Steven C. Hayes, Ph.D. developed Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Commonly referred to as “ACT” (pronounced “act”, not a-c-t), this therapy helps you to be more present in your life despite pain and suffering and to live meaningfully. I offer ACT as individual therapy in Chicago.

ACT contains six core processes: acceptance, cognitive defusion, being present, self as context, values, and committed action.

Some of these core processes may seem self-explanatory. Others may not. ACT is a unique approach to therapy. You will do a lot less arguing with yourself and trying to change your thinking. Instead, you will learn to view your thoughts as exactly what they are: thoughts. You will learn a new way to relate to your thoughts and to see them as something distinct from yourself.

Your therapist will help you to be more present and accept pain as a part of your life. Nobody is exempt from pain and we must find a way to continue living our lives despite its presence. To help you find meaning, your therapist will guide you through values identification exercises. You will then have the material you need to begin to build the life you want. These practices make us more psychologically flexible.

Listen to Dr. Hayes talk about psychological flexibility:



ACT is effective in people who have undergone something traumatic, experienced a major change, and who have anxiety or depression. If you feel like acceptance and commitment therapy would be helpful for you, look into the individual therapy services I provide in Chicago. I am a member of the Association for Contextual Behavior Science and am listed in their directory as a Chicago-based ACT therapist.