Right now, just take a moment and bring

your awareness to the here and now, too]

this moment with openness, and

curiosity. In the ACT, mindfulness =

acceptance = willingness 

 
 

ACT THERAPY

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) pronounced "act” is mindfulness-based values-oriented psychotherapy developed by Steven Hayes in 1982. ACT uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies with commitment and behavioral change strategies to increase psychological flexibility.  

According to Jon Kabat Zinn defines Mindfulness is a state of awareness that arises through paying attention, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally. In ACT mindfulness is used in the service of understanding the self and it is just one of the many ACT skills. ACT provides you with a range of tools to learn mindfulness skills, Diffusion, Acceptance, and Contact with the present moment are a few.


In defusion, you learn to let go of unhelpful thoughts, beliefs, and memories. In Acceptance, you learn to make room for painful emotions, body sensations, and urges by allowing them to be and let them go, and reducing the struggle with them. Contact with the present moment engages you to be present at this moment with a curious open attitude.  

In Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), we work to transform reactions linked to these early life memories and develop greater flexibility taking by considering what is happening in the present moment.


Many of the ACT therapeutic techniques originated in the practices of mindfulness which helps you to improve the way you observe yourself, your experience, rather than acting out your life patterns, your habitual ways of responding based on prior learned life history.  


Schema Therapy and ACT may seem like two different perspectives, but they actually go well together.  Schemas often manifest as somatic reactions, in thoughts, affects/emotions, and behavioral tendencies, and it is possible to change your relationship with these private experiences through the use of mindfulness, more flexible and philosophical ways to see the world, and new techniques derived from ACT.

ACT uses various protocols. I have used the ACT protocol for depression, anxiety, eating disorder, self-esteem, pain, and ACT and Schema Therapy for relationship difficulties, and ACT for Compassion to reduce shame and self criticalness.  

Scripts for Building Compassion

With deep gratitude to ACT with Compassion.  

Like the RUMI poem “the Guest House” we invite all of our difficult emotions to come in as they are there to teach us something about ourselves

 
 

THE GUEST HOUSE


JELALUDDIN RUMI, TRANSLATION BY COLEMAN BARKS

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Copyright 1997 by Coleman Barks. Posted with permission. All rights reserved.

From The Illuminated Rumi.T

 
 

COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT will help you develop skills that will assist you to become aware of your thoughts, emotions and identify how situations, thoughts and behaviors influence your emotions, and improve feelings by changing your dysfunctional thoughts and behaviors. This process is skills focused and collaborative. I will recommend readings and practice homework throughout the week. Each session focuses on teaching you skills related to your presenting problem.  Often I use the skills based modules from Clinical Interventions in Australia. I have been using these since I worked as a College Counseling Center Director at Lehman College/CUNY. I have trained at the Albert Ellis Rational Emotive Institute and completed all levels including advanced levels. I also took courses at the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy.

 

MASTERING YOUR WORRIES

Mastering Your Worries: This workbook is designed to provide you with some information about chronic worrying and generalised anxiety disorder and suggested strategies for how you can manage your worrying and anxiety.  It is organised into modules that are designed to be worked through in sequence.  We recommend that you complete one module before going on to the next. Each module includes information, worksheets, and suggested exercises or activities.

COPING WITH PANIC ATTACKS:

Coping with Panic Attacks: This workbook is designed to provide you with some information about panic attacks and panic disorder and suggested strategies for how you can manage your panic and anxiety.  It is organised into modules that are designed to be worked through in sequence.  Although it is not necessary that you complete one module before going on to the next, this is recommended. Each module includes information, worksheets, and suggested exercises or activities.

OVERCOMING PERFECTIONISM:

Overcoming Perfectionism: This information package is designed to help you understand what is helpful and unhelpful about being a perfectionist.  The goal is not for you to give up your high standards altogether but to learn to pursue healthy high standards rather than unrelenting high standards that negatively impact your life. This package is organised into modules that are designed to be worked through in sequence. We recommend that you complete one module before going on to the next. Each module includes information, worksheets, and suggested exercises or activities.

BACK FROM THE BLUEZ

Coping with Depression: This workbook is designed to provide you with some information about depression and suggested strategies for how you can manage your mood. It is organized into modules that are designed to be worked through in sequence. Although it is not necessary that you complete one module before going on to the next, this is recommended. Each module includes information, worksheets, and suggested exercises or activities. This is all available through Clinical Interventions

BUILDING SELF COMPASSION

From Self-Criticism to Self-Kindness: This workbook is designed to provide you with some information and practical skills to help you be less critical and more compassionate towards yourself. It is organised into modules that are designed to be worked through in sequence.  We recommend that you complete one module before going on to the next. Each module includes information, worksheets, and suggested exercises or activities.

SLEEP AND INSOMNIA

A common barrier to sleep is having a hard time switching off from thoughts. If you find it hard to switch off from worries and negative thinking you might find our worry resources helpful.

OVERCOMING DISTRESS INTOLERANCE

Overcoming Distress Intolerance: This information package is designed to provide you with some information about distress intolerance and suggested strategies for managing distressing or uncomfortable feelings more effectively. This information package is organized into modules that are designed to be worked through in sequence.  Although it is not necessary that you complete one module before going on to the next, this is recommended.  Each module includes information, worksheets, and suggested exercises or activities.

OVERCOMING HEALTH ANXIETY

Overcoming Health Anxiety: This information package is designed to provide you with some information about health anxiety, including how it develops, how it is maintained, and how to decrease your health worries and concerns. It is organised into modules that are designed to be worked through in sequence. We recommend that you complete one module before going on to the next. Each module includes information, worksheets, and suggested exercises or activities.

OVERCOMING LOW SELF-ESTEEM

Overcoming Low Self-Esteem: This information package is designed to provide you with some information about low self-esteem - how it develops, how it is maintained, and how to address this problem.  It is organised into modules that are designed to be worked through in sequence.  We recommend that you complete one module before going on to the next.  Each module includes information, worksheets, and suggested exercises or activities.

 

DBT

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

“Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength”

 

DBT


I came to Dialectical Behavior Therapy in the late 1980s. At the time, it was only used in hospitals, but I found it helpful in communicating and helping many of the mothers I worked with whose children were placed in foster care.


Dialectical Behavior Therapy was originally developed by Marsha Linehan to treat individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder who also demonstrated chronic suicidality and parasuicidal behaviors.


DBT is now considered an evidence-based therapy for not only BPD, but multiple other mental health issues such as substance abuse, mood disorders, and disordered eating.  

Schema therapy (ST) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) have their roots in cognitive behavioral therapy. The aim of DBT is to help you with any emotion dysregulation.

What is an emotion dysregulation problem?

Have you ever felt like your emotions were out of control? Have you ever felt that you overreacted and regrated your response to an issue or argument with someone you care about? Or have you felt that just thinking about the sad event or the argument created all the same emotions in your body as to when you had them, and you want to call the person and argue some more? 


It may seem like you cannot regulate your emotions. You may have thoughts and the thoughts may create a physiological response, that is, your heart rate starts to beat faster, and you start to feel hot and flushed.  At times, you feel like you just need to retreat, that you do not want to speak to anyone, you would prefer to isolate and avoid human contact. Yet, other times, you want to have it out with someone, and it can continue with no end in sight. 

In Schema Therapy we see emotion dysregulation as related to trauma, or adverse early childhood experiences (attachment issues, child abuse, and neglect). These experiences may have led to unprocessed traumas, fear, and avoidance of emotions, and an inability to manage emotions, to regulate them. In Schema Therapy we will process these traumas, in our relationship together we will address emotional avoidance and dysregulation and use experiential techniques to address dysregulation.


However, in DBT, all the four modules, mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, focus on improving emotion regulation skills and encourages you to practice these skills on a regular basis.  If needed, I will sometimes integrate these strategies in the Schema Therapy work we are doing together.

There are many resources available online, I use many of these resources and most recently I have been using 

DBT : Dialectical Behavior Therapy - Skills, Worksheets, & Videos