Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is directly connected to cognitive behavioral therapy, however was created as an improved version of it. This therapy is based on the fact that thoughts, feelings and behavior are inextricably connected. After many years of research, scientists have found out that mental disorders have become a norm in our daily lives. So, why are people so prone to suffering? Specialists have found the answer to this question: over the centuries, people have developed a widely developed thinking machine, which is capable of recognizing problems, finding their cause and looking for ways to eliminate them. This way, people adapt to the enviroment.
However, this ability also affects our inner world. Due to that, we seriously endure problems and start questioning or self-worse. All these processes cause the fact, that we are constantly stressed out, have anxiety and uncertainty about the future, which all together leads to mental disorders. ACT in its turn teaches to be ready to accept negative emotions and not avoid them. After accepting, passing through and letting go of these negative situations, a person becomes able to achieve important goals in his/her life.
The patient learns to distinguish the so-called "self-made" suffering (in cases of feelings and emotions avoidance) from the real one (grief, sorrow, fear, etc.). ACT also teaches a person to see the difference between what feelings really are and what they may seem like. What is the difference between Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and CBT? ACT, unlike CBT, does not change thoughts, it creates a distance to them.
The main goal of ACT is to help a patient identify his personal values and realise the need of implementing them in life, regardless of thoughts and feelings, which are likely to change. This approach teaches us to take responsibility for the realization of our own values, regardless of fears, uncertainties and sufferings that may arise on the way to achieving this goal.