ACT does not recognize unwanted emotional experiences as symptoms or problems but to view them more positively as a normal part of the fullness and vitality of life and that life includes a full spectrum of experience, sometimes including the discomfort or even pain that may accompany some situations. ACT, along with Mindfulness training, helps the individual to accept things as they come without evaluating them or attempting to change or control them. Once the individual learns to develop a new, compassionate relationship with these experiences and emotions they often feel a sense of release and relief at not needing to control them. The feeling can be quite liberating and they become more open and accepting.
Psychological flexibility is the primary goal of ACT, which can be achieved through a few core processes:
Among these is exploring past attempts at controlling or “solving” past experiences and recognizing the lack of success at these efforts, thereby creating the opportunity to act in a manner more consistent with what’s most important to the individual.
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