Utilizing ACT Therapy to Promote Value-Guided Action
Mental health is defined by Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as Psychological Flexibility. Life presents us with difficult challenges, but when you are psychologically flexible, you are able to “bend” and react adaptively to negative events and with the forces and stresses of the outside world.
This is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. ACT will not take away your challenges, your problems or your pain. It will, however, make you more flexible, and more able to keep moving in the direction of your values, even as you experience life’s challenges and pain.
Below are the six core processes of ACT and Ten Questions that will take you in the direction of your values. Use them when you become aware of stress, anger, sadness, fear or pain.
Use your emotions as a signal to “turn on” mindful attention to your internal process, permitting de-fusion from thoughts, acceptance of feelings, shifting attention to your values, and commitment to actions that move you where you want to go. In the words of Steven Hayes, Get out of your head, and into your life!
Six Core Processes of ACT:
PRESENT-MOMENT AWARENESS DEFUSION ACCEPTANCE SELF-AS-CONTEXT AWARENESS OF VALUES COMMITMENT TO ACTION
10 Questions That Promote Value-Guided Action
- What is the reality of my situation? Can I tune in to my senses to get closer to what is actually happening here?
- What are my thoughts and feelings in response to this reality? What meanings have I attached? Are there any unhelpful meanings about my SELF have been activated by my mind?
- Are there important differences between the reality of this situation and the way I’m thinking about it (i.e., the meanings I am attaching)?
- Can I get curious about the thoughts that my mind is generating in response to this situation – can I understand and accept what my mind is doing …and why?
- What are my feelings about the reality of this situation?
- What are my feelings about the meanings that my mind has attached to this situation?
- Why does the reality of this situation hurt me? What value is threatened?
- Is it okay to have the feelings that I am experiencing?
- What actions can I take that will serve the value that is threatened, even as I’m feeling this hurt?
- Do I have the strength and courage to take action – to commit to action, even as I am hurt by these threats to my core values?
ACT Therapy Vancouver
Contact our office at 604 259 1236 to book an appointment or learn more about our Vancouver Psychologist services.