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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance is not easy for everyone, especially for those facing addiction. Breaking free from substance dependence can come with painful emotions while undergoing the process of sobriety. With acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), you can let go of these feelings and improve your quality of life.

If you prefer an action-based approach to psychotherapy, you might want to consider ACT. Overall, ACT teaches patients to manage life’s difficulties by overcoming negative feelings and harmful thoughts. It will also help individuals reach their goals through commitment exercises. Let’s continue to unpack what this means and how ACT might benefit you.

What Is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?

Acceptance and commitment therapy can teach you to accept painful feelings, experiences and thoughts without judgment. You can take action for your health and create a fulfilling life with ACT.

Each session encourages you to make lasting changes to adhere to your new life goals and direction. ACT can help you learn skills to assess your feelings in the moment instead of repressing or avoiding them. 

Specifically, ACT works with three main components:

  1. Mindfulness: This helps you incorporate awareness and presence within the moment instead of functioning on autopilot. Mindfulness means living intentionally and accepting whatever happens.
  2. Creative hopelessness: Construct new strategies for improvement by considering the things that haven’t worked in the past. It is impossible to eliminate all of life’s pain. However, we can improve our lives by continuing to move forward.
  3. Psychological flexibility: With this component as the primary goal of ACT, individuals choose actions that align with their true values.

Techniques Involved With ACT

ACT uses behavioral therapy techniques to guide you through dealing with troublesome thoughts, calming the inner struggle. All specific techniques are included within the six core processes of ACT, which are:

  1. Acceptance: Instead of exerting energy to avoid pain, learn to accept that it is part of the human experience. Let go of avoidance, and consciously experience the uncomfortable with compassion.
  2. Presence of mind: Through incorporating mindfulness, being present involves paying attention and fully experiencing the here and now.
  3. Cognitive diffusion: Recognize your thoughts are merely ideas that do not represent facts. Learn to give positive thoughts more power while detaching from negative ones.
  4. Self-observation: Our experiences do not define us — we simply gain experience from those events. While it sounds complicated, ACT can teach you to detach yourself from a traumatic experience while still being fully present.
  5. Committed action: Set meaningful goals to take control, and realize you will likely experience negative thoughts and feelings along the way. Still, you will learn to continue moving forward.
  6. Values: Create a list of meaningful values with your therapist to motivate yourself to make helpful choices during the recovery process. Your values can then provide the foundation for setting relevant goals.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy at The Sanctuary

At The Sanctuary, we provide ACT services for addiction recovery. Therapy can be rewarding as you work to tolerate cravings while taking action to encourage positive change. Contact us online or give us a call at (866) 750-0763 to start setting goals for a new future.

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