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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Everyone faces challenges, but it’s how they approach these challenges that often affects their overall health. Some people confront their challenges head on, no matter how difficult. Others tend to ignore them, hoping they’ll go away. That rarely happens, however, and problems can become worse as a result. Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a treatment method that helps individuals face and handle their challenges.

Developed in the 1980s, ACT is a form of psychotherapy that helps individuals accept that some things are simply out of their control. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) forms the basis for ACT. In treatment, individuals gradually learn to stop the avoiding behaviors they often use when faced with problems. Some avoidance behaviors include eating disorders, substance abuse, and self-harm. Instead of denying or ignoring difficulties and engaging in destructive behaviors, they learn to recognize and confront them. Only when they acknowledge an issue can

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Components

ACT’s six main principles include the following:

Utilizing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in Treatment

Everyone has difficult days. Some problems are minor, like getting a flat tire on the way to work. Others are major, like the loss of a loved one. While it’s only natural for people to want to avoid pain and painful situations, there is no way to completely avoid life’s challenges. ACT aims to teach individuals how to cope when difficulties arise.

So, how can ACT help an individual with an eating disorder? Maybe an individual uses food as comfort when they’re faced with painful thoughts. It just feels easier to eat instead of telling someone they’re hurt. Alternatively, perhaps an individual rigorously controls their eating since they feel like they don’t have control over anything else. Instead of expressing their feelings, they bury them.

With assistance from a skilled therapist, individuals learn that it’s counterproductive to ignore their problems or suppress their emotions. They learn self-compassion instead of always judging themselves harshly. The benefits of ACT allowing individuals to give themselves permission to make mistakes and move on from them, as well as teaching them to control their reactions in certain situations.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy at Shoreline

Odyssey Behavioral Healthcare’s AVP of Clinical Services, Kate Fisch, LCSW, discusses ACT at Shoreline.
At Shoreline, we also utilize other types of behavioral therapies based on each client’s needs and their individualized treatment plan, including:
To learn more about the eating disorder treatment programs at Shoreline, call us today at (562) 434-6007.
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