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What Will I Learn in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?

Experience clinician-run addiction treatment at Red Oak Recovery® in the pristine Blue Ridge Mountains

What Will I Learn in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?

a person talks with a therapist about acceptance and commitment therapy exercises

Evidence-based therapies are proven methods used to treat mental health an addiction. Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a popular form of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) that teaches clients how to accept the things they cannot change and learn to move forward rather than responding to them. You might go through several acceptance and commitment therapy exercises during sessions, each guided by a licensed therapist.

Red Oak Recovery® utilizes ACT and other evidence-based therapies at our center in North Carolina. Our programs are specifically designed to help young men 18-30 find a better way forward. Learn more by calling 828.382.9699.

The Pillars of ACT

Acceptance and commitment therapy is based on six core pillars that guide the therapeutic process. These pillars include:

  • Acceptance – Clients are encouraged to accept their thoughts, feelings, and experiences without judgment or avoidance.
  • Cognitive defusion – This involves learning how to recognize and detach from unhelpful thoughts in order to gain a different perspective.
  • Contact with the present moment – Clients learn how to be fully present in the current moment rather than getting caught up in worries about the past or future.
  • Self-as-context – This pillar focuses on understanding the self as an ever-changing context rather than a fixed identity.
  • Values clarification – Clients identify their personal values and use them as motivation for behavioral change.
  • Committed action – This involves setting goals and taking action towards living a value-driven life.

Each exercise is designed to address one or more of these pillars, helping clients develop greater psychological flexibility and resilience.

Common Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Techniques

While the specific exercises used in ACT may vary depending on the individual client and their needs, there are some common techniques that you may encounter during therapy sessions. These include:


Self-talk refers to the inner dialogue we have with ourselves. Often, self-talk can be negative and self-critical, leading to feelings of depression and anxiety. In ACT, clients learn how to become aware of their self-talk and how it may be influencing their behaviors.


Mindfulness is a key component of acceptance and commitment therapy. Through various mindfulness exercises, clients learn how to focus on the present moment without judgment or attachment.

Values Clarification

Values clarification involves exploring one’s personal values and using them as a guide for decision-making and goal-setting. This helps individuals align their actions with their core beliefs, leading to a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy is commonly used in ACT to help clients confront their fears and anxieties. By gradually exposing individuals to the things that trigger their anxiety, they can learn how to tolerate and cope with these feelings.

Therapists may engage clients in these and other techniques during their sessions, providing a safe and supportive environment to explore and practice these skills. Over time, clients can develop greater psychological flexibility, leading to improved mental health and overall well-being.

Start ACT by Calling Red Oak Recovery®

We understand the importance of evidence-based therapies in treating mental health and addiction. That’s why we incorporate ACT and other proven methods into our programs to help young men find lasting recovery.

Our team knows that not everyone will benefit from ACT, which is why we offer a variety of therapies to cater to each client’s unique needs. We also provide individualized care plans and ongoing support to help our clients continue their journey toward healing even after leaving our center.

Don’t wait any longer to find a better way forward. Call 828.382.9699 or contact us online today to learn more about our evidence-based therapies and how we can help you or your loved one on the path toward recovery.