Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Drug Abuse
New mental health treatment modalities have emerged in the past years, and we believe it is critical to implement them, given the outcomes and positive results of substance abuse. New treatment techniques have been developed for different dual diagnosis disorders as well. Acceptance and commitment therapy has proven to be suitable for addiction, depression, and anxiety disorders. This therapy has six main principles: Acceptance, living in the present moment, self-observation, value systems, cognitive delusion, and commitment to action. The objective of this treatment is to help individuals accept life’s difficulties and to experience wholeness and wellness.
ACT and Psychological Flexibility
What is Creative Hopelessness?
The primary goal of action and commitment therapy is to help individuals become more flexible psychologically. This allows them through negative thoughts, Life situations, avoid unhealthy habits, and be mindful to choose the right action; it Is what psychological flexibility is all about. Being honest with self is possible when approaches like these are taken. Addicts are known for changed perceptions, manipulation, and lies. The flexibility of thinking makes it possible to be open to feedback and approach honesty and truth.
Creative hopelessness is when the patient reflects on all the therapy and efforts to get through the pain and improve the situation by facing all the steps that haven’t worked in the past. This allows the patient to find creative ways to improve their life; once the patient realizes that it is impossible to remove all the pain and suffer from life, they can accept the fact and begin moving forward to perhaps be open to experiencing gratitude.
What is Mindfulness and how does ACT help?
What Skills does ACT provide for drug and alcohol abuse?
Recently the theory of mindfulness has become widespread. The idea is to be aware of the present moment instead of going through life’s events aimlessly. Individuals that live mindfully upset, living in the moment without judgment, and living consciously
There are six main processes or skills that acceptance and commitment therapy teaches to Help individuals develop psychological flexibility:
- Committed action
- Observing self
- Cognitive diffusion
- Being present
Committed Action means setting goals and committing to effective and purposeful action that may help reach those goals. Action and commitment therapy suggest that we commit to acting, knowing that negative thoughts may appear through the process. With psychological flexibility, patients will be able to move forward even when there not feeling comfortable.
Realizing that our experiences don’t define who we are is in the heart of the observing self means the patients learn that they are not what they experience by realizing that it’s just a thought. This process helps patients detach from their experiences while fully aware of the present moment.
Realizing that our experiences don't define who we are is in the heart of the observing self means the patients learn that they are not what they experience by realizing that it's just a thought. This process helps patients detach from their experiences while fully aware of the present moment.
Alcohol and drugs are usually used to avoid being in the present moment; this is called experiential avoidance, and it usually leads to harmful habits. The point of being present is to fully experience and pay attention to the present moment, avoiding thoughts about an uncertain future or a dreadful past.
Being present aligns individuals with their values and helps them avoid judging their experiences.
The opposite of avoidance in action and commitment therapy is acceptance. Many people go through life avoiding suffering and pain; these aspects are every day in the human experience. Usually, alcoholism and drug abuse come from preventing this kind of discomfort. Through Acceptance, a patient chooses to let go of avoidant impulses and learn to be in the present moment with the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings nonjudgmentally.
Action and commitment therapy values give life meaning and all the other things that matter most to the patient. Our values guide our decisions. Action therapy helps align the patients' values with their actions instead of avoiding the present moment and making bad choices. Values are the foundation for setting goals.