Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a form of psychotherapy grounded in the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that emphasises acceptance, mindfulness, and values-based action to promote psychological flexibility. Developed by Steven C. Hayes and his colleagues in the late 20th century, ACT aims to help individuals create a rich and meaningful life while effectively handling the challenges that come their way.   

The core concept of ACT is acceptance therapy, which involves embracing thoughts, feelings, sensations, and memories without trying to change or control them. This acceptance is coupled with mindfulness, which encourages individuals to be present in the moment and observe their experiences without judgment. Through mindfulness practices such as meditation and awareness exercises, clients learn to develop a non-reactive stance toward their inner experiences.   

Another key component of ACT is commitment to value-based action. Clients are encouraged to clarify their values — the qualities and behaviors they find important and meaningful in life — and take committed action guided by these values. This involves setting specific, achievable goals aligned with one’s values and persistently working towards them, even in the face of discomfort or adversity.  

ACT treatment also emphasises cognitive defusion, a process that involves distancing oneself from unhelpful thoughts by recognising them as mere mental events rather than absolute truths. By learning to see thoughts as passing events in the mind rather than as accurate reflections of reality, individuals can reduce the impact of negative thinking patterns on their behavior and emotions.   

Throughout the therapeutic process, clients are encouraged to develop a flexible perspective on their experiences, recognising that pain and discomfort are inevitable aspects of life. Rather than striving for the elimination of difficult emotions or thoughts, ACT therapy teaches individuals to build resilience and adaptability by cultivating psychological flexibility — the ability to remain open, present, and engaged with whatever life brings, while moving in directions that align with their values.  

ACT has proven effective with a diverse range of clinical conditions: depression, OCD, workplace stress, chronic pain, the stress of terminal cancer, anxiety, PTSD, anorexia, drug and alcohol abuse, and even schizophrenia.  

Looking for ACT psychologists in Perth? At Reach Life, our skilled therapists proficient in ACT therapy include Cat, Shane, Sherry, Tahnee, Surita, Rachel D, and Rachel B. We’re here to guide you towards a more mindful and fulfilling life. 

Book an ACT therapy session in Perth:  

More resources on Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) for you: 

Dr. Russ Harris – Acceptance Commitment Therapy videos 

How Does Acceptance And Commitment Therapy (ACT) Work?  

About ACT – ACTMindfully 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Book an appointment with Reach Life

Not sure which clinician is the best for you?

Call our friendly admin team on 9301 5659 to find your perfect match.