Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) – Adelaide

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) aims to help you do two things, which are reflected in its name. Firstly, it helps you to accept things which are beyond your control, and secondly, it assists you to commit to strategies which improve or enrich your life. Essentially, the goal of therapy is to help you to live a life which is meaningful to you.

ACT achieves this goal by focusing on:

  1. Teaching you Mindfulness skills, which help you to cope with unpleasant thoughts and feelings effectively (that is, so they exert less power over you)
  2. Helping you to clarify those things which are most important and meaningful to you (that is, your values), and using this information to make changes which help your life to align with your values

ACT and Mindfulness

Mindfulness skills, as taught in ACT, are divided into 3 categories:

1) Defusion: learning to distance yourself from, or let go of, unhelpful thoughts

2) Acceptance: allowing unpleasant feelings, thoughts, etc. to come and go as other thoughts do (that is, not hiding from them)

3) Contact with the present moment: experiencing the present moment fully, openly and curiously

Using these three skills requires the ‘observing self’ – which is the part of you which observes your ‘physical self’ and ‘thinking self’. The observing self is the part of you that is capable of being aware and paying attention to things. It happens in the mind, but is separate from thoughts in the sense that it can observe your thoughts. It is also aware of all of the other experiences you have – feelings, urges, actions and sensory input.

Basis of ACT

Unlike many of the other popular Western psychotherapies, ACT does not see behaviours or thoughts as ‘good or bad’, ‘maladaptive or adaptive’. Thoughts and feelings are seen as essential human experiences – even the painful or unpleasant ones many of us try to avoid. ACT does not seek to change the content of your thoughts, but rather the way you approach them and other aspects of your life.

ACT is also very personalised – it is based on your values. Therapy aims to improve your life by basing goals around what is most important to you.

The six core processes explored in ACT are:

  • defusion,
  • acceptance,
  • contact with the present moment,
  • the observing self,
  • values, and
  • committed action.

Want to book in for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in Adelaide?

Margaret Mitchell offers ACT to help you overcome the obstacles you’re facing. Please feel free to request an appointment , or to contact us for more information. We can be reached over the phone on (08) 8272 7885 or via email at