Acceptance and commitment therapy explained

Acceptance and commitment therapy focuses on acceptance processes, which involve taking an open and non-judgemental stance to experience.


Often when individuals have gone through periods of stress or mental health issues, an aftereffect can be what is known as experiential avoidance, which involves trying to postpone, escape, or avoid thoughts, emotions, memories or behaviours. This may work as a short-term approach to reducing unwanted thoughts and feelings, but over the longer term can have negative consequences, preventing an individual from being able to enjoy their day-to-day life.


ACT focuses on this directly, helping individuals to accept their emotions for what they are and to recognise that trying to escape from emotional pain will not work in the long term. ACT is used as part of an integrative approach to treatment.