We have now completed our first programme of Acceptance and Commitment Training in Hawick. Many thanks to all who took part, the atmosphere in the group was friendly and supportive and we all worked hard. Thanks too to Graeme and Alison for facilitating!
We are now planning a second programme for Galashiels towards the end of the summer. If you are interested in joining the training CONTACT US HERE and we will let you know when we have confirmed the dates and venue.
What people have said about our ACT Training Programme:
- The training programme helped me think in a new way. It has given me many tools to use to develop a better framework for recovery.
- Very positive, I learnt a lot about myself
- Great tool to help in my recovery and wellness
- Good, friendly, nice venue
This was a new experience for me, difficult at first and as the weeks passed it became easier.
- Very challenging and rewarding
- I think the techniques are complex but useful
- Different to what I was using and a lot more in depth
- Simple and easy to understand
- Helpful, flexible discrete
- Very interesting and another tool for my toolkit in dealing with anxiety.
- Very potent and have helped make a difference – a big difference
I found the group atmosphere and metaphors useful. The most useful one was to look at life as a boat on the ocean with you purpose and goals ensuring you continue to sail to your destination despite the storms
- Accepting who and what I am, and the way forward
- That it can be used all the time and anywhere
- Just looking at thoughts and not reacting
- I have found some of the techniques useful and have used them to advantage in carrying my creative and productive life forward
- Cognitive defusion and mindfulness very helpful
What is Acceptance and Commitment Training?
ACT is an array of techniques to help you live with anxiety and stress by enabling you to recognise the choices you make in what you do. It is especially effective in helping to overcome compulsive behaviour and instead choosing valued actions.
In ACT, it is understood that attempts to change or eliminate thoughts, feelings, emotions, or sensations often paradoxically amplify the very discomfort that we attempt not to experience. The willingness to fully experience thoughts, feelings, emotions and sensations while pursuing valued action (behavior congruent with each individual’s unique personal values) leads to an increased sense of aliveness.
ACT is contextual.
In ACT there is no such thing as a dysfunctional or irrational belief. Rather, it’s all about context and workability. In other words, we can simply ask ourselves whether a certain belief or behavior is in harmony with the values we hold dear. For example, if someone likes parties but chooses not to go due to a fear of not fitting in, in that context staying home would not be healthy. However, if the reason to stay home is because the individual simply values meeting with friends individually and genuinely has no interest in parties, then in that context, staying home is healthy.
It’s not about mastery of symptoms; it’s about mastery of the experience of those symptoms.
People who suffer from anxiety disorders have desperately tried to eliminate fear and anxiety by getting rid of their symptoms. Instead, ACT asks them to accept and fully experience the anxiety symptoms. This form of acceptance is referred to as an active form of acceptance. It is about acceptance and change at the same time.
Avoid the struggle by accepting fear and anxiety.
ACT is about avoiding the struggle to control unwanted thoughts and feelings by alternatively focusing on how to relate to them. It is the difference between living in a state of fear, and viewing the fear objectively. When we can objectively observe our experience rather than be fused (identified) with it, we are empowered to act in ways congruent with our most deeply held personal life values and convictions. From this new defused (dis-identified) experience, we can live authentic lives rather than be desperately trying to get rid of or suppress the truth of what we are experiencing.
Rejection of thoughts and feelings leads to self-rejection.
One of the dangers of suppression of unwanted thoughts and feelings is that the struggle to suppress them paradoxically reinforces the very uncomfortable thoughts and feelings we don’t want to experience. It’s unnecessary to actually embrace painful thoughts and feelings; we simply need to be willing to be fully present and accepting of them.
What we resist persists.
The more we resist and think about what we do not want, the more we experience it. The path of least resistance is that of learning to accept and be fully present with what we don’t want while working toward what we do want.