Have you ever found yourself regretting something that happened in your past? How about fretting about something that may happen in the future? If the answer is yes, then that is a healthy answer. These ruminations are part of being human. However, when these thoughts begin to impede upon your everyday life, then it becomes unhealthy. Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) can help.
There is one commonality between past and future experiences. They are completely out of our control. The past has already happened, and whether we want to admit it or not, the future is never certain. The renowned spiritual teacher and author of The Power of Now, Eckhardt Tolle, says, “People don’t realize that now is all there ever is; there is no past or future except as memory or anticipation in your mind.” Once you can grasp that the present moment is our only reality, you can begin to better understand what you are feeling at any given time.
Here at Roots Through Recovery, we believe that ACT can be an exceptional tool in the fight against mental health and substance use disorders (SUDs). This is especially true with those struggling with co-occurring disorders.
What Is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)?
According to the 2017 journal Neurotherapeutics, “Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is an empirically supported psychotherapy that offers promise for patients suffering from a wide range of mental and physical conditions, while addressing these gaps and challenges in the field.
ACT rests on the fundamental premise that pain, grief, disappointment, illness, and anxiety are inevitable features of human life, with the therapeutic goal of helping individuals productively adapt to these types of challenges by developing greater psychological flexibility rather than engaging in counterproductive attempts to eliminate or suppress undesirable experiences.”
One of the essential takeaways from that definition is the idea of emotions being “inevitable features of human life.” It is important to remember that having a wide range of emotions is normal. However, when these thoughts become so consuming that they become problematic, it may be time to seek help.
Here at Roots Through Recovery, we believe that being able to deal with these emotions is much more helpful than trying to suppress them. Accepting emotions better helps our clients live in the present rather than regret the past or fret about the future.
ACT is a form of mindful psychotherapy that allows individuals to confront thoughts in the present. Roots Through Recovery successfully uses ACT to help clients work through mental health and substance-related issues that may be connected to their mental health. We have found that this method has been especially effective in treating our clients struggling with multiple facets of mental health and SUDs.
Is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Effective?
ACT is an excellent therapeutic tool for dealing with several mental health issues. A study conducted in the Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences found that ACT was especially effective in reducing anxiety and depression. Anxiety and depression are very common co-occurring disorders of several other mental health issues, including SUDs.
Another study conducted in the journal Psychother Psychosom found “[T]hat ACT is more effective than treatment as usual or placebo and that ACT may be as effective in treating anxiety disorders, depression, addiction, and somatic health problems as established psychological interventions.” These findings have been found in study after study and have increased our belief in the efficacy of ACT. Plus, we have also seen ACT work for several of our clients.
How Does Roots Through Recovery Use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?
Here at Roots Through Recovery, we believe in creating an individualized treatment plan for all of our clients. No one person is the same, and thus it stands to reason that no one’s mental health is the same either. Everyone’s journey with mental health is unique, with a variety of different symptoms and severities.
Roots Through Recovery offers many different therapies that can treat many different issues. These therapies can range from cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to holistic treatment methods to neuroscientific therapeutic modalities. One of the ways we meld these options together is by incorporating ACT. We feel that this multifaceted approach can best address all of our client’s issues and potential co-occurring disorders to the greatest level of efficiency and efficacy.
Eckhardt Tolle also tells us that “Boredom, anger, sadness, or fear are not ‘yours,’ not personal. They are conditions of the human mind. They come and go. Nothing that comes and goes is you.” This is important to remember when thinking about your mental health. You are not your thoughts, and thus you don’t have to be controlled by them. Let Roots Through Recovery help you regain that control. Let us help you get your life back.
It is normal to regret moments in our past and be anxious about what the future may bring. However, if you are finding that these thoughts are bringing you excessive discomfort and interrupting your everyday life, then it may be time to get help. Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) has been shown to be an effective treatment to help you deal with these intrusive and excessive emotions. Rather than suppressing these emotions completely, Roots Through Recovery can teach you how to handle them in the present moment. If you are struggling with mental health or substance use disorders (SUDs), Roots Through Recovery is here to help. For more information, contact us today at (562) 473-0827.