ACT (typically pronounced as the word “act”) is a form of clinical behavior analysis (CBA) used in psychotherapy. It is an empirically-based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies mixed in different ways with commitment and behavior-change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility.
ACT commonly employs six core principles to help clients develop psychological flexibility:
• Cognitive defusion: Learning methods to reduce the tendency to reify thoughts, images, emotions, and memories.
• Acceptance: Allowing thoughts to come and go without struggling with them.
• Contact with the present moment: Awareness of the here and now, experienced with openness, interest, and receptiveness.
• Observing the self: Accessing a transcendent sense of self, a continuity of consciousness which is unchanging.
• Values: Discovering what is most important to one’s true self.
Committed action: Setting goals according to values and carrying them out responsibly.