Acceptance and commitment therapy is an empirically-based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies mixed in different ways with commitment and behavior-change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility.
ACT views the core of many problems to be due to the concepts represented in the acronym, FEAR:
• Fusion with your thoughts
• Evaluation of experience
• Avoidance of your experience
• Reason-giving for your behavior
And the healthy alternative is to ACT:
• Accept your reactions and be present
• Choose a valued direction
• Take action
ACT commonly employs six core principles to help clients develop psychological flexibility
1. Cognitive defusion: Learning to perceive thoughts, images, emotions, and memories as what they are, not what they appear to be.
2. Acceptance: Allowing them to come and go without struggling with them.
3. Contact with the present moment: Awareness of the here and now, experienced with openness, interest, and receptiveness.
4. Observing the self: Accessing a transcendent sense of self, a continuity of consciousness which is unchanging.
5. Values: Discovering what is most important to one's true self.
6. Committed action: Setting goals according to values and carrying them out responsibly.