Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Plain Language Summary: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a type of therapy that can help with many different mental health difficulties including depression, anxiety, and other disorders. Recently, ACT has been adapted for use with people who have autism or other developmental disabilities (e.g., learning disabilities).

ACT teaches people how to deal with difficult thoughts and feelings. It also focuses on helping people achieve their goals and better understand their values. ACT accomplishes this through six processes: contacting the present moment, acceptance, thought defusion, understanding the self as context, contact with values, and committed action.

ACT often involves a lot of interactive activities with your therapist. Make sure to ask questions about your therapist’s process and work with your therapist to develop your therapy goals. You’ll learn how to not let uncomfortable thoughts and feelings bother you. These are a natural part of life. You’ll learn how to be the person you want to be and overcome patterns that no longer help you.

As with any therapy relationship, you’ll spend some time getting to know your therapist and making sure they’re a good fit for you. You are always welcome to bring a trusted friend or family member if you prefer.

To learn more, read the MHDD fact sheet on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

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