Many people are surprised when they discover just how common mental health challenges are. In the United States, about 20% of adults experience some kind of mental illness every year. Over the course of a lifetime, the percentage of people who experience mental illness at one time or another is even higher than that.
On the other hand, psychological experts have spent many decades developing tools to help people improve their mental health. Some of the most powerful mental health tools are acceptance and commitment therapy exercises.
One of the best things about these exercises is that they can often provide great benefits for people who do not enjoy success using other kinds of therapy. Understanding more about how this type of therapy works can help you decide if it might be the right option for your situation.
Read on to learn all about the most vital things to know about acceptance and commitment therapy exercises!
What Is ACT?
Many types of therapy focus on how people think and feel about things. However, acceptance and commitment therapy takes another approach. It focuses on action above all else. In fact, acceptance and commitment therapy is also called ACT therapy to emphasize the importance of action over analysis.
Many people end up using analysis to avoid making real progress with their mental health challenges. Spending months and years analyzing and struggling with emotions can even be counterproductive if it keeps someone from taking action to improve their situation.
At the end of the day, there is no one kind of therapy that is best for everyone. Some people benefit more from analytical types of therapy, while others get more out of action.
However, it is also worth keeping in mind that both types of therapy can provide complementary advantages. If someone has been using one type for a long time, they might have already learned most of what they can get out of it.
On the other hand, switching to the other type might allow them to make rapid progress again. As a result, if you have been focusing on analytical therapy, you might find that ACT therapy will help you change your life much faster at this time.
Another important thing to understand about ACT therapy is that it teaches people to accept negative feelings. Sometimes, it is natural and correct to feel a negative response to problems in life. These feelings are not something to be eliminated.
Instead, it is often more effective to focus on resolving the life circumstance that has led to them. With this framework, patients are encouraged to accept their difficulties and make difficult changes to their behavior.
When ACT Therapy Is Appropriate
ACT therapy does not claim to be the perfect solution for every possible mental health challenge. However, it has been found to provide great success for a long list of mental health issues.
The most common kinds of mental health challenges in the world are anxiety and depression. ACT therapy is a great option for both of these types of conditions.
On top of that, it is a powerful tool for handling compulsive disorders. This can include OCD as well as eating disorders. It also includes addiction.
Many people find that it is easier to overcome addiction when they focus on changing their actions above all else.
However, ACT therapy is also a fantastic option for managing issues with stress and chronic pain. Sometimes, the pain lasts because we continue to run away from it.
Facing it, head-on can sometimes allow the body to learn whatever it needs to from the pain. This forthright approach that focuses on action can sometimes even make people grateful for what they can learn from pain and struggles.
Traits of ACT Therapy for Teens
In ACT therapy, people learn to listen to their own self-talk. Self-talk is the way that they think about their problems in their own mind. As they do this, they can identify if a problem can be changed or not.
If it cannot, then it must be accepted. If it can be changed, then patients can commit to changing it. However, that can require a lot of work and determination.
ACT therapy also focuses on teaching people to be more psychologically flexible. People learn that if their habits do not work to solve a problem, they need to try something else. Even after a long string of failures, success can often arrive if people keep trying new things.
However, people often continue to do the same thing over and over because they have a theory about how they are supposed to relate to their problems. A flexible approach can provide a powerful framework for managing all kinds of psychological and life problems.
In some ACT exercises, people focus on clarifying their core values. Understanding what they care about can help them make a stronger commitment to their values.
People also learn how to distance themselves from unhelpful thoughts in ACT exercises. Instead of identifying with a thought, people learn to label it as a passing thought.
Many people also learn to meditate as part of ACT therapy. Then, they learn to notice the details of their inner thoughts.
Benefit From Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Exercises
Most people still have no idea how effective acceptance and commitment therapy exercises can be. Even if other kinds of therapy have not worked for someone, ACT therapy can sometimes make a huge difference. The benefits of acceptance and commitment therapy can persist even outside of the therapeutic context.
To learn more about how you can find the best support for teens struggling with addiction, by reaching out and get in touch with us here at any time!