Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT)

Living a Life that Matters

Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT). ACT is a behavioral therapy about taking mindful and values-guided action. ACT is defined in terms of a philosophical framework and theoretical processes rather than as a specific technology. ACT is based on Relational Frame Theory (RFT) a post-Skinnerian account for human language and cognition that applies mindfulness, acceptance processes, and commitment and behavior change processes to create psychological flexibility. The aim of ACT is to increase psychological flexibility, that is, to contact the present moment fully as a conscious human being, and based on what the situation affords, changing or persisting in behavior in the service of chosen values.

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Dr. Luisa Canon, IEBI’s clinical director, uses ACT with children experiencing social and emotional challenges as well as adults and adolescents experiencing psychological pain as an inevitable part of the human experience (e.g., stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, weigh management, smoking cessation, divorce, changes in life). The aim of this type of one-to-one training is to teach and promote effective behavior that is mindful and values-driven to increase the individual’s physical, emotional and social well-being. A vital aspect of this training is to assist individuals in identifying or clarifying what and who is important to them across all life domains. Then, these values serve as the context in which individuals engage in psychological skills (e.g., acceptance, thought distancing, mindfulness), and behavioral skills to deal more flexibly and effectively with all kinds of painful thoughts, feelings, memories and urges. Individuals are encouraged and motivated by their own values to handle more effectively their pain, and to persist in behaviors that will make their life work, even when in the face of pain.

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