Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT)

Counselling Services for Waterloo Region

"Acceptance is the magic that makes change possible."

- Melody Beattie

the therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is born out of CBT, but uses mindfulness, acceptance, commitment, and behavioural changes in order to help individuals live a life that is congruent with their values. Instead of taking the approach of fighting negative thoughts, ACT seeks to notice these difficult thoughts or emotions from a non-judgmental standpoint (this is where the mindfulness comes in). 

ACT encourages individuals to contemplate what they would like their lives to look like and puts plans in place in order for them to move towards these goals. By identifying values that are important to us, we can begin to notice our behaviours and see if they are moving us towards living these values or if they are moving us away from them. 



The ACT model is based on the following key components:

  • Contact with the present moment (if we are more present, we are more aware of our behaviours as they occur)

  • Acceptance (noticingpainful and difficult emotions instead of trying to change them)

  • Values (how we want to behave and what we want our life to look like)

  • Delusion (change our relationship to our thoughts by "stepping back" from them)

  • Committed action (linking actions to our values)

  • Self as context (awareness of the self in the context of our experiences)