Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an action-oriented approach to psychotherapy that has proven to be effective in the treatment of various mental health concerns, including anxiety. The Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS) explains ACT as a “unique empirically based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behavior change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility.” The term psychological flexibility refers to emotional openness and the ability to adapt one’s thoughts and behaviors to better align with one’s values and goals, which can be particularly helpful in overcoming anxiety. Anxiety is defined as “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.” It is an unavoidable feeling that every human will undoubtedly experience at various points throughout one’s life, as it is the body’s natural response to stress. The benefits of ACT for anxiety are best highlighted through its six core processes, which include the following, provided by Verywell Mind:
- Acceptance: This involves acknowledging and embracing the full range of your thoughts and emotions.
- Cognitive defusion: Cognitive defusion involves looking at thoughts rather than from thoughts; it is the process of separating yourself from your inner experiences.
- Self as context: This involves learning to consciously observe, experience, and process your thoughts about yourself without attaching your self-value or identity to them.
- Being present: This involves learning to be more mindful and present in the current moment to gain a greater sense of self and events without judgment.
- Values: This involves choosing personal values in different domains and striving to live according to those principles.
- Committed action: This involves taking concrete steps to incorporate changes that will align with your values and lead to positive change.
ACT equips individuals with practical coping skills and strategies for dealing with anxious thoughts and sensations. It emphasizes mindfulness techniques, teaching individuals to observe their thoughts and feelings without judgment. Research has found that mindfulness practices (e.g., deep breathing exercises) can effectively help with relaxation, stress management, control of psychophysiological states, and improve organ function. ACT is based on the concept that suffering is a natural and inevitable part of the human condition and proposes that undue suffering and dysfunction arise from attempts to control or eliminate unwanted experiences. ACT maintains the therapeutic goal of helping individuals productively adapt to these types of challenges by developing greater psychological flexibility. Through promoting acceptance, mindfulness, and values-driven living, ACT not only addresses anxiety symptoms but also contributes to overall psychological well-being. It fosters a sense of self-compassion, resilience, and a more positive outlook on life.
Treatment In Calabasas
Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options.
The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.