Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is one of the recent mindfulness-based behaviour therapies shown to be effective with a diverse range of clinical conditions. In contrast to the assumption of ‘healthy normality’ of Western psychology, ACT assumes that the psychological processes of a normal human mind are often destructive and create psychological suffering. Symptom reduction is not a goal of ACT, based on the view that ongoing attempts to get rid of ‘symptoms’ can create clinical disorders in the first place. RUSSELL HARRIS provides an overview of ACT against a background of the suffering generated by experiential avoidance and emotional control. A case study illustrates the six core principles of developing psychological flexibility; defusion, acceptance, contact with the present moment, the observing self, values, and committed action.
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