Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Mindfulness
Right now, just take a moment and bring
your awareness to the here and now, to
this moment with openness, and
In the ACT, mindfulness =
acceptance = willingness
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