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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a type of psychological therapy which helps people to accept difficult thoughts and feelings, whilst also encouraging them to take action to create a meaningful and fulfilling life.

ACT strives to nurture and broaden psychological flexibility. This includes being emotionally open and adapting your thoughts and behaviours to match your goals and values. The six core processes that encourage psychological flexibility are acceptance, cognitive defusion, being present, self as context, values, and committed action. The concept behind ACT is that it's counterproductive to try to manage painful emotions or psychological experiences; attempting to suppress these feelings will only cause more distress. ACT believes that there are alternatives to altering the way you think, such as mindful behaviour, focusing on personal values and committing to action. By taking steps to change behaviour, while also learning to accept psychological experiences, clients can eventually shift their attitudes and emotional states.

ACT can be beneficial in treating various mental and physical issues. These can include anxiety disorders, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, psychosis, eating disorders, substance use disorders, workplace stress, and chronic pain.

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