Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) focuses on reaching beyond suffering to the larger purpose of one’s life, while helping the individual get active in really living. ACT is centered on such questions as “What do you really want your life to be about?” or “If you lived in a world where you could have your life be about anything, what would it be?”
ACT (said as one word, not the letters) is a new cognitive-behavior therapy that has gained increasing attention in recent years. ACT emphasizes such processes as mindfulness, acceptance, and values in helping clients overcome obstacles in their lives. A basic assumption of ACT is that suffering is a normal and unavoidable part of human experience and that it is actually people’s attempts to control or avoid their own painful experiences that lead to much long-term suffering and what doesn’t work in people’s lives. ACT helps people learn ways to let go of the struggle with pain, be more mindful, get clarity on what really matters to them, and to commit to living full, vibrant lives. The goal of therapy is not to eliminate certain parts of one’s experience of life, but rather to learn how to experience life more fully, without as much struggle, and with vitality and commitment.