Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

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"Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (known as "ACT") utilizes a mixture of metaphor, paradox, a wide range of experiential exercises and values-guided behavioral interventions to help people work toward cognitive flexibility.The goal of ACT is to create a rich and meaningful life, while accepting the pain that inevitably goes with it. "ACT" is a good abbreviation, because this therapy is about taking effective action guided by our deepest values and in which we are fully present and engaged. It is only through mindful action that we can create a meaningful life. As we attempt to create such a life, we will encounter barriers (in the form of unpleasant and unwanted thoughts, images, feelings, sensations, urges, and memories). ACT reaches to mindfulness skills as an effective way to handle these.In stark contrast to most Western psychotherapy, ACT does not have symptom reduction as a goal. This is based on the view that the ongoing attempt to get rid of "symptoms" actually creates a clinical disorder. As soon as a private experience is labeled a "symptom," a struggle with the "symptom" is created. A "symptom" is by definition something "pathological" and something we should try to get rid of. In ACT, the aim is to transform our relationship with our difficult thoughts and feelings, so that we no longer perceive them as "symptoms." Instead, we learn to perceive them as harmless, even if uncomfortable, transient psychological events."

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