Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is one of the more recent, ‘third wave’ psychotherapies, which focus less on changing thoughts and more on accepting and learning to live (and thrive) with them. Whilst ACT is firmly grounded in the traditional psychotherapies, it also moves beyond them by incorporating other elements such as values, forgiveness, compassion and connection to the present moment.

Broadly speaking, the aim of ACT is to increase your psychological flexibility – that is, your ability to consciously connect to the present moment and to guide your behaviour by your values. Psychological flexibility is achieved through six core processes, which incorporate Mindfulness skills. The end goal of therapy is for you to live an enriched life – one that accepts the pains of human existence whilst also connecting with the joy and satisfaction that come from living life in a way that is meaningful to you.

The Six Core Processes

  1. Defusion: stepping back from thoughts and seeing them as nothing more than thoughts, so that they have less influence over you
  2. Acceptance: allowing yourself to experience unpleasant emotions or feelings and letting them come and go naturally
  3. Contact with the present moment: bringing your attention to the present moment with an attitude of openness, curiosity and interest
  4. The Observing Self: becoming attuned to that part of yourself that is aware of the ‘physical self’ and the ‘thinking self’
  5. Values: clarifying those things that are most important or sacred to you
  6. Committed action: making goals that accord with your values and proactively acting to achieve them

What is ACT Useful For?

ACT has been used successfully to treat a range of mental health complaints, including:

  • Addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Somatic health problems
  • Workplace stress

ACT Therapy in Adelaide – Rose Park Psychology

We are lucky enough to have psychologists at our Adelaide-based practice who are trained in ACT:

If you would like to see one of our psychologists for ACT, please feel free to request an appointment. Or, if you would like more information, you can contact us and one of our friendly receptionists will be happy to assist you. We can be reached over the phone on (08) 8333 0940 or via email at