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Do you have problems with anxiety, stress or pain? Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) may be able to help.

What is ACT?

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a newer form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). It focuses on thoughts, feelings, and behaviours just like CBT does, but adds elements of acceptance and mindfulness.

ACT aims to increase your psychological flexibility so that you have more choices to live your life the way you want. Consequently, this therapy is helpful for various conditions such as depression, stress, anxiety, and pain.

At Lavendla, we have psychologists and therapists who can help you if you would like to try ACT therapy.

What set our therapist apart was her genuine empathy and personal insight. Not only did she possess a deep understanding of neurodiversity, but she also shared personal experiences that resonated with us, creating an instant connection and fostering a sense of trust!

Benedetta Osarenk

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What is ACT therapy?

ACT is based on a theory called Relational Frame Theory (RFT), which focuses on language, and how it is developed and learned. Act therapy focuses on:

  1. Acceptance: Instead of resisting or suppressing unpleasant thoughts and feelings, they are accepted as a natural part of life.
  2. Cognitive defusion: This is specific to ACT and involves observing thoughts to create distance from them rather than seeing them as truths. It can create flexibility and choice.
  3. Mindfulness: Practicing being aware of and present in the moment without judging or evaluating.
  4. Values-based action: Seeks to find the client’s values and live by them, even if it means facing discomfort.
  5. Commitment: “Commitment” in ACT means committing to work towards one’s personal goals and values, despite obstacles and difficulties.

This is what Lavandla therapist Marco Thiele says about working with ACT: “Treating with ACT with my clients is an inner journey, where we explore together the courage to accept their current situation, to work on the changes they want, to find which thoughts are really helpful and to dare to increase actions in line with their personal values.”

The value-based approach is an important part of ACT treatment and is a hopeful way to move forward in therapy. Marco Thiele also says: “When we live in line with our values, our well-being increases for the better. In the end, our thoughts are just thoughts that cannot be controlled. But we can change our actions”. If you are interested in attending ACT therapy, feel free to contact Marco or any of our therapists who specialize in ACT.

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ACT for anxiety

Overall, ACT is an effective treatment method for conditions such as anxiety, depression, stress, and chronic pain. It uses various techniques and exercises to promote acceptance and supports clients in making meaningful changes. Although individual treatment with ACT is the standard, group treatment is also possible.

Focused ACT (FACT)

Focused ACT is a shorter form of ACT treatment that focuses on a specific problem. A FACT treatment is around 1-5 sessions. It takes a positive view of people, believing that most people can deal with the problems they face with a little support. This may involve learning acceptance strategies, practicing mindfulness, and finding ways forward based on valued direction. FACT is a simpler way of working with ACT that can be helpful for smaller, specific problems.

ACT therapy online

It is possible to work with ACT online via video, which is something our psychologists and therapists at Lavendla offer. You are welcome to book an initial appointment if you are curious about online ACT therapy.

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12 common questions and answers about ACT

What is ACT?

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a newer form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). It focuses on thoughts, feelings, and behaviours and has added elements of acceptance and mindfulness.

How does act therapy work?

Act therapy involves working with a therapist to set goals and work from a specific direction. It uses techniques based on acceptance, mindfulness, and cognition to reduce avoidance and help you live the life you want to live.

What is the purpose of ACT?

In ACT treatment, the aim is to help you overcome your problems or concerns and live according to what is important in life.

How long is an ACT treatment?

The length of an ACT treatment can vary depending on the complexity of the problem but ranges from 1-20 sessions. In Focused ACT (FACT), the treatment is shorter.

What exercises and techniques are used in ACT?

ACT uses different exercises and techniques to change thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. These include cognitive defusion, acceptance, and mindfulness exercises.

What is the basis of ACT?

ACT is based on Relational Frame Theory (RFT), which focuses on language, and how it is developed and learned.

Can you get ACT online?

ACT therapy can be done online.

What is the difference between ACT and CBT?

The difference between ACT and CBT is that ACT does not focus on changing the thoughts, but rather on accepting them and living in a valued way. There is also more work on mindfulness.

What is Focused ACT (FACT)?

FACT is a shorter counseling form of ACT that focuses on one problem. The therapy is usually shorter, between 1-5 sessions.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a tool that involves practicing being in the present moment without judging or evaluating.

What is ACT helpful for?

ACT is helpful if you suffer from stress, anxiety, depression, and pain, among other things.

Where can I turn if I need help?

At Lavendla, we have experienced psychologists and therapists who work with ACT and can help you feel better. If you have thoughts of self-harm or suicide, contact 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Written by Produkt