ACT Book Summary: Pages 81-86

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Contributed by: Francis De Groot

Part II: The clinical methods of ACT

Chapters 3 to 9 present the ACT concepts and strategies.
ACT = Acceptance and Commitment Therapy = Accept, Choose and Take action
Goal: to move in the direction of chosen values, and accept the automatic effects of life's difficulties.
Barriers: experiential avoidance & cognitive fusion
Source of these barriers: verbal
Act stages focus on shift from content of experience to context of experience
Why?: to enable clients to pursue valued goals in life.
During treatment metaphors, paradoxes, and experiential exercises are frequently used to undermine the traps of literal language and pliance.

Metaphors:

  • are not specific & proscriptive (less pliance)
  • are more like pictures (more experiential)
  • are easily remembered

Therapeutic paradox:

  • not the classic therapeutic paradox to eliminate certain sympoms: e.g. "don't obey me". They rely on pliance
  • = inherent paradox: functional contradictions between literal and functional properties of a verbal event: e.g. "try to be spontaneous"

Experiential exercises:
To help contact potentially troublesome thoughts, feelings, memories, ...

  • experience in a different context
  • allows experience to be observed & studied experientially
  • superior to discussing

Summary:

More:

  • pursuing of valued goals
  • direct experience
  • acceptance of negative experiences (thoughts, feelings, memories, bodily sensations, ...)

Less:

  • literal language
  • pliance

Use of:
less "literalizing" verbal modalities: metaphors, paradoxes, experiential exercises
Focus on: WHAT DOES YOUR EXPERIENCE TELL YOU?
This also goes for therapists? Let's go for some tracking, not for pliance!