Treating Anxiety Using ACT

Treating anxiety using ACT

Anxiety, that anguish caused by a whole diverse network of factors, can be very painful and insidious in the lives of many people. From rumination and fear associated with social situations, to excessive worry about exams, work or the future in general, there are as many ways to experience anxiety as there are people who experience it.

Psychological therapy is a resource to take into account when coping with anxiety. While it is true that anxiety can be normal and adaptive in many situations, in many other cases it can cause serious and prolonged long-term problems, for which therapy is essential. Thus, different approaches have been developed to deal with these anxious emotions in increasingly specific ways.

This is the case of the ACT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, which seeks to generate a relationship with one’s own thoughts and emotions based on understanding and acceptance, managing to separate the person from their emotions to evaluate them differently. In this article, we will seek to expand the information about this very novel form of treatment that is satisfactory in many cases.

What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)?

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an innovative psychotherapeutic and psychological treatment approach that has gained much recognition in recent years for its effectiveness, specifically applied to the treatment of anxiety.

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Instead of focusing on the complete elimination of symptoms, ACT proposes a different relationship with these emotional experiences that may be generating anxiety. This approach starts from motivating individuals to fully accept their thoughts and emotions, recognizing them as normal events of the human mind.

One of the key principles of ACT is “cognitive defusion,” which involves distancing yourself from negative thoughts and being able to observe them without identifying with them and suffering their emotional consequences. This process allows people who use ACT to reduce the influence of anxious thoughts on your behavior and emotional well-being. ACT also highlights the importance of identifying and committing to personal values, which means living according to what really matters, even when anxiety is present.

Through different practical exercises and strategies, ACT empowers patients to connect with their deepest values ​​and take complex actions and decisions, avoiding the influence of emotional difficulties. This approach does not seek to completely eliminate anxiety, but rather to change the relationship with it, fostering a rich and meaningful life even in the presence of these emotional challenges.

How ACT works for the treatment of anxiety

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) offers a dynamic approach to addressing anxiety by changing the way we relate to our anxious thoughts and emotions. Below we will discuss some of the main components of ACT that make it have a significant impact on anxiety reduction.

1. Cognitive defusion

As we have mentioned previously, a fundamental pillar of ACT is cognitive defusion; technique that involves being able to observe and understand our thoughts from a perspective that is detached and differentiated from the person. Thus, ACT teaches people to separate themselves from these anxious thoughts in order to reduce their impact.

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2. Identification and clarification of personal values

Another crucial component of ACT is the identification and clarification of personal values. By helping individuals understand and understand what really matters to them outside of these anxious thoughts, ACT therapy allows them to guide their actions based on these values, even in the presence of anxiety. This approach thus manages to promote the creation of a meaningful, enriching life with greater knowledge and understanding of one’s own psyche.

3. Here and now

Additionally, ACT focuses on the here and now, encouraging people to commit to meaningful, present-related actions and decisions, avoiding focusing and anchoring in the past or worry about the future, common characteristics of anxiety. Through experiential exercises and primarily behavioral techniques, ACT enables individuals to live fully in the present moment, regardless of the anxiety they may experience.

Effectiveness of ACT

The Effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for the Treatment of Anxiety has been supported by clinical studies and experiences of individuals who have experienced significant improvements in their relationship with their thoughts and emotions derived from anxiety. Different research shows that ACT not only reduces anxiety symptoms, but also improves people’s overall quality of life in the long term.

The flexibility of ACT to adapt to various forms of anxiety makes it a valuable option for many people and across a diverse range of personal situations and problems. Whether it’s social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, or specific phobias, ACT offers tools that transcend traditional treatment categories. Additionally, his focus on personal values ​​and commitment to meaningful action stands out for his ability to generate deep and lasting changes.

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Many people who have experienced ACT reveal stories of liberation and empowerment in their relationship to treatment and the therapeutic experience. By embracing acceptance and committing to actions aligned with core personal values, people find a path to authenticity, inner peace, and self-respect. ACT not only manages to treat anxiety, but also provides sufficient tools to build a fuller and more meaningful life.

In conclusion, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) emerges as a powerful tool for addressing anxiety. By changing your relationship with your thoughts and committing to core values, ACT not only reduces symptoms, but also redefines quality of life. Her innovative approach offers hope and empowerment, showing that living fully, even with present anxiety, is an achievable and valuable possibility.