Mindfulness and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Mindfulness

 

Many of our psychologists use Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness (part of ACT) where they feel that this would benefit the client. Sometimes elements of ACT or mindfulness are used in combination with other evidence-based treatments such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (or ACT) has been shown to be effective with a diverse range of clinical conditions including depression, OCD, workplace stress, chronic pain, the stress of terminal cancer, anxiety, PTSD, anorexia, substance abuse, and psychosis.

The basic idea of ACT is that most psychological suffering is caused by avoidance or attempts to get rid of unwanted private experiences (such as unpleasant thoughts, feelings, sensations, urges or memories). ACT proposes that although these strategies might work to reduce suffering in the short-term to some degree, they often fail in the long-term and cause more significant problems and suffering.  ACT aims to provide individuals with strategies that assist them to create a rich and meaningful life, while accepting the pain that inevitably goes along with it.

A component of ACT is ‘Mindfulness’, which is a process which can allow us to observe our private experiences with openness and receptiveness, whereby even the most painful thoughts, feelings, sensations and memories can seem more bearable.

ACT uses an eclectic mix of metaphor, paradox and mindfulness skills, along with a range of experimental exercises and values-guided behavioural interventions.

There are typically three main components: (i) non-judgmentally accepting our inner thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, urges, and increasing our ability to experience events in the present moment through a number of different mindfulness strategies (both traditional techniques and many modern innovative ones); (ii) choosing a set of values and life directions that will enlarge your vitality, purpose and meaning; and (iii) taking action consistent with your values. Mindfulness techniques can help an individual transform their relationship with painful thoughts and feelings, and reduce the impact they have on their life.

 

If you would like more information about any of our treatments, or to book an appointment with one of our clinical psychologists, please email or call the clinic on 0405 430 530.

 

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