What Is Acceptance Therapy?

What Is Acceptance Therapy?

When it comes to outpatient mental health care treatment, evidence-based psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is often at the core. A person struggling with a mental health issue can gain skills and tools through a wide range of therapy options, such as acceptance therapy or acceptance commitment therapy (ACT). ACT is a form of one of the most common therapy approaches, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). 

CBT is a type of therapy that focuses on your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It takes a goal-oriented approach to the idea that your thought patterns lead to the development of core beliefs. These beliefs affect your emotional reactions to events and experiences, which then influences your behavior in your day-to-day interactions with the world around you.

CBT challenges you to identify faulty thinking and negative thought patterns. As you recognize and learn more about your own thought processes, you will develop healthier thinking which can start a chain reaction of positive improvements to your life. CBT has proven successful as part of a treatment for those struggling with a wide variety of mental health conditions, such as depression disorders and anxiety disorders.

Acceptance Therapy

ACT is a therapeutic process that encourages you to accept negative thoughts, feelings, or experiences as a way to manage them more effectively. Sometimes when we are struggling with negativity, our instinct is to try to control or get rid of our negative thoughts. ACT therapy focuses on eliminating the struggle to control things and instead encourages you to be open to experiencing anything that comes your way.

ACT focuses on increasing your psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility is the ability to be aware of your thoughts and feelings, utilize them when they are useful, and let them go when they are not. When you can be mindful of your thoughts and feelings, you can take them into consideration when making choices about your behavior instead of acting impulsively or recklessly.

The 6 Core Principles of Acceptance Theory

In order to develop the skills you need to become more psychologically flexible, ACT teaches six flexibility processes:

  1. Defusion
  2. Acceptance
  3. Flexible attention to the present moment
  4. Self as context
  5. Values
  6. Committed action

At Alter Wellness Care, we use acceptance therapy to help our clients identify what matters to them. They will be able to figure out who they are at their core. This will help them understand what goals they want to achieve and how they want to handle their behavior and shape their life experiences. We use acceptance therapy to help our clients achieve fulfillment and enrichment in their lives.

#1. Defusion

Defusion is a technique that helps you learn to recognize that your thoughts are just thoughts. It helps you to remove yourself from negative thoughts and realize that you don’t have to be consumed by them. It would help you turn a thought like, “I am not smart” into “I’m having a negative thought that I’m not smart.” This small disruption in your thought process can help you discover the root of negative thoughts.

#2. Acceptance

Acceptance helps you realize that unpleasant thoughts, feelings, and experiences are a natural part of being human. It helps you reduce the struggle to avoid negative experiences. Acceptance means that you open yourself to experiencing uncomfortable feelings, and this allows you to process the feelings more effectively.  

#3. Flexible Attention to the Present Moment

When you have the flexibility to stay mindful of the present moment, you will be able to focus on what is happening now. You will develop the ability to put aside negative experiences from the past and let go of anxiety about what might happen in the future. This allows you the ability to stay mindful of the present moment and experience thoughts and feelings that are relevant to your current situation. 

#4. Self as Context

Self as context is a process that helps you observe yourself from a different perspective. You will be able to develop mindfulness practices that will help you examine what is happening with your thoughts and feelings. You will be able to identify what thought processes are helpful and which ones are harmful to you.

#5. Values

As you develop more techniques to help you be mindful of your thoughts and feelings, you will be able to identify your core values. Identifying your values will help you when you think about the goals you want to achieve and what kind of life you want to have.

#6. Committed Action

It is important to recognize the importance of taking action based on self-introspection and identifying your values. You will be able to direct your thoughts and behaviors to help you achieve goals that are in line with your values. As you change your thoughts and behaviors, you will be able to create a fulfilling and satisfying life for yourself.

Alter Wellness Care

At Alter Wellness Care, we recognize that ACT can be a useful part of an individualized treatment plan for our clients to achieve positive mental health and manage challenging symptoms of mental health conditions. We work with our clients to develop a treatment plan that meets their unique needs. Whatever your mental health needs are, Alter Wellness Care can provide resources and supports for you.

When you can truly understand who you are and what has shaped you as a person, you will be able to identify what is important to you. By discovering these truths, you will be able to set goals for yourself to ensure satisfying experiences in all areas of your life. At Alter Wellness Care, we strive to help our clients achieve total wellness. We help each client develop an individual treatment plan that is designed to fit their needs, including acceptance therapy. The Alter Wellness Care team provides kind and compassionate support to each client in our care to ensure that they feel empowered to achieve all of their goals. Call us today at (866) 311-3510 to find out more.

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