ACCEPTANCE AND COMMITMENT THERAPY (ACT)
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, typically referred to as ‘ACT’ is an empirically based psychological intervention developed to help people learn strategies to live life more in the present, more focused on important values and goals, and less focused on painful thoughts.
ACT uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies in different ways with commitment and behaviour-change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility. Steven C. Hayes developed this protocol in 1982 to form a varied approach which integrates both cognitive and behaviour therapy. There are a variety of protocols for ACT, depending on the target behaviour or setting.
Because the objective of ACT is not to eliminate difficult feelings or fight emotions, it teaches people to open up to unpleasant feelings, through acceptance and mindfulness techniques to develop self-compassion and build life-enhancing patterns of behaviour.