Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is really helpful, not just for people new to treatment, but also for people who have seen other therapists and are disappointed in their progress. Often, they can describe more realistic and potentially empowering ways to look at their situation, but can’t use that logic to help them improve their lives. This happens when “core beliefs” or “schemas”, the deepest-routed thoughts which are developed in childhood, are strongly negative.
The Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) approach to this problem is counter-intuitive. Instead of challenging these schemas, we learn to notice but “defuse” from them. By learning to be mindful of the thoughts and feelings but not engage with them, clients can learn to shift their focus from regrets and worries to creating a meaningful life in the present.
There is an excellent YouTube video which illustrate how this works:
Passengers on the Bus by Joe Oliver, story by Russ Harris.
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