Acceptance and Commitment Therapy known as ACT is an evidence-based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behaviour change strategies, to help people lead more rich, full and meaningful lives. ACT can be helpful for people experiencing anxiety, depression, trauma, and psychosis.

Frequently Asked Questions about ACT

How does ACT work?

In a nut-shell, ACT involves being:
• being open – unhooking and making room for thoughts, feelings memories, and body sensations
• being present –engagement with the hear and now as well as being able to step back and observe thoughts and feelings)
• doing what matters – being clear about your values, setting goals and taking action
Have a read here for a nice overview of the ACT processes

What does mental health issues does ACT treat?

Recent research shows ACT to be an effective treatment for anxiety disorders, depression, addiction, and somatic health problems.

Does Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) work?

Yep. ACT is an evidence-based approach for psychological problems, with an impressive research base of over 200 Randomised Control Trials supporting the effectiveness of ACT.

How can I be the best version of myself?

• Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a modern form of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).
• ACT teaches specific, evidence-based skills to be more psychologically flexible.
• ACT psychological flexibility helps you better manage difficult thoughts and feelings, so they are less an obstacle to you living a life that is guided by who and what is important to you.

What is ACTp?

ACT for Psychosis

ACTp is ACT for psychosis, a treatment focused on managing the distress and disability associated with persisting psychotic symptoms. Furthermore, ACTp has been shown to achieve change specifically by increasing psychological flexibility. In addition, ACTp helps by increasing openness and awareness of psychosis symptoms, and a willingness to take valued action, despite the presence of psychosis experiences.

Treatment research

For example, a systematic review of ACT for psychosis shows that ACT can help reduce re-hospitalisation rates. In addition, ACTp has an impact on the psychological inflexibility of people experiencing psychosis and is beneficial for people with either first episode or enduring psychosis.

Is ACT an evidence-based treatment for anxiety?

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a modern form of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), that teaches specific, structured evidence-based skills to help you better manage difficult thoughts and feelings, so they are less an obstacle to values-guided life actions.

ACT is an evidence-based approach for psychological problems, with an impressive research base. Over 200 Randomised Control Trials (RCTs) have been published supporting the effectiveness of ACT. ACT helps people experiencing anxiety, as effectively as other established psychological treatments.

How does ACT help with social anxiety?

In the case of social anxiety, this may include saying no to invitations to do things with people we care about. We might start avoiding a specific social situation, where we previously felt socially judged. However we can quickly find ourselves feeling anxious in similar situations. Before we know it, we have had to dramatically restrict where and what we do socially. And, when we do venture out, our mind is constantly scanning the environment for people who might be judging us harshly.

This makes it difficult to connect and enjoy the company of others when we are so internally focused. Soon, feelings of self-consciousness, humiliation and embarrassment build up. Leaving the social situation to escape the feelings of anxiety brings some short-term relief. However, once intensity of our feelings subside, we are left with the nagging conclusion that we are missing out. Loneliness and social isolation can quickly develop.

ACT helps people be more psychologically flexible when social anxiety arises so that they can engage in preferred behaviours consistent with their values such as building social and family connections, intimate relationships, authentic friendships, supporting others, and personal growth.

Is ACT an evidence-based treatment for depression?

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a modern form of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), that teaches specific, structured evidence-based skills to help you better manage difficult thoughts and feelings, so they are less an obstacle to values-guided life actions.

ACT is an evidence-based approach for psychological problems, with an impressive research base. Over 200 Randomised Control Trials (RCTs) have been published supporting the effectiveness of ACT. ACT helps depressed people, as effectively or better than other established psychological treatments.

How can ACT help panic attacks?

In the case of a panic attack, the trigger may be known or the panic may appear out of the blue. Typically there are intense feelings and body sensations such as palpitations, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, choking, chest pain, nausea, dizziness, unreality (derealisation), detachment from oneself (depersonalisation), going crazy, dying, tingling and chills or hot flushes. Under other situations, these kinds of experiences would signal extreme danger.

Dealing with a panic attack can be exhausting. We quickly learn to avoid situations that our mind tells us could lead to another panic attack. For many, this avoidance strategy can come at a personal cost and impact our freedom, relationships, social participation in study, work and getting about. We may worry about potential future panic attacks. We may constantly monitor our body for signs of a panic attack starting. We may restrict our life to minimising exposure to situations that might trigger a panic attack. The mental energy invested in in worrying, monitoring and restricting, can leave us tired, isolated and feeling down.

ACT helps with building psychological flexibility when difficult feelings and body-based sensations arise. ACT can help keeping you grounded (and out of your head), rather than struggling and avoiding panic attack triggers.