What is acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)?

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a relatively new form of behavioural therapy that combines acceptance and mindfulness strategies to help with psychological problems and unhealthy patterns in clients' personal and working lives.  

ACT therapy takes the view that by accepting negative thoughts and feelings, individuals can choose a valued direction in which to take action and make positive changes. In this way, acceptance and commitment therapy does not aim to directly change or stop unwanted problems and experiences. Instead it teaches individuals to develop a mindful relationship with them - promoting a psychological flexibility that encourages healthy contact with thoughts, reconnection with the here and now, realisation of personal values, and commitment to behaviour change.

Who benefits from acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)?

There is an increasing body of empirical evidence that ACT is beneficial for clients with depression, anxiety disorders, addiction, chronic pain, PTSD, eating disorders, and even schizophrenia. ACT is also a very effective model for life coaching and executive coaching.

Lasts updated on September 4 2015