Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a branch of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and is a psychological intervention that makes use of acceptance and mindfulness strategies together with commitment and behaviour-change strategies, in order to increase an individual’s psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility represents the individual’s ability to engage in values-driven, positive behaviours while experiencing difficult thoughts, emotions, or sensations.
ACT differs from traditional CBT in that rather than trying to teach people to challenge or better control their thoughts, feelings, sensations, memories and other private events, ACT focuses on what they can control more directly.
ACT has been shown to increase effective action, reduce dysfunctional thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, and alleviates psychological distress for individuals, couples and groups across a broad range of psychological difficulties. ACT aims to help the individual clarify their personal values and to take action on them, bringing more vitality and meaning to their life in the process.