Acceptance and Commitment Therapy:
“ A GUIDE ON THE WORKING AND PRINCIPLES OF ACT”
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy(ACT), rather than struggling for or feeling bad, helps individuals to embrace their emotions and emotions.
It may at first seem confusing, but ACT combined with attention-based treatment offers clinically effective treatment. In the end:
Running apart from any problem only makes the solution more distant. It can be resolved the easiest way out of the problem.
ACT and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) will both benefit from psychiatric disorders, such as fear, stress, OCD, addictions and substances misuse…
ACT is a type of behavioural treatment which incorporates the ability of awareness and the practise of self-accommodation… Engagement plays a major role in seeking to more accept your thoughts and feelings. In the case of ACT, instead of resisting tension, you commit to the dilemma head on. Imagine taking action to make your experience easier and take on any challenge.
As you can see in this work below, ACT is successful in the treatment of a broad variety of psychiatric problems, and even acts as a critical and motivating self-determination viewpoint…
What if you can accept and feel what you think, even if it is negative?
We thought you should download our 3 Mindfulness Activities for free before you read on. These scientific activities not only help you cultivate a sense of inner harmony in your day-to-day existence, they also provide you with the resources to raise your customers, students or employees’ understanding…
The following is an article:
- What is ACT ?
- ACT and Steven C. Hayes
- ACT’s psychological and attentive function
- ACT in Condition Care
- Community Group Implementation of ACT
- ACT Applications to support
- A Reply Carry Home
What is ACT?
Core Procedures and Descriptions
ACT is a form of procedure that makes people understand what is out of their reach and therefore, participates in behaviours that improve their existence (Harris, 2013), states in simple words on the web site www.act mindfully.com.au.
The ACBS views Function as a treatment on the premise that pain for humanity is normal and unavoidable. We have an ability to regulate our perceptions, but we don’t often get this instinct.
To put it less clinically, Dr Russell Harris (2011) described ACT as a behavioural therapy based on awareness that challenges Western psychology’s core rules…” Their unique purpose is to assist patients in their lives and their skills of focus, in combination with pain and suffering.
ACT’s six main pathways direct people through treatment and provide a therapeutic flexibility structure (Harris, 2011)…
The foregoing are the six main ACT processes:
- Cognitive defence
- Current Being
- Context for yourself
- Action undertaken
Acceptance is an antidote to our tendency to stop worrying about experiences that are unpleasant — or possibly negative… It is the active alternative to permit disagreeable interactions to occur, without attempting to reject or alter them.
Acceptation is not an ACT objective, but a means to encourage behaviour that results in good results.
Cognitive defusion relates to strategies designed to alter the way a person responds to their emotions and ideas. Acceptance and Dedication counselling should not aim to restrict our response to traumatic events, rather to confront them and to bring less focus to these experiences on the other hand…
The presence of the individual may be interpreted as being conscious of the present moment without judgement. In other terms, it includes the experience without anticipating or altering the experience.
Self as meaning is the notion that an individual’s experiences, thinking or feelings are not necessarily summed up.
Values in this sense are the attributes to which we want to function. We all uphold principles that drive our steps, knowingly or unconsciously. In ACT, we use instruments to help us live our lives to the ideals we love.
Finally, ACT seeks to support patients perform acts to lead to their long-term interests and live their lives in compliance with their values… If we are conscious of how a practise impacts them, meaningful behavioural improvements cannot take effect.
ACT does not vary from most clinical interventions. Instead of avoidance, ACT stresses just approval which varies from many other therapies. It can be traced back to ACT’s creator Stephen C. Hayes’ history in this divergence from other mainline care.
ACT and Steven C. Hayes
ACT was founded in 1986 (Harris, 2011), by Steven C. Hayes, professor of Psychology of the University of Nevada… His study started with the impact on our internal experiences in language and thinking and laid the groundwork for ACT.
Hayes was not persuaded that discomfort and misery could be prevented and tamped as far as possible. He found pain to be an inherent and necessary part of human nature and a source of satisfaction because we did not run from what frightens us.
Starting with his own pain background, Steven Hayes provides a good argument for acceptability and self-confidence. His TED Talk regarding psychological versatility offers the framework for his psychological analysis of ACT.
ACT’s psychological and attentive function
The function of ACT is founded on the philosophy of relationship framework in psychology and awareness-raising orange apples… The principle of human connectivity is the basis for language and cognition. AGT is focused on relationship theory.
In this connection it is important to remember the aspects of a partnership. For example, we may connect an apple with the orange, but our relationship capability makes it simple to understand how different colours and textures are even though they are identical (round) and have the same purpose to eat…
Unlike other species, humans are uncannily capable of relating both neutral occurrences as well as apparently unrelated terms and thoughts.
While this is a beneficial skill, it encourages depressive thinking and self-judgment. If we can link the term cookie to the cookie experience, the word ‘worthless’ may often be correlated with the sense that we are worthless.
Our capacity to shape link networks (i.e., the terms ‘orange,’ ‘apple’ and ‘pear’ refer to the idea of ‘fruit’) may be destructive to us as we are influenced by anxiety and depression.
For starters, we might refer to the opportunity to perform my job as “worthless” and by extension, to my existence as the word “worthless.” ACT is focused on the principle of partnership frames.
Sometimes, we develop partnership networks that are not complimentary or life-giving but that can also alter as we take note of our feelings and change how we respond to it instead of seeking to escape it.
The ACT organisation, which is a fantastic resource, has all of these attentively accessible.
This PDF from The HappinessTrap also fits the ACT principles for clinicians and other mental health practitioners. It raises you concerns regarding the social inflexibility of your customers.
The degree to which someone has difficulties in the six core processes is psychological inflexibility.
In contrast to the six core processes, the questions map as follows:
Dominance of past or potential conceptualization; minimal self-knowledge (compare with acceptance)
Merger (see defusion)
Experiential evasion (as opposed to present)
Attachment to the conceptualised self (as a context, vs itself)
Clarity/contact loss of values (see values)
Impractical behaviour (compared to dedicated action)
This collection of questions will help the consumers decide where their attention will be focused. This is a vital move to accept your perspectives and function on your most fundamental beliefs.
Applying priority to the treatment
If you are searching for a visual resource on how to use ACT, see this graphic on acceptance and focus as therapeutic devices. Click here.
This presentation provides material about how attention and acceptance can help troubled individuals. The ideas behind the working of ACT are discussed as well as therapists’ proposals that want to sensitise their clients.
7 Effective ACT preparation, technological and metaphorical activities
Applying focus to your recovery The segment above provides many services with acceptance and commitment counselling, and we will now explain in depth all of the more common activities & metaphors…
A variety of these can be found on the ACT exercises or ACT metaphors tab, on the website of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Research. There will be a connection to the exercise with each exercise or metaphor for more detail.
Matthieu Villatte’s published acceptance exercise
This is a fast lesson for practitioners in behavioural wellbeing to make their clients appreciate how ineffective evasion can be. In the following phases this exercise will be completed:
Offer your consumer a paper sheet and a pad and ask if they have written notes in the shop.
A barrier to the customer’s ability to see paper and stylus (eg, carton, mask with extremely restricted vision, etc should be present until the client can compose something….
Ask the consumer if they felt troubled and if they should see as they are writing. Let them realise that the barrier will begin, but strive to get through the barrier to compose a word.
Let them battle for 20 to 30 seconds to see the hurdle. Possibly at this stage you won’t have published something readable.
Ask your customer what they have done (i.e., “How has it? Did it find it hard? Were you in a position to compose the sentence?
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Suggest that the consumer avoid staring at the challenge, but acknowledge it and write it down anyway.
The word they write while writing would actually be more readable (instead of ignoring it). Take this into consideration and help them bind up to the harmful effects of each other between removing physical challenges and avoiding emotional distress.
This exercise can be found here in more depth.
1. Payoffs, Causes and Habits
This worksheet is a fillable matrix on page 6 with one column to report stimuli (situations, emotions or emotions accompanying a certain action), conduct (what you do actually), and earnings (the direct consequences of behaviour, which allow activity to continue).
This table will allow you or your consumers to recognise self-defeating patterns, and can be a first phase in the detection and improvement of problem behaviour.
2. Clarification of the principles – Bull’s Eye:
The Values Bull’s Eye or a collection of concentric circles, divided into four quadrants, are presented in another worksheet: employment, school, leisure and growth/health as well as connection.
This exercise requires putting a “X” on the circle which reflects most closely how you feel today.
The closest you get to the middle, the closer the X is the more you sound like you are performing. The further the X is the less you sound like yourself. On page 11 or separately, this worksheet is available in the above PDF.
3. The ‘Triflex’ Technique for the Measurement of Psychological Versatility.
The final pages in the ACT PDF allow you to measure your psychological versatility according to three factors:
- Power to open
- Capacity to be available
- Power to do the stuff
Here you will find a perception of psychological versatility, a description of each of these three variables and a way to estimate the skills currently in these fields.
4. Worksheets “The Bliss Trap”
Www.thehappinesstrap.com offers another PDF filled with worksheets.
This PDF is accessible here which comprises the following worksheets:
Worksheet on preventative costs (pages 4-5)
Four phrases are on this worksheet to finish:
I would like to get rid of my feelings mostly:
The sentiments I like to get rid of most are:
I’d like to get rid of the sensations:
I would like to get rid of the most memories:
Then we ask you to write down everything that you have done to stop certain emotions, sentiments, feelings and memories or to get rid of them. A few forms of prevention strategies are to distract oneself from them, stop tasks or utilise self-medicating drugs.
The following questions are asked for each item:
Have my painful feelings and emotions been removed in the long run?
Is it closer to a life of riches, fullness and meaning?
What cost me this intervention in terms of time, resources, funds, fitness, connections and vitality if question 2 is no?” What did it cost me?
This worksheet will allow you to consider your own preventative methods and how they achieve the outcomes you expect.
Exercises for casual consideration
Two basic activities on an average day are given on this page:
Top of Page: This practise makes you experience the feelings as you get ready throughout the morning, including the flavour of your toothpaste, your face’s scent or a sense of hot water in the showers on your body…
Pay attention to homework: You should practise your activity clearly by understanding the feelings you encounter as you sweep through the floors, washing or eating… Why not take the time to do so carefully because you always” have to do the dishes? Good for your brain. This is good for your brain.
This worksheet helps you to envision a casual practise of concentration to bring to your day, for example when standing on the road or walking to your door from your vehicle… Perhaps it’s something like “no-phone time” when you snack or stand in line.
Type of assessment of values
A matrix of 10 life fields (e.g. couples / romantic partnerships, parents, jobs, etc and 4 columns for completing the Values Appraisal Form is given.
A short overview of the goal for each domain (valueful guidance)
Importance of your life of this importance
Achievement of this attribute
Rank in order to guarantee that you are actually operating on this domain
The Values Assessment Form will help you recognise the situations where you are behind your targets, where you are fulfilling your objectives and to target achieving those objectives in the future.
Worksheet setting target
The table tells readers the principles behind their priorities and how to ensure that these objectives are Wise. For precise, meaningful, adaptive, practical and time-specific targets, SMART is an acronym.
This exercise can make you realise how you should establish targets instead of high ideas that are not accompanied by tangible steps.
What to do in a crisis?
This knowledge page includes a realistic and valuable solution to crisis scenarios.
This response is known as STOP:
Slow down your breathing: go through a clear, fast practise of consciousness.
Please note: you will be conscious of what you are experiencing today.
Open: make yourself feel unjustly or evasively.
Following your principles: decide about the most significant values as the appropriate course of action.
Here is a number of things in this exercise to consider:
Think if you require guidance or assistance and who may advise or support you.
Consider whether you’ve previously seen something related about how you have reacted to it.
In the next few minutes or the next few days, think how to change the condition even as sparingly as necessary.
Be prepared to acknowledge the submission, if you cannot improve your role and indulge in a fruitful spending of your time and resources.
Only ask yourself how you can better manage this scenario or in the metaphor, how you can play the game with your cards.
Remember to practise self-pity, visualise a buddy or loved one going through your experience right now and tell yourself whether you need motivation.
Jenna LeJeune’s two sides of the same coin
This workout will be directed or done by a therapist alone. Following these measures, you or your customer will realise that pain is an inherent fact of existence. We can therefore remove pleasure if we reduce misery.
To try this exercise, follow these steps:
Find an action or partnership you believe to be important, but have recently withdrawn;
Take an index card or paper piece. Write on one hand what you value or hope to achieve or achieve with this activity or relationship;
Write the painful thoughts and emotions on the other hand, often as you act to attain the importance or successes of the other side;;
Place the passport, wallet or bag in your pocket. Take it out next week, look at the two sides and ask yourself if you’re willing to take the good and bad cards. And you should stop the benefit and the suffering, or you can take it up.
See it here and look here for a related exercise from ACBS for more detail on this exercise and its context.
Carol Vivyan’s attention to emotions
This is a strategy of consciousness which can discharge a powerful negative feeling. Take the measures to strengthen the emphasis on recognition of your principles and constructive action:
Sit in a peaceful area comfortably. Bring your mind to the breath without attempting to regulate the breath sensations;;
Notice how you feel the emotion(s) and how it feels;
Name the emotion. Name the emotion. Identify the best word for what it is and how you feel;
Study the emotion with questions such as How intensely do I feel this emotion? Have I changed my breathing? What are my body’s accompanying feelings? What’s my stance like? Am I having increased muscle tension? At this time, what’s my face expression? What is the feeling of my face?
Note the emotions or judgments, then let them go. If you live on any of them, bring your focus back to the centre of your respiration, then return to visit the emotion. This technique can produce the best results if you start small and move to more intense emotions.
John Forsyth’s and Georg Eifert’s Valued Directions
This exercise is a first great step for anybody who wants to start ACT. Values are an essential element in acceptance and commitment therapy as mentioned earlier.
The valued instructions table shows 10 value domains for the reader to take into account:
- Intimate connections
- Education/learning/personal development
- Friends and social life
- Self-care health/physical condition
- Family of origin (or non-marriage or parenting relationships)
- Spirituality Life/Umgebung/Natural Community
Then the exercise asks the reader to rate on a scale from 0 (not at all important) to 2 the significance of each field of values (very important). There is no mistake in assessing certain areas more than others.
Then on a scale of 0 (not at least satisfied) to 2 (very satisfied), readers rate their satisfaction with their lives in each area.
After the evaluations are finished, the exercise invites readers to check the scale of importance of each value 1 or 2, and write their intentions for the foreseeable future in that area… That is, write down in each important value area what you want to accomplish, maintain, or become.
These are not goals that can be completed and “checked,” but actionable goals that match your everyday living.
This exercise can help clarify the importance and the priority of your life. The best way to discuss results and workable objectives is to have a therapist or a qualified professional. Whether you are currently on therapy or not is still a powerful exercise.
In acceptance and engagement therapy, metaphors also play a key role. They offer customers a simple way to see how their feelings and thoughts affect their behaviours, and allow them to see how our thinking affects our behaviour.
Here are 3 of our preferred ACT-related metaphors :
The Metaphor of the Navy
This metaphor uses the setting of a small sailing boat, “you” being the sailor.
Sometimes, waves are sending water across the side and into the boat, so wet foot discomfort is caused. The boat contains a bailer to rescue and use this water.
Then you begin to bail one day when a particularly large wave is breaking down on the side and leaving water in your boat. You might begin to rescue peacefully or with mind, but eventually, to get rid of all this water, you might find yourself rescuing wildly or desperately.
Have you noticed what’s going on with your boat while you were bailing? Where does it go? Would it be fair to say that you bailed more than you sailed?
Now just imagine looking at the bailer and seeing it’s a sieve, full of holes, indeed? What are you going to do?
It’s probably the implicit purpose of rescuing your boat here to keep tracks—when you get rid of the water boat. However you will find it difficult to get rid of any water, let alone to guide your boat, when your tools are not suitable for that task.
You would like to be on a boat that only has a little water in the bottom, but moves without a direction, or on a boat that may have a lot of water in the bottom and goes in the direction you want to go?
You or your customers can realise two things by this metaphor:
The techniques we use to address our problems are tools such as the bailer and the sieve and some are better than others.
Sometimes it takes us so off-track to work hotly to avoid wet feet (or other painful or uncomfortable feelings). The distraction and the fight of wet feet are blocks to reach our goals and not waves.
The Mind of Bulls
This metaphor is intended for people with certain emotions or diagnoses, such as anger, anxiety or depression.
The mind bully is our special problem in this metaphor: it’s an extremely big and strong bully. We are on the opposite side of a box, tightening back and forth on a seal, as the Mind Bully attempts to get us into a box.
When we pull the cord, listen to or believe the monster, or even believe it, we feed it. The Mind Bully can harm us like any bully when we talk to her and believe what is negative. Don’t let your mind harass your body, in other words.
What do you think would happen if we drop it instead of pulling on the rope? The Mind Bully may still be there to shout its insults and meanness, but it can’t pull us to the pit any more.
The smaller and quieter it is the less that we feed the Mind Bully. We will eventually even become empathic with this sad creature and wonder why such meaningful thoughts are being said.
We notice and recognise Mind Bully, but instead of believing in what they say, we turn away from it. A quick exercise in awareness can be a great way to do so.
Visit this website to learn more about the metaphor of Mind Bully and to read its alternative version.
The Metaphor of Quicksand
Quicksand is a loose, wet sand patch which can not support weight such as dry sand. You start sinking in quicksand rather than finding a solid base.
We know that fighting fast sand increases only the rate at which it draws you to its depths. If you put more weight on one foot and try lifting the other it sinks into the pit deeper. The deeper you fight, the deeper you fall. Fearful! Fearful!
The solution for fast sand is for your body weight to spread and move slowly over a wide surface.
Instead of fighting the sand of speed, ignore your instincts of fighting and lie on your back.
This is counterintuitive, but the less difficult you are and the more vulnerable you are and accept, the easier you are to escape.
The same is true of pain, suffering and knowing when to ask for help. The more we fight against it the more we drag ourselves deeper, instead of accepting our situation.
We are more likely to survive and come out of the other side quicker and effectively when we accept that the pain is unavoidable.
ACT in Condition Care
ACT can be used in every person’s life and helps in general anxiety disorders, chronic pain, depression, OCD, eating disorders and social anxiety as in practise of carefulness.
Disorders of general and social fear
Many studies show that this form of therapy has a positive effect for anxiety-afflicted patients.
For example, one study reported that ACT-treated university students enjoyed reduced academic burden, reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression, enhanced mental wellbeing in general and strengthened recognition of consciousness (Levin, Haeger, Pierce & Twohig, 2017).
Another research showed that the ACTs supplied via the Internet could be as effective as the ACTs supplied through the therapists (Ivanova et al., 2016)…
The study participants reported a decreased general and social anxiety, whether in the treatment group “as usual” or in the online ACT group.
For more details on how to treat anxiety disorders with acceptance and commitment therapy, check out this website with information on how ACT can help treat anxiety and why it works… This website focuses on important issues such as attention, engagement and paradoxical control, which stems from our expertise in controlling our environment and also from our relative inability to control our thoughts and emotions.
In the case of ACT distress, we prescribe the following book Acception and Dedication Counseling for Anxiety Disorders: A Guide to Practitioner Utilizing Vigilance, Recognition, and Value-Based Comportement Techniques… You can find this book here.
For both therapists and clients Georg H. Eifert, John P. Forsyth and Steven C. Hayes are providing real and tangible changes.
One study showed that even while still suffering from pain cancer patients treated with ACT had significant improvements in their acceptance of their circumstances and a stronger meaning in their lives (Datta, Aditya, Chakraborty, Das, & Mukhopadhyay, 2016).
Another research also shows that, particularly though persistent pain persists, ACT increases neurological resilience and decreases stress (Scott, Hann,McCracken, 2016)…
Another study has confirmed this finding, reporting that ACT improves both physical and emotional work even without any simultaneous pain reduction (Vowles, Witkiewitz, Levell, Sowden, & Ashworth, 2017).
In one study, ACT found that depressive symptoms for depressed and suicidal veterans have decreased (Walser, Garvert, Karlin, Trockel, RYU, & Taylor, 2015).
In addition, a briefer course from a novice ACT therapist has reduced the psychological inflexibility and distress of depression and anxiety in older adults (Roberts, 2014).
If you would like to learn more about using depression therapy, try this book: ACT for depression: the Guide to Clinicians Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Depression Treatment, by Robert Zettle… It describes how ACT can make a sessional session-by-session approach to the successful treatment of depression…
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Patients with an Obsessive Compellence Disease (OCD) may also be helped by ACT.
An overview of the quantitative investigations carried out in this field has shown that ACT treatment for OCD is just as effective as the “treatment approach” (Bluett, Homan, Morrison, Levin, & Twohig, 2014).
Check out the work by Michael Twohig on this subject for an excellent explanation of how to apply ACT for the treatment of OCD patients.
He explains, by viewing behaviour as changesable rather than as biological responses, ACT can be applied for OCD treatment. Instead of seeing their behaviour as fixed aspects of their personality, it offers ways of focusing on clients’ responses to events.
Disorders of the food
ACT was also applied successfully to eating disorder patients. A case study on women with binge eating disorder showed that ACT (Hill, Masuda, Melcher, Morgan, and Twohig, 2015) improved participants.
One patient even arrived at a time where their symptoms no longer met the Binge Eating Disorder clinical definition, while the flexibility of their body images was increased by both…
Participants who received treatment with ACT at the end of the study were more likely to have positive results in a study with anorexia patients (Parling, Cernvall, Ramklint, Holmgren & Ghaderi, 2016).
Community Group Implementation of ACT
The Contextual Behavioral Science Association recognises that ACT Group therapies are effective for anger, depression, general anxiety, social anxiety, chronic pain, and adolescent difficulties…
The Houston Group Psychotherapy Society reiterates the effectiveness of group ACT therapy and notes that a group setting can offer clients opportunities for connection, learning from each other, validation and constructive vulnerability.
The HGPS also provides some guidance for the application of ACT in a group:
Rules of Group
Set group rules (show that each group is ready to make them work, try not to “resolve” the feelings of another member, conversations in the group are not expected to go on beyond this context etc.)
Structure and group format
Decide if the group is more general or for a particular subject such as anxiety or depression. Consider starting the group with a conscientiousness exercise, or keeping your back pocket a quick consciousness exercise, should a group member get away…
Experiential training sessions
Don’t worry about including experiential exercises, but after your exercise be looking for judgments from group members.
When there are conflicts, which may occur at some stage, guide your group member first. Help you to bring back your thoughts to work with therapy. Avoid urging group members to “rescue” from suffering. As some therapists say, ‘Don’t steal the fight,’ because the group’s trust is sometimes a key factor in building mutual trust.
See the humorously named ACT Guide for Groups for more information on application of ACT to groups… This workbook provides a practical outline for group ACT therapy setup and implementation and includes modelling, methodology, workouts and fundamental protocols for group ACT.
ACT Applications to support
The number of treatment options available to us also grows as technology. Like so many other issues, problems, or opportunities, this is an app!
Below you’ll find the two most popular apps.
The App of Bliss
It is very popular with the ACT Companion App or the Happiness Trap App. It comes from Dr Russ Harris and Anthony Berrick, a psychologist. This video below may inspire you to apply ACT to your life or practise if you’ve been unaware of the Dr. Russ Harris’s project.
The application developed by Dr. Russ Harris helps you to maintain your commitment to positive action by exercising attention… One tool measures how well you apply ACT skills to situations in real life, leading to fast consciousness actions.
This application is available for $9.99 from Google Play and for $14.99 from the Apple App Store. It is not free, but a relatively cheap investment in an app which can help you improve your quality of life dramatically.
Click here to find out more if you want to download this app.
Even in the uncomfortable conditions and potential PTSD, this app helps veterans to live their values in daily life. It is free of charge via iTunes. More about this app is available here.
A message to carry home
Acceptance and commitment therapy can lead to very positive results, not just for psychologically disabled people…
This form of therapy has been highly successful if you are suffering from the pain that is inherent in everyday life or knowing clients and others. It’s easier than ever to try ACT with so many resources available online.
I hope that this piece will provide you with information and resources, whether you want to try it yourself or guide your customers through ACT.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for reading.
Leave a comment below, please. Have yourself or your clients ever tried to accept and commit therapy? We’re going to like hearing more.
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