What is ACT?

It was a big moment for me when, a number of years ago, I discovered an international community of researchers and therapists which, in a spirit of generous sharing (open source), does everything to make behavioral and cognitive therapies more humanistic, profound and relevant.

The therapeutic approach developed within this community is called ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, but also an acronym for “Accept, Choose and Take action”), which proves at least as effective as more traditional CBT, especially when we look beyond “mere” symptom reduction. It is very likely that when also measures the quality of life and ability to give meaning to our lives (and in ACT a lot of attention is given to clarifying what we value and ways in which we can act in harmony with these values), the merits of ACT will become even more evident …
In the model of ACT, the 6 key processes underlying “psychological flexibility” (cognitive flexibility, emotional flexibility, temporal flexibility, perspective-taking flexibility, flexibility in prioritizing, and behavioral flexibility) are well described and specified. It is this precision that allows for greater precision and clarity, and thus for greater efficiency. But as the main developer of ACT, Steve Hayes, has pointed out himself, there is still room for improvement in the development of techniques that can catalyze these processes. We can extend the technical repertoire of ACT in a coherent way, provided we understand the principles that underpin this approach.
And it is in this spirit that I have done my best to ensure that all methods (psychoanalytic, experiential, hypnotherapeutic and body-oriented) which I have learned during my almost 40 years of training and practice are consistent with the overall pattern of the ACT .

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