Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a common method for treating eating disorders, borderline personality disorder, anxiety, depression, addiction, psychosis, chronic pain, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, including many others. An ACT therapist will focus on six main skills. Over the course of ACT, your therapist will work to strengthen each of these areas for optimal wellbeing. The six areas of focus are:
Defusion : The act of being able to step back from our thoughts instead of getting lost or “caught up” in them.
Openness : The willingness to allow emotional pain to be present without necessarily welcoming it. Openness is the alternative to avoidance.
Present moment : The mindfulness component. This does not necessarily refer to meditation but rather noticing what you see, hear, smell, feel, and taste in the present moment.
Self as Context : The ability to see ourselves existing as independent of our struggles or stories. This skill is usually one of the hardest but also most rewarding ACT processes because it teaches us how to identify ourselves as a combination of all of our traits and not the roles we play or the struggles we face.
Values : The things that are important to us and inform all of our choices. ACT teaches us different ways to connect to our values and take actions based on those values.
Committed Actions are the choices we make based on the values we are connecting to in any particular situation.