ACT is an off-shoot of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). The primary aim of ACT is to increase psychological flexibility so that you are more aligned to your life goals. ACT focuses on six processes which maintain problematic coping:

  1. Avoiding unwanted experiences (thoughts, emotions, memories)
  2. Being entangled with your thoughts which then take over your brain space and detrimentally influence your behaviour
  3. Dwelling on the past (ruminating) or the future (fantasising), rather than working with what is happening now
  4. Being identified with particular descriptions or stories of ourselves (that tend to be negative of self limiting)
  5. Lacking clarity about values and goals
  6. Withdrawing, distracting, and other ways of avoiding taking effective action towards goals (e.g. excessive TV, procrastination, use of mind numbing substances)

The three keys to Psychological Flexibility are:

  1. Opening up (accepting what is happening rather than denying reality, and seeing thoughts as separate from you)
  2. Being present (being mindful of what is happening right now without judgment and not being attached to negative views of yourself)
  3. Doing what matters (being aware of your values and being committed to actions that support your values and goals, in spite of difficulties in life)