Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a form of counselling and clinical behaviour analysis. It is an empirically-based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies mixed in different ways with commitment and behaviour strategies, to increase psychological flexibility. One of the tenets of ACT is to not pathologize one's symptoms and experiences.

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ACT (like dialectical behaviour therapy, functional analytic psychotherapy, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and other acceptance- and mindfulness-based approaches) is commonly grouped under the name “the third wave of cognitive behaviour therapy”. Traditional Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is considered the “Second Wave,” while Pavlovian operant conditioning therapy is considered the original, or “First Wave” of behavioural therapy, which emerged in the 1920s.

ACT has been proven to work well for mood disorders, anxiety disorders, chronic pain, addiction, personality disorders, disease prevention and health promotion.[1]