What is ACT?


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) acquired its name from its core messages: accept what is not within your personal control, and commit to actions that improve and enrich your life. It is a ‘mindfulness-based’ and ‘values-oriented’ approach aimed at maximizing human potential for a rich and meaningful life.

 In many ways, ACT recognizes that in life, there are always going to be waves, and it is tiring trying to constantly fight those waves. So instead, ACT teaches you flexible psychological strategies and techniques; in mental health terms, ‘how to surf’ !

Firstly, ACT teaches individuals to simply notice and learn to accept unwanted or painful thoughts and feelings as just: thoughts or feelings. Then it helps you to separate yourself from them and to minimize the influence these negative events have on you. It helps to free you from them.

Secondly, ACT assists individuals to clarify what is most important and meaningful to them by using a ‘values-based’ approach. Each person can then use that knowledge to guide thoughts and actions in the future in order to change their life for the better.

Lastly, personal goals are set and through committed actions, these goals are accomplished even if it may be difficult in the beginning. The more committed you are to carrying out the actions guided by your values, the greater your ability to focus on the present and do what truly matters. This will then extend to having a positive effect on your general wellbeing and sense of fulfillment.

ACT is helpful with a wide range of mental health and well-being issues, including:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • low mood
  • feelings of not being good enough
  • low motivation
  • stress

Many psychologists are trained in evidence-based practices including ACT. If you are interested in learning more about ACT and how it might help change your life, please call Balance Psychology on 1300 855 601 !