Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a type of psychotherapy focused on mindfulness, acceptance of difficult thoughts/feelings, and committed action to values. It is based on the idea that unsuccessful verbal strategies for controlling one's thoughts and feelings direct to problem behaviors. ACT Therapy can help diffuse the impact of negative emotions (cognitive diffusion) and reshape your thinking to treat depression, anxiety, substances abuse, and other similar mental disorders. It is like a conscious approach to accepting life's challenges for what they are, without judgment or attempt to alter them. ACT therapy enables to develop an ability to practice mindfulness, which helps you to form a fresh, understanding relationship with challenging situations.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a modern cognitive-behavioral psychotherapeutic approach developed in the late 20th century. ACT's origins can be traced back to the work of Dr. Steven C. Hayes, a psychologist, and his colleagues in the 1980s. ACT emerged as a response to the limitations of traditional behavior therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Dr. Hayes and his team sought to create a more holistic and effective therapeutic model and to do this they drew inspiration from various sources, including functional contextualism, which emphasizes the role of language and context in shaping behavior, as well as mindfulness and Eastern philosophies like Buddhism.

In 1986, the term "Acceptance and Commitment Therapy" was coined to describe this new approach. The model proposes that psychological suffering arises from the avoidance of negative emotions and thoughts. Instead of trying to eliminate these experiences, ACT therapy encourages individuals to accept them, be present in the moment (mindfulness), and commit to actions that align with their values.

Focus theme / core-concept

The core concept of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) revolves around fostering psychological flexibility by encouraging individuals to accept and be present with their thoughts, emotions, and sensations, while simultaneously committing to actions that align with their deeply-held values. ACT emphasizes that trying to avoid or control uncomfortable experiences often leads to psychological distress, and instead, it encourages clients to engage in values-based actions, thus promoting resilience and a more fulfilling life.


Improved Emotional Well-Being: ACT often leads to reduced symptoms of anxiety, depression, and overall enhancement of emotional well-being.

Enhanced Coping Skills: Clients seeking ACT therapy develop better-coping strategies for dealing with stress and difficult emotions.

Increased Resilience: ACT fosters resilience by teaching individuals to adapt to adversity and life's challenges.

Greater Life Satisfaction: Many individuals receiving Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) report a more fulfilling and satisfying life as they align their actions with their values.

Self-as-Context: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) encourages individuals to see themselves from a broader perspective, acknowledging that they are not defined by their thoughts, emotions, or experiences


Enhanced Psychological Flexibility: ACT aims to cultivate psychological flexibility, enabling individuals to adapt to challenging thoughts and emotions effectively.

Values-Driven Living: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) focuses on helping clients identify and commit to their core values, leading to a more purposeful life.

Acceptance of Inner Experiences: The goal is to promote acceptance and mindfulness, encouraging individuals to acknowledge and experience their emotions and thoughts without judgment.

Reduction in Psychological Suffering: ACT seeks to reduce the suffering caused by avoidance, rumination, and inflexible thinking patterns.

Behavioral Change: ACT therapy either taken offline or through online counselling, aims to facilitate behavioral changes that align with the client's values and goals.


Cognitive Defusion: This process helps individuals observe their thoughts and feelings without becoming entangled in them. It involves distancing oneself from unhelpful thought patterns and gaining perspective.

Acceptance: Acceptance in ACT means allowing and making room for all thoughts, emotions, and experiences, even those that are difficult or painful. It involves embracing these experiences rather than resisting them.

Present Moment Awareness: Mindfulness and being fully present in the moment are important aspects of ACT. Practicing mindfulness helps individuals connect with their experiences without judgment and fosters psychological flexibility.

Values Clarification: ACT emphasizes the importance of identifying and clarifying one's values, which serve as a guide for making meaningful choices and decisions in life.

Committed Action: In the ACT, individuals are encouraged to take purposeful and values-based actions, even in the presence of discomfort or challenging thoughts and feelings. It involves setting and working towards goals that align with one's values.