young woman seated on couch in therapist's office discussing acceptance and commitment therapy programWhen a client enters treatment for substance use disorder, they may be asked to participate in several types of therapy. Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is frequently used to help people with harmful behavioral patterns. Call Santé Center for Healing at 866.238.3154 to learn more about ACT and our addiction therapy program in Texas.

What Is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?

Acceptance and commitment therapy is a type of psychotherapy that encourages an individual’s commitment to positive behaviors that support their wellness goals. It is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that focuses on helping people accept themselves as they are and commit to making positive changes.

One of the main theories behind ACT is the belief that self-acceptance can increase psychological flexibility. Santé Center for Healing offers an acceptance and commitment therapy program in Argyle, TX, for clients who are struggling to control negative urges.

Accepting the existence of negative thoughts and behaviors without self-judgment helps some individuals increase their involvement in more affirming thoughts and behaviors.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Techniques

There are six basic techniques or “values” used in ACT. They are:

  1. Identifying Values – recognizing areas in your life that are valuable enough to motivate action and confirming your personal values
  2. Commitment to Action – changing behavior based on values identified in step one
  3. Self as Observer – learning to observe your thoughts and actions without judgment
  4. Cognitive Defusion Skills – separating yourself from your thoughts
  5. Acceptance – allowing thoughts and feelings to occur without judging or trying to change them
  6. Present Moment Contact – staying mindful in the present

Incorporating these techniques helps clients recognize their freedom to choose actions that are separate from their emotions. Therapy may include homework assignments to help clients stay engaged with the process and learn how to apply acceptance and commitment therapy techniques to everyday situations.

Who Can Benefit From Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?

Almost everyone who is living with a mental health disorder, including substance use disorder, can benefit from acceptance and commitment therapy. ACT may be included in treatment plans for:

  • Substance use
  • Stress
  • Eating disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Psychosis

Research has found that ACT is especially helpful for anyone struggling with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The Anxiety and Depression Association of America estimates that GAD affects approximately 6.8 million adults in the U.S.1

What Is the Benefit of an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Program in Argyle, TX?

A core benefit of ACT is psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility is the ability to engage with your feelings and thoughts when they support your values and set them aside when they do not. This type of flexibility allows individuals to respond to their inner experiences—such as the desire to use drugs—while still avoiding impulsive actions.

How is this skill useful? Many people with substance disorders and other mental health concerns fall into a cycle of self-destructive thoughts and actions. Individuals may feel they are not in charge of their own experiences, as negative thoughts lead to negative behaviors.

A person with psychological flexibility has the skills to say, “Yes, I recognize that I have the urge to use drugs right now, but I will commit my attention to something more meaningful.” This is the “acceptance and commitment” at work.

Having the desire to use drugs does not mean they are “bad” or failing at recovery. A thought is just a thought that can be examined, accepted, and rejected.

Find ACT at Santé Center for Healing

Santé Center for Healing includes ACT in our comprehensive treatment programs for individuals and families in crisis. Call Santé Center for Healing at 866.238.3154 or reach out online for more answers to the question, “What is acceptance and commitment therapy?”


1Forbes Health – “Anxiety Statistics And Facts”