Acceptance & Commitment Therapy Programme
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy which aims to teach people “mindfulness skills”, to help them live in the “here and now” and manage their thoughts and emotions more effectively. ACT supports service users to identify and connect with their core personal values and integrate them into everyday action. Though ACT does aim to reduce symptoms, it primarily aims to change people’s relationship with anxiety and depression, and to increase value-led behavioural activation.
The ACT programme, which was implemented in St Edmundsbury Hospital in 2010, runs recurrently over an 8-week period, for one half-day per week. During the eight week programme, participants engage in a range of experiential exercises to help them develop the six core processes of ACT; mindfulness, thought defusion, acceptance, perspective taking, values and committed action. Participants are given three CDs to accompany the experiential exercises covered in session which assists in integrating ACT processes into their daily lives. The essential aim of this programme is to help people connect with what matters most to them and develop skills to help overcome the obstacles that get in the way of living a value guided life. The programme aims to foster a key shift in terms of helping people to look at their lives in terms of workability; what helps them move closer towards who and where they want to be, and what brings them further away. This programme is primarily facilitated by an experienced counselling psychologist who also trains other clinicians in the ACT approach.