Acceptance and commitment therapy is a form of counseling that helps you learn how to embrace your thoughts and feelings instead of fighting them or feeling guilty for them.
In acceptance and commitment therapy, you’re going to undergo a combination of behavioral therapy and psychotherapy in order to learn how to foster balance, meaningfulness and a better overall sense of well-being in your life.
Acceptance and commitment therapy is all about helping you develop psychological flexibility to help you be more accepting of your emotions and thoughts; to recognize and accept what is out of your control, and to empower yourself to realize what you have the ability to change.
This form of therapy is used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse and addiction.
In this article, we’re going to break down acceptance and commitment therapy and how it’s especially beneficial for those in addiction recovery.
What is acceptance and commitment therapy?
Acceptance and commitment therapy — most commonly referred to as ACT — is a form of therapy that stems from a combination of behavioral therapy and psychotherapy.
Its purpose in addiction recovery is to deepen awareness, mindfulness and happiness in the individual in both the short- and long-term so they can develop a healthier relationship with their thoughts and, overall, themselves.
It’s not uncommon for people to develop a substance addiction as a coping mechanism for some sort of challenge, discomfort or trauma in their lives. Addiction can serve as a way to manage emotional or physical pain, and addiction can even unintentionally develop as a result of negative — sometimes dangerously so — thought patterns.
Our thoughts are powerful, they can greatly help in pulling us out of addiction, or they can contribute to us sinking deeper or giving in to a temptation to relapse.
Ensuring that they’re “on our side” post-recovery is crucial, and that’s exactly what acceptance and commitment therapy works to do.
Benefits of ACT
Some of the top benefits of ACT include:
- Helping you develop genuine acceptance, compassion and forgiveness of yourself and others
- Teaching you how to live in the present (as opposed to dwelling on the past or worrying about the future)
- Establish better handle hardships in your life
These benefits increase a client’s ability to experience, process and respond to emotions and situations in a healthy way so as to improve their overall quality of life.
The role of ACT in addiction treatment
An inability to cope with negative or uncomfortable thoughts and emotions leads countless people to turn to substance abuse and, for many, develop an addiction.
By enrolling in ACT, you strengthen not only your value system, you learn how to and actively implement it in your lifestyle. This form of therapy will also help you learn how to accept, process and handle pain without turning to unhealthy or destructive habits.
Acceptance and commitment therapy can last anywhere from two-to-six months, depending on your individual background, present challenges in recovery, as well as your long-term goals.
Research shows that those who utilize ACT in their rehabilitation programs were far less likely to submit to a relapse, and were more effectively able to handle the highs and lows of recovery.
ACT plays an important role in addiction treatment, teaching people how to handle challenges and uncomfortable emotions in their lives in a healthy, sustainable way.
Reach out for additional support and information
At Real Recovery, our mission is to help you as best we can on your road to addiction recovery, and so we offer acceptance and commitment therapy as a standalone treatment or an addition into a rehabilitation program.
Our experienced therapists and medical providers are here to help you increase peace, happiness, and a more balanced overall wellness by helping you build a healthier, more positive relationship with your thoughts.
The customizable recovery plans we provide are designed to assist you on your recovery from addiction as well as support you on your journey to building a richer, healthier life.