Redlands Counselling Service uses on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
which is a third wave cognitive-behavioural therapy. When you access individual counselling we will focus on techniques that use acceptance and mindfulness strategies together with commitment and behaviour strategies to increase psychological flexibility. ACT is particularly effective in helping people live in the present moment in a conscious way and being able to make choices and decisions on what the situation affords, changing or persisting in behaviour in the service of their values.
The core message of ACT is to accept what is out of your personal control while committing to action that will improve the quality of your life. The aim of ACT is to help people live a meaningful life while handling the pain and stress that is an inevitable part of life. ACT teaches you psychological skills to deal with painful thoughts and feelings effectively and helps you understand what is truly important and meaningful to you. Mindfulness skills are central to ACT and are taught in order to facilitate the development of an ‘observing self’ that can help you notice both your physical experiences and your thinking processes.
ACT is a unique approach to behaviour change which deviates from the traditions of most common Western psychotherapies. It has a growing evidence base and is highly effective in the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, substance misuse, chronic pain and anorexia. ACT is a strong evidence based therapy that works. If you want to book in a session or find out more information, click contact me.
What Can I Expect If I Receive ACT?
We will at areas of your life such as relationships, career and education, leisure, family, spirituality and develop a shared understanding of your values and goals. You will develop skills and strategies that help you work towards achieving your goals and living your life in a way that is consistent with your values. There will be some homework(experiment) tasks between sessions. What is important is you will work towards taking effective action in order to create a rich and meaningful life. I will be there to help you stay focus on developing resilience so that you can live the life that you want rather than be constrained by the impact of negative thoughts and feelings.
What Does ACT Focus on?
ACT focuses on 3 areas:
Accept your reactions and be present
Choose a valued direction
Looking at what is in your control, whether it be a situation, a personality trait that is hard to change or an emotion that overwhelms, accepting it can allow you to move forward. Obsessing, worrying and playing things over is a common coping skill that keeps you stuck. In this sense, asking why can leave you helpless. ACT invites you to accept the reality and work with what you have.
Some acceptance strategies include:
1. Letting feelings or thoughts happen without the impulse to act on them.
2. Observe your weaknesses but take note of your strengths.
3. Give yourself permission to not be good at everything.
4. Acknowledge the difficulty in your life without escaping from it or avoiding it.
5. Realize that you can be in control of how you react, think and feel.
Importantly, another aspect of ACT is the skill-set of learning how to cognitively defuse psychologically heightened experiences. Defusion involves realising thoughts and feelings for what they really are, like passing sensations or irrational things that we tell ourselves - instead of what we think they are like feelings that will never end or factual truths. The goal of defusion is not to help you avoid the experience, but to make it more manageable for you.
Some defusion strategies include:
1. Observe what you are feeling. What are the physical sensations? 2. Notice the way you are talking to yourself as these feelings are experienced. 3. What interpretations are you making about your experience? Are they based in reality? 4. Grab onto the strands of your negative self-talk and counter them with realistic ones. 5. Now re-evaluate your experience with your new-found outlook.
You can call me on 1300 241 667 or email at email@example.com