Sep 9, 2013
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a so-called third-generation branch of CBT which teaches new ways of looking at our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Instead of fighting and demanding that troublesome thoughts and feelings go away, ACT emphasizes accepting the existence of those thoughts and feelings, and going ahead and living life fruitfully nonetheless. ACT teaches us to create a distance, at will, between our "reactive self" who might tumble around in thoughts and emotions, and our "executive self" who can take a step back and decide to go ahead with the best plan anyway.
Accomplishing this involves Active Self-Awareness, or "mindfulness", Acceptance, Cognitive Defusion, Knowledge of our Values, and Committed Action. These are skills we can learn to improve our lives and use more of our energy toward our goals, and in line with our life values.
Adding ACT skills to REBT and SMART Tools, we can move toward a rewarding life with long-term satisfaction. Dr Robb emphasizes the importance of moving toward a positive goal, rather than just moving away from maladaptive behavior. This is enormously helpful for healthy living and sustained recovery.
As Dr Robb mentions in his talk, you may also consider ACT to be Acceptance and Commitment "Training" to improve your skills. Psychological Flexibility is one of the hallmarks of ACT.
Dr. Hank Robb has a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, is a Supervisor for the Institute for Rational-Emotive Therapy in New York, is Board Certified in both Counseling Psychology and Behavioral Psychology, is Certified in the Treatment of Alcohol and Other Psychoactive Substance Use, and is one of the Founding Members of the Board of SMART Recovery®.