Vantage Point & Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Several of our therapists here at Vantage Point have specialized training in ACT and incorporate ACT into their comprehensive treatment plans.  If you would like to inquire about ACT or mindfulness specific treatment, please contact us at 916-284-1416 or therapy@vppsychotherapy.com.

What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)  

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy has emerged as a promising type of behavior therapy that is influenced by the eastern philosophy of Mindfulness and Relational Frame Theory. ACT theorists believe that most suffering is caused by psychological inflexibility. The general traits of psychological inflexibility are:

  • Failure to take steps toward clarifying and living your values.
  • Avoidance of experiences
  • Loss of contact with the present moment
  • Entanglement with distressing thoughts and feelings
  • A rigid attachment to a self-concept

What do ACT Therapists Do?

ACT therapists teach clients the skills that they need to become more psychologically flexible.  Psychological flexibility is the ability to effectively deal with your painful thoughts and feelings in the present moment and to actively move towards creating a more meaningful and fulfilling life. The main skills taught in ACT are:

  • Connection (mindfulness): Mindfulness skills teach client’s to be fully aware and connected to the present moment. 

  • Defusion:  Defusion techniques are used to help clients develop the ability to step back from and accept unhelpful worries, thoughts, beliefs, feelings, urges, and memories.  This helps to free up the client's mental energy and allows the client to respond to life's experiences more effectively in the moment.

  • Expansion:  Expansion skills are taught to help the client open up to and stop struggling with painful thoughts, sensations, and emotions.  

  • The Observing Self:  Clients are taught to become in contact with the noticing part of the mind that embodies whatever you are feeling, thinking, or sensing in any given moment.  This helps with mindfulness skills.

  • Values:  Clients clarify and explore their values in order to discover what matters most to them.  

  • Committed action:  Clients learn to take action that is guided by their values even when it is difficult.

Current Research on ACT

ACT has been shown to have a positive impact on a broad range of mental health problems. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is also considered to be an evidence-based practice by SAMHSA and as an empirically supported treatment by the American Psychological Association. For current research on statistics, please click here to visit the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science: