Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT) is a revolutionary new development in human psychology. Originally developed for treating anxiety and depression, the principles of ACT can be applied to a broad range of human concerns, including developing important skills in Marriage and Couple therapy. Originally developed in the USA, Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT) is rapidly being embraced around the world. Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT) is supported by extensive ongoing research confirming its effectiveness as a therapeutic approach.

While based on principles of behavioral psychology, ACT  has striking similarities with many ancient Eastern traditions, particularly traditions rooted in contemplative practices or Mindfulness Meditation. In this respect, the approach can be described as both radically new as well drawing on some ancient approaches.

What to expect?

  • Marriage and Couple Therapy sessions using Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT) skills are highly focused skill-building sessions which introduce ACT strategies and skills: no previous knowledge of ACT is assumed or required.
  • Marriage and couples therapy sessions using ACT skills provide a safe, relaxed and comfortable space for learning new skills. The atmosphere is easy going usually with a fair amount of humor.
  • Skills are taught in sessions which usually are between one hour and ninety minutes. Sometimes longer sessions are scheduled, if requested.
  • Homework is an important component of the therapy work. This might include practicing newly learned skills, small amounts of reading, keeping a log and monitoring aspects of the relationship.
  • ACT with Couples therapy provides a highly effective complement to the Gottman Couples therapy as well as Mindfulness and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) based approaches.

Building Skills for Partners:

  • allow partners to be more aware, present and engaged with themselves and their partner;
  • allow this awareness to fill each moment of the relationship;
  • allow partners to move from being swept along by endless stories or narratives and judgements and the feelings that they trigger to a much more flexible and adaptable response to the demands of the situation;
  • allow behaviour and action to flow from being more conscious of what is most important in each moment.

Supporting Actions

Another way of looking at this, is that each partner becomes less likely to be swept away by the stories he or she tells as well as the strong emotions which often follow. Less likely to react to these negative thoughts and feelings arising in the moment by getting caught up and swept away, much like a small bird in a hurricane. And much less likely to react to negative thoughts and feelings with words, actions and behaviors which cause hurt and harm in the relationship. And as a consequence, less likely to land up feeling distant and isolated from each other: instead, supporting actions which make way for connection, affection and caring.

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Give yourself, your partner and your family a truly precious gift: the opportunity to have the relationship you really want. Contact me for a free-consultation and we can discuss what would work for you.

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