The aim of ACT is to maximise human potential for a rich, full and meaningful life. ACT (which is pronounced as the word ‘act’, not as the initials) does this by:
a) teaching you psychological skills to deal with your painful thoughts and feelings effectively – in such a way that they have much less impact and influence over you
b) helping you to clarify what is truly important and meaningful to you – i.e your values – then use that knowledge to guide, inspire and motivate you to change your life for the better.
ACT commonly employs six core principles to help clients develop psychological flexibility:
- Cognitive defusion: Learning methods to reduce the tendency to reify (the error of treating as a concrete thing something which is not concrete, but merely an idea) thoughts, images, emotions, and memories.
- Acceptance: Allowing thoughts to come and go without struggling with them.
- Contact with the present moment: Awareness of the here and now, experienced with openness, interest, and receptiveness.
- Observing the self: Accessing a transcendent sense of self, a continuity of consciousness which is unchanging.
- Values: Discovering what is most important to one’s true self.
- Committed action: Setting goals according to values and carrying them out responsibly