Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ( ACT, said as one word rather than A-C-T) is
contextual cognitive behavioural therapy that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies,
together with commitment and behaviour change strategies, to increase psychological
Psychological flexibility means contacting the present moment fully as a conscious human being, and based on what the situation affords, changing or persisting in behaviour in the service of chosen values.
Based on Relational Frame Theory, ACT illuminates the ways that language entangles clients
into futile attempts to wage war against their own inner lives. Through metaphor, paradox,
and experiential exercises clients learn how to make healthy contact with thoughts, feelings,
memories, and physical sensations that have been feared and avoided.
Clients gain the skills to recontextualise and accept these private events, develop greater clarity about personal values, and commit to needed behaviour change.
ACT has a developing evidence base, with over 20 randomised controlled trials across a variety of disorders and problems, mediational analyses supportive of the processes of change in psychological flexibility, and links with basic science about language, with over 80 published experiments on Relational Frame Theory.