Shirley Baxter Counselling and ACT
My own personal journey with Acceptance and Committment Therapy (ACT) started in 2016 when I undertook some ACT training and started to incorporate it in my work. The more I work with ACT the more I find it compliments the Humansistic Counselling Model which is at the core of my work. The two for me are perfectly aligned and can interweave with each other seamlessly. Like the Humanistic Counselling Model ACT embraces the Here & Now experiences of the client and the struggles that can arise. There is a strong focus in ACT on the connection and relationship between the Client and Therapist, we are both on this journey together. Although ACT is described as 3rd Wave CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and is considered to be aligned to CBT, its difference is that it does not try to change your thoughts, instead ACT is about changing the way you relate to your thoughts.
ACT Can Help If
- You are struggling to know who or what matters in your life and your life feels as if it has no direction
- Your thoughts and feelings are right in front of you that you can no longer see past them towards who and what matters in your life
- You are caught up in the ‘negative stories you believe about yourself’, these stories feel so believeable and real that everything feels hopeless
- You are feeling stuck and inactive, and unsure how to take action and move forward
- You feel as if you are caught in a struggle fighting against, or avoiding the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings around you, trying to push them away
- You are spending your time ruminating on past events or thinking about future anxieties
- Life is feeling rigid, inflexible and meaningless
How Does ACT Work?
- It enables you to identify your (Values), the direction in which you want to your life to be heading
- It helps you to identify the thoughts, feelings & unhelpful actions and behaviours that take you away from who and what matters
- It helps you to create distance (Defusion) from the thoughts that pull you away from your Values
- It helps you to change your relationship to them, to see them as thoughts
- It helps you to see yourself in a different context (Self As Context)
- It helps you to gain alternative perspectives, to observe and notice yourself
- It helps you to identify what you are willing to do (Committed Action) in the service of moving towards your values
- It helps you identify actions no matter how small they may be
- It helps you to let go of the struggle you find yourself in, to find (Acceptance)
- It helps you to become aware that accepting does not mean you have to like or agree with something
- It helps you to stay (Present) and in the moment enabling you to notice what you are thinking and feeling
- It helps you to create a space for those thoughts and feelings and acknowledge them
- It aims to create (Psychological Flexibiliy)
- It helps to create a space from which you can move freely and live a valued and meaningful life, which feels rewarding and satisfying
Is ACT Suitable for Individual and Couples?
Yes ACT works well for both Individual and Couples.
- ACT works well for Individuals who feel they have lost direction and sight of who and what matters, they feel stuck and are struggling to know how to live a rewarding life.
- ACT works well for Couples who feel they have lost the essence of what their relationship means to them. Their relationship has become stuck, infelxible and directionless.