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Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a unique, empirically-based intervention that utilizes acceptance and mindfulness processes as well as commitment and behavior change to produce psychological flexibility. The goal of ACT is to increase psychological flexibility, or the ability to enter the present moment more fully, and either change or persist in behavior when doing so serves one’s values and desired outcomes. Therapists and residents at Mountain Valley work to establish psychological flexibility through core ACT processes, including acceptance – the opposite of experiential avoidance, cognitive defusion – in which negative thoughts are observed mindfully instead of avoided or reasoned away, chosen values and committed action.

ACT helps our residents to live full and meaningful lives while also accepting the difficulties and painful experiences in their lives. At Mountain Valley, we teach that life is not about avoiding but, rather, engaging. ACT helps our residents to do just that. Incorporating ACT principles into our exposure therapy also helps our residents to harness a greater willingness to enter into seemingly challenging and difficult exposure situations. That is, they learn to be open to the experience of an exposure and to not just tolerate it or cope with it, but to fully experience it instead.

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