What is acceptance and commitment therapy (act)?
Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT) involves learning and practicing skills that help you live your life in a way that reflects what you care about, rather than being held back by difficult thoughts, feelings or circumstances. You learn to clarify what’s most important to you in various areas of your life and act in ways that are consistent with your personal values by developing greater flexibility and resiliency.
During therapy, an ACT therapist actively works with the client to help them recognize ways in which their attempts to get rid of, manage, and control emotional experiences (and other internal experiences) create challenges and often make difficult emotions and situations worse. In addition to recognizing and addressing these challenges head-on, clients learn and practice new skills and strategies that allow them to make room for values-based actions. The result is symptom relief and greater well-being.
Studies have shown ACT to be highly effective in treating a wide variety of issues, including stress, depression, anxiety disorders, chronic health issues, eating disorders, trauma, relationship difficulties, anger control problems and more.
What is Mindfulness (Or Awareness Practice)?
Mindfulness simply means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.
Practicing mindfulness throughout our day opens us up to a new type of relationship with ourselves and our inner world - we are able to identify and acknowledge our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations without being overwhelmed by them.
Regular mindfulness practice has been shown to create positive changes in our brains. We are able to start experiencing parts of our life we often miss because a focus on the past or worries about the future overshadow our present moment. When practiced regularly, mindfulness allows us to cultivate more self-compassion and foster a better understanding of who we really are and what we really want.
Mindfulness can also open us up to better relationships with others. We are able to reflect on what may be happening in the moment, rather than being quick to respond based on unhelpful judgments about the other person’s intentions. Mindfulness helps us create the space we need to be able to take more effective actions.
Many programs have been created to support people in leading happier, healthier lives through the use of mindfulness. Therapists at New Leaf incorporate mindfulness-based practices into their work with clients to help with a variety of issues.