Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) combines aspects of acceptance and mindfulness approaches with behavior-change strategies, in an effort to help clients develop psychological flexibility. Therapists and counselors who employ ACT seek to help clients identify the ways that their efforts to suppress or control emotional experiences can create barriers. When clients are able to identify these challenges, it can be easier to make positive and lasting changes. Think this approach may work for you? Contact one of TherapyDen’s ACT specialists today to try it out.

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Identifying values and practicing nonjudgmental acceptance of circumstances beyond your control can help you live a more meaningful life.

— Rebecca Lesesne, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Nashville, TN

In ACT, we are identifying who and what matters most to you and then getting curious about the patterns we see arising (both internal and external) that guide you toward or away from what you define as a meaningful life. This approach utilizes a neuroscience informed understanding of the mind, mindfulness practices, compassionate acceptance building and committed action to make the changes you want to see in your life.

— Leigh Shaw, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Tacoma, WA

Acceptance and commitment therapy is a type of mindful psychotherapy that helps you stay focused on the present moment and accept thoughts and feelings without judgment. It works by focusing on accepting life experiences as they come without evaluating or trying to change them. ACT aims to help you move forward through difficult emotions so you can put your energy into healing and living in line with your values.

— E Ardron, Marriage & Family Therapist in Chicago, IL

ACT is way of learning to tolerate and accept the truth of your present experiences, while taking intentional action toward creating change. When life is hard, it makes sense to have difficult thoughts and feelings; it makes sense to want things to be different. We'll work together, through compassionate conversation and mindfulness practice, to increase your capacity to accept these hard things. And we'll also identify action steps, no matter how small, that will create a pathway forward.

— Rachel Fernbach, Therapist in Brooklyn, NY

I studied the theory and application of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy throughout my graduate training, completing a theoretical thesis on the integration of ACT with existential processes of meaning making. Many clients find this framework quite useful in beginning the process of coming to more livable terms with painful or intrusive aspects of their inner lives (e.g., self-defeating thoughts or disruptive emotional experiences).

— Mike Lee, Clinical Psychologist in Charlotte, NC

My primary approach is Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) - and I have multiple trainings in using ACT working with anxiety, grief, depression, and stress. I also apply ACT when working with people experiencing insomnia.

— Heather Ackles, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Portland, OR

By incorporating this model into therapy, I focus on a client's values. Sometimes the way we may be acting or thinking does not align with what we truly value. In using ACT skills, I try to help clients create a space for their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors to be acknowledged without judgment and to lean into identifying how helpful they may be in adding to or unhelpful they may in taking away from value-based living.

— Meagan Fischer, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Tyler, TX

I use ACT to help you reconnect with yourself, take purposeful action, and maintain focused yet flexible engagement with your life and what you value.​ ​

— Rachel Brandwene, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

I have extensive training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and have found this to be one of the most beneficial therapy methods for changing behavior. I use this approach in conjunction with other treatment methods and from a Compassion-Focused lens in order to help address all mental health issues. I have found that this is one of the best evidence-based therapies to use in addressing anxiety, depression, and loss/grief.

— Joshua Manney, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Ventura, CA

Sometimes I wish that the acronym ACT stood for Allow Change Today. The concept of acceptance often gets a bad rap because people think it means just learning to put up with bad situations. But in this case what acceptance really means is learning to accept the unpleasant thoughts and feelings that inevitably accompany change. And commitment is about taking an honest inventory of what we would like to change and who we would like to be. ACT is about giving up on our excuses.

— Samuel Wilson, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Kensington, MD

I have gone through basic ACT training with the founder of the modality: Dr. Steven Hayes. I have completed a 4-day bootcamp, & am currently pursuing advanced training in the modality.

— Madalina Coman, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Gatos, CA

I have completed 2 classes on ACT. In our work we will explore values and determine how we can help you live a life aligned with your values.

— Jason Tuma, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Asheville, NC

ACT is an approach to therapy that helps individuals shift their relationship with their internal experiences (thoughts, feelings, sensations, memories, etc.) by practicing awareness to the present (rather than feeling stuck in the past or worried about the future). ACT is an experiential approach that often includes building mindfulness skills, emotional and cognitive awareness, and exploring values. You will learn to effectively address stressors while building a meaningful, valuable life.

— Dr. Rona Maglian, Psychologist in San Francisco, CA

ACT has two basic principles for therapist and client to follow. One, accept that we have unwelcome thoughts sometimes and that these thoughts are out of our control. Two, commit to a life which is focused on core values defined by you. In other words, "Embrace your imperfections and learn how to trust that you know what's best."

— Michael Ianello, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

ACT therapy assists clients in understanding how to cope with emotions differently by changing your relationship to your emotions and teaching you how to process and move through emotions in a healthy way.

— Ruth Millican, Psychologist in San diego, CA

Our clinicians often utilize an ACT approach, in conjunction with other modalities based on the individual.

— Quintessential Health, Clinical Psychologist in ,

I use 'ACT" to help clients clarify that they are not their thoughts. For example, instead of "correcting" the thought, "I am bad", the client may hear in their head. I teach the client to reframe this thought to "I am HAVING THE THOUGHT I am bad." The client and I then can observe the thought. At this point, the client compares their behaviors to how the client defines "bad" within their VALUES. The client then can make a wise mind decision around how to alter their behaviors.

— Sarah Fleming, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Marietta, GA