the attempt to control, limit or push away these inner experiences that cause you to suffer. This suffering results in your life constricting and becoming disconnected from what really matters to you.
Instead of focusing on eradicating pain, ACT is about accepting what is out of your personal control and creating a willingness to come into contact with painful inner experiences. This enables you to commit to action that improves and enriches your life. ACT achieves this by teaching you to deal compassionately with your painful thoughts and feelings, in such a way that they have much less impact and influence over you. ACT also encourages you to think about what is really important to you in your life, in order to take active steps towards connecting with your goals and values.
ACT is a very active therapy during which you will learn effective and practical new skills. The application of these skills and therapeutic concepts will help you to stop struggling with your pain, to step back from unhelpful patterns of thinking, and engage with the present moment in order to connect with your values and to act on them every day.
Who benefits from ACT?
ACT has proven effective with a diverse range of clinical conditions, including (but not exclusive to) depression, anxiety disorders, workplace stress, chronic pain, health and life adjustment issues, eating disorders, substance abuse, and even schizophrenia.
ACT can be used with individuals, couples and groups, both as brief therapy or long term therapy, and in a wide range of clinical populations.
Where can I find out more about ACT?

If you are in crisis or have a mental health emergency and require immediate assistance:

Phone the Ambulance Service - 000
Visit your local hospital emergency department
Call or visit your local mental health service
Contact your local GP