spiral2grow, is a leading provider of Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) in NYC. ACT therapists and counselors are expert in utilizing ACT treatment approach to help clients attain better quality of life, while managing their psychological challenges constructively. spiral2grow, located in midtown Manhattan at 260 Madison #8023, New York, NY 10016, offers Acceptance Commitment Therapy for treating anxiety, stress, anger, social anxiety and general anxiety.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) – Overview
ACT is a modern cognitive-behavioral model of psychotherapy. Acceptance Commitment Therapy, as the name indicates, uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies and techniques, together with commitment and behavior change tools, to increase psychological resiliency and flexibility. The greater your ability to use acceptance of reality without resistance and commit to act based on your values, the greater your quality of life, the greater your sense of vitality, and the greater is your wellbeing and fulfillment.
Act is a modality that promotes the client to regain the true authentic self. Its goal is to empower the client to create fulfilling and meaningful life, while accepting the unavoidable pain that comes with it. As the famous quote by Haruki Murakami say “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” So, as we work hard to create the life based on our deepest values, we will face all sorts of challenges, unwanted and unpleasant experiences. These experiences can come in a form of feelings, thoughts, urges, sensations etc.). Accordingly, ACT guides individuals to utilize skills to handle these challenges and to emerge stronger.
Rather than trying to teach people to better control their thoughts, feelings, sensations, memories and other internal processes, ACT teaches individuals to become aware, accept, and embrace their private events, especially unwanted ones. A key part of the acceptance is a mindful, non-judgmental attitude toward the internal (as well as external) events.
How ACT Helps
ACT helps individuals to develop their observing Self – to witness and experience without judgment and yet distinct from one’s thoughts, feelings, sensations, and memories. ACT aims to help the individual clarify their deepest values and to take courageous/uncomfortable actions that promotes these values. By acting based your values, individuals bring more vitality, meaning and purpose to their life in the process, increasing their psychological flexibility, durability and equanimity. It helps clients to fundamentally change their attitude toward life – more specifically about their painful thoughts and feelings, to develop a transcendent sense of self, to live in the present moment, and to take action, guided by their deepest values. The result is creating a a rich, full and meaningful life.
The core assumption of ACT is that psychological suffering is usually caused by avoiding the experience, especially anxiety and fear and by entanglement of cognition (fusion). This in turns results in psychological rigidity that leads to a failure to take the necessary actions and behavior that is aligned with individual’s core values. One of its core messages: to accept what is out of your personal control, while committing to action that will improve your quality of life.
The premise behind ACT is that a more fulfilled life can be attained by accepting life as while overcoming negative thoughts and feelings. The goal of ACT is to help clients consistently choose to act effectively (concrete behaviors as defined by their values) in the presence of difficult or disruptive “private” (cognitive or psychological) events. The aim of ACT is to help people create a rich full and meaningful life, while effectively handling the pain and stress that life inevitably brings. The acronym ACT has also been used to describe what takes place in therapy: accept the effects of life’s hardships, choose directional values, and being committed to take action based on these values.
Scientific research confirms that cultivating mindfulness, acceptance, facing your fear and opening yourself to difficult experiences is highly effective for the treatment of anxiety disorders, social anxiety, sadness and depression, anger management, substance abuse, chronic pain, PTSD and eating disorder. ACT is also a very powerful modality that is used life coaching, career coaching and executive coaching.
Six Core Principles of ACT
ACT commonly employs six core principles to help clients develop psychological flexibility:
- Acceptance: Allowing them to come and go without struggling with them.
- Observing Cognitive defusion: Learning to perceive thoughts, images, emotions, and memories as what they are, not what they appear to be.
- Witnessing the self: Accessing a transcendent sense of self, a continuity of consciousness which is unchanging.
- Connecting with the present moment: Awareness of the here and now, experienced with openness, interest, and receptiveness.
- Defining Values: Discovering what is most important to one’s true self.
- Committing to action: Setting goals according to values and carrying them out responsibly.
Attitude of Acceptance in ACT
- Creating awareness that you have a choice in saying yes or no.
- Building mindfulness
- Cultivating compassion
- Nodding your head and say yes – physically do this
- Relaxing your body
- Adopting an attitude of “Let’s see what good will come from this situation.” Look for the value
in the experience.
- Practicing gratitude and appreciation
- Being patient with yourself. It takes time to adopt a “yes” approach to life.
- Moving with the flow…like a river…we can not push the water up stream.
- Accepting consciously what is happening in your life.
Ways of Taking Personal Responsibility in ACT
- We don’t blame others for anything we are being, doing, having, or feeling
- We do not beat up on ourselves
- We are aware of when we are not taking responsibility so we can change
- We are handling the “noise” and negative talk in our head
- We are aware of the payoff that is keeping us stuck
- We are setting goals and working towards them
- We understand that we have choices in any given situation
- We are facing our fear with courage
- We are acting with our values in mind
Read more about other psychotherapy modalities by spiral2grow.