Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ( also known as ACT) is one of our favorite modalities in Central Illinois. It’s very useful in addressing concerns such as anxiety, depression, phobias, addiction issues, and trauma-related concerns. When we are using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with our clients at The Mental Wellness center our biggest goal is to increase psychological flexibility.
When a client is using ACT, the aim is to focus on remaining cognizant of judging, controlling, avoiding, or feeling guilty about the painful emotions regarding painful experiences. What Acceptance and Commitment Therapy does is encourages people to embrace, learn from, and ultimately accept, their thoughts and feelings. While also working to change their behaviors. Many of our clients have this joke, where they will say, “I’m not judging, I’m just noticing” regarding their feelings and emotions.
There are six foundational concepts in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in Normal, Illinois. Those concepts include acceptance, cognitive defusion, being present, self as context, values, committed action, and a definition of ACT. The psychological flexibility I mentioned earlier is established through these six core ACT processes.
Acceptance is taught as an alternative to experiential avoidance. Acceptance involves the active and aware embrace of those private events occasioned by one’s history without unnecessary attempts to change their frequency or form, especially when doing so would cause psychological harm. Acceptance is fostered as a method of increasing values-based action. What this means is letting feelings or thoughts happen without the impulse to act on them, observing your weaknesses but take note of your strengths, and permitting yourself to not be good at everything.
Cognitive Defusion is an attempt that teaches a person to alter the undesirable functions of thoughts and other private events, instead of attempting to alter the form, frequency, or situational sensitivity. In other words, In Central Illinois, we teach you how to use ACT to attempt to change the way you interact with or relate to thoughts by creating contexts in which their unhelpful functions are diminished. There’s a huge variety of methods to the ways to create cognitive defusions, the bottom line is a decrease in believability, or attachment to, private events rather than an immediate change in their frequency. Which means an increase in peace and stabilization of mental health symptoms. Cognitive defusion in simple terms is really about helping people cope with unhelpful or uncomfortable thoughts or feelings. It allows us to create space between ourselves and our thoughts and feelings so that they have less of a hold over us. Which gives us a sense of freedom and a sense of peace.
Being Present: While we are talking about doing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in Bloomington Normal, Illinois. It doesn’t matter where in the world you receive your therapy in ACT at. It will regularly promote consistent non-judgmental connections with psychological and environmental events as they occur. The focus is to have clients experience the world in a way that is more flexible and more consistent with the values they hold. This happens by allowing workability to exert more control over behavior; and using language as a tool to note and describe events, not simply predict and judge them. It’s crucial to be able to release the need for judgment. Essentially it’s about allowing ourselves to experience sensations, feelings, and thoughts that have arisen and make contact with the present moment. All of which leads us to a sense of connection.
Self as Context: There is so much growing evidence of the importance of language, and the function of language. In that, the self plays a huge role. From that stems concepts such as empath, the theory of mind, sense of self, and it grows on from there. A portion of self as the context is being able to engage in flexible perspective-taking. This describes what occurs when you shift your perspective of being immersed in the context of once consciousness to simply observing the flow of content. It can also show up as allowing an individual to take the perspective of another and infer that person’s intentions and feelings. Self as context also asks us to look at our identity. It provides us with a different space to view ourselves outside of just thinking self and a physical self. At the heart of ACT, it believes in experiencing thoughts and feelings, rather than judging them evaluating, or even intellectualizing them. These are all reasons why self as the context is such an important part of the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy framework.
Values: When you are working with a therapist in Illinois, it seems like values would be a no-brainer right? But it’s a little bit deeper than that. Value-based living, helping to learn to free yourself from the traps and barriers of life and see what you want your life to be. A value is a life direction and internal compass that guides us through life. Values are often chosen qualities of purposive action that can never be obtained as an object but can be instantiated by moment. ACT uses a variety of exercises to help choose life directions in various domains while undermining verbal processes that might lead to choices based on avoidance, social compliance, or fusion. When you are living a life based on values, it helps to free yourself from the traps and barriers of life and see what you want your life to be.
Committed Action: Lastly, ACT encourages the development of increasing and increasing patterns of effective action linked to chosen values. Taken as a whole, each of these processes support and builds off of each other. Additionally, each targets psychological flexibility: the process of contacting the present moment fully as a conscious human being and persistent or changing behavior in the survival of chosen values.
These six processes are often chunked into two groupings: mindfulness and acceptance processes. Both being very successful and highly likable by the clients who have been introduced to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
If you think you would benefit by experiencing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, if you struggle with dealing with your feelings and emotions, if you struggle with anxiety or depression, or if you are having any issues surrounding addiction issues or complications from trauma complications maybe it’s time to seek out a therapist with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Training.
If you would like to set up an appointment please feel free to call our office at 309-807-5077. Or email us at info@TheMentalWellnessCenter.com to schedule an appointment. Please feel free to learn more about our providers here:https://www.thementalwellnesscenter.com/providers
This content was originally published here.