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ACT Therapy Sydney

Do you struggle ruminating on negative thoughts? Can't seem to unhook from past negative experiences or beliefs about self?

How can it help?

Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an action-oriented approach to psychotherapy that stems from traditional Behaviour Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Through acceptance, we learn to stop avoiding, denying, and struggling with our inner emotions and, instead, accept that these deeper feelings are appropriate responses to certain situations that should not prevent us from moving forward.

With this understanding, we begin to accept our hardships and commit to making necessary changes in our behaviour, regardless of what is going on in our lives and how we feel about it.

What to expect?

Working with a therapist, you will learn to listen to your self-talk or how you talk about past traumatic events, problematic relationships, physical limitations, or other challenges. You can then decide if a problem requires immediate action and change or if it can, or must, be accepted for what it is while you learn to make behavioural change that can modify the situation. You may look at what hasn't worked for you in the past, and the therapist can help you stop repeating thought patterns and behaviours that can cause you more problems in the long run. Once you have faced and accepted your current challenges, you can commit to stop fighting your past and emotions and, instead, start practicing more confident and optimistic behaviour based on your values and goals. ACT aims to develop and expand your psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility encompasses emotional openness and the ability to adapt your thoughts and behaviours to better align with your values and goals.

Complete our Core Values Worksheet

Core Values
Download PDF • 43KB

Six Core Processes That Promote Psychological Flexibility:

1. Acceptance 

Acceptance acknowledges and embraces our full range of our thoughts and emotions rather than trying to avoid or deny them. 

2. Cognitive Defusion 

Cognitive Defusion involves distancing yourself from and changing the way you react to distressing thoughts and feelings, which will mitigate their harmful effects. Techniques for Cognitive Defusion include observing a thought without judgment or labelling the automatic response that you have. 

3. Being Present 

Being present involves being mindful in the present moment and observing your thoughts and feelings without judging them or trying to change them. 

4. Self as Context 

Self as context is an idea that expands the notion of self and identity; we are more than just our thoughts, feelings, and experiences. 

5. Values 

Values embody choosing personal values in different domains and striving to live according to those principles. This stands in contrast to actions driven by the desire to avoid discomfort or other people’s expectations. 

6. Committed Action 

Committed Action involves taking conscious steps to incorporate changes that will align with our values and lead to positive change. This may involve goal setting, exposure to difficult thoughts or experiences, and skill development. 

Take the Acceptance Commitment Therapy Questionnaire

Leveraging Mindfulness and Meditation Practice 

Mindfulness and meditation practice are key tools in ACT. Mindfulness grounds us in the present moment. It provides us with the space to watch our thoughts or emotions come and go. Through mindfulness, we can see how we can hook or unhook from our feelings or thoughts. Mindfulness is a difficult skill that takes time before we see improvement. Like most skills, the most important part is ongoing practice and consistency in developing the skill.   

Watch this ACT Mediation Video (12mins) from Legendary Advisors LLC

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