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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

What is Acceptance & Commitment Therapy?

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a treatment that aims to strengthen self-awareness of the mind-body connection (thoughts, emotions, and body sensations) through experiential, behavioural and mindfulness interventions. ACT involves acknowledging current experiences with psychological flexibility and acceptance as well as developing committed actions. This evidence-based intervention has been found to have an immense impact on an individual’s general well-being and emotional state. The goal of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is to increase psychological flexibility, or the ability to enter the present moment more fully and either change or persist in behavior when doing so serves valued ends.

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Monday – Thursday – 9 AM – 8 PM

Friday – 9 AM – 5 PM

Weekends & Stat Holidays – CLOSED

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For Therapeutic Treatments

Zone Health & Performance Psychology offers direct billing. Your therapeutic treatments may be covered by your health insurance plan or employee health benefits. Contact us or your health insurance provider about coverage.

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Common Issues That ACT Can Treat

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy can be a powerful tool in helping clients to deal with various issues including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • ADHD
  • Chronic Pain
  • Stress
  • Substance Abuse
  • OCD

 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) encourages people to embrace their thoughts and feelings rather than fighting or feeling guilty for them. It may seem confusing at first, but ACT paired with Mindfulness-based Therapy offers clinically effective treatment. After all, running away from any problem only increases the distance from the solution. The easiest way to escape from the problem is to solve it.

ACT goes beyond thoughts and feelings. At its core, ACT aims at using a person’s values as a guide for life, bringing people closer to their passions. ACT therapy solves the problem by having the patient focus on values, not the importance of a task, to spur motivation. Values are not the same thing as importance. The things we value are things in which we have invested our emotions. We care about these things. They have meaning to us and, perhaps, only to us.

Here at Zone Health & Performance Psychology, we offer a 10 week, non-pharmaceutical, practice-based mindfulness program that builds on these concepts week by week. These taught tools can be personalized and added to one’s lifestyle to improve daily functioning and reduce presenting symptoms while promoting self-compassion. Our mindfulness program is suitable for individuals aged 12 years and up.

Psychological Flexibility: The Six Core Processes of ACT

Dr. Steven Hayes has established The Six Core Processes of ACT. The Six core processes of ACT guide clients through therapy and provide a framework for developing psychological flexibility. These six core processes of ACT include the following:
Acceptance Commitment Therapy Edmonton
  1. Acceptance
  2. Cognitive Defusion
  3. Being Present
  4. Self as Context
  5. Values
  6. Committed Action

 

Acceptance is an alternative to our instinct to avoid thinking about the negative—or potentially negative—experiences. It is the active choice to allow unpleasant experiences to exist, without trying to deny or change them. Acceptance is not a goal of ACT, but a method of encouraging action that will lead to positive results.

 

Cognitive Defusion refers to the techniques intended to change how an individual reacts to their thoughts and feelings. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy does not intend to limit our exposure to negative experiences, but rather to face them and come out the other side with a decreased fixation on these experiences.

 

Being Present can be understood as the practice of being aware of the present moment, without judgment the experience. In other words, it involves experiencing what is happening without trying to predict or change the experience.

 

Self as Context is the idea that an individual is not simply the sum of their experiences, thoughts, or emotions. The “self as context” process offers the alternative concept that there is a self outside of the current experience. We are not the only what happens to us. We are the ones experiencing what happens to us.

 

Values in this context are the qualities we choose to work towards in any given moment. We all hold values, consciously or unconsciously, that direct our steps. In ACT, we use tools that help us live our lives in accordance with the values that we hold dear.

 

Finally, ACT aims to help patients commit to actions that will assist in their long-term goals and live a life consistent with their values. Positive behavior changes cannot occur without awareness of how a given behavior affects us.

Benefits of Acceptance Commitment Therapy Edmonton

How Quickly Does ACT Work?

ACT is an extension of the cognitive-behavioral model, but with some differences. Unlike CBT, ACT does not try to change negative thoughts. It asks you to observe and accept them. ACT does not accept the idea that thoughts are easily malleable. CBT might focus on identifying a negative thought (“No one likes me”), then reframing it to something more positive (“Maybe some people don’t like me, but others do like me”).

It is a type of therapy that aims to help patients accept what is out of their control and commit instead to actions that enrichen their lives. ACT develops psychological flexibility and is a form of behavioral therapy that combines mindfulness skills with the practice of self-acceptance. When aiming to be more accepting of your thoughts and feelings, commitment plays a key role.

In the case of ACT, you commit to facing the problem head-on rather than avoiding your stresses. Imagine committing to actions that help you facilitate your experience and embrace any challenge.

 

  • Brief Therapy: This may require 4 – 6 sessions that run 55 minutes each in length.

 

  • Medium Term Therapy: This may require 8 – 10 sessions that run 55 minutes each in length.

 

  • Long Term Therapy: This may require upwards of 40 sessions that run 55 minutes each in length.

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Why Should You Choose Zone?

One of the things that makes us unique at Zone Health & Performance Psychology is that we combine these types of Talk Therapies with Neurofeedback/Biofeedback to optimize the nervous system. Our clients learn a variety of Mindfulness-based/Biofeedback tools and strategies to stabilize their mind while simultaneously optimizing their internal physiology and overall health. Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Zone Health and Performance will provide permanent and natural alternative solutions for those who are seeking non-pharmaceutical options to their health and well-being.