You are not broken, you are stuck, stuck in a futile struggle with the unpleasant stuff that you understandably want to get rid of. ACT is an intervention aimed at enabling you to have a more rich, meaningful life and accepting the ‘normal pain’ that comes with doing that. ACT encourages and supports you to flexibly choose, guided by who and what is important to you and mindfulness skills, to make moves towards the life that you want. ACT involves becoming more aware of the present moment and that you are the stage where your thoughts, feelings and sensations play out, it involves becoming more open and accepting of these experiences, seeing them for what they are, to enable you to become more active in terms of taking action in line with what really matters to you.
Acceptance is not a sign of defeat or resignation, but a willingness to have some experiences because what you are committing to moving towards is worth it.
So often we get understandably hooked into trying to avoid or control unpleasant experiences, because short-term they often work, butin the longer term we begin to notice that actually they are unhelpful and even take us away from what matters. As we begin to realise that control is the problem and not the solution that our minds tell us it is, we can use this energy to movetowards who and what is important to us, using these as our compass instead.
ACT uses metaphors and experiential exercises, alongside mindfulness and value driven behavioural interventions, to help us to develop skills in understanding our behaviours without getting hooked into the story of them. If you’re curious about this approach then check out ‘Passengers on a Bus’ on YouTube. This short clip shows an individual as a bus driver, their thoughts, experiences and memories as individual passengers. It illustrates the importance of learning to live with these in order to move forward. You might also want to explore this more through the ACBS. If you are curious and willing to try something new please contact me for either face-to-face or video-conferencing sessions. What have you got to lose?