The team at Gateway Foundation Joliet aims to offer a variety of different therapy options, as different methods will work for different people. Some respond best to solutions-focused methods, while others prefer to work to accept their circumstances. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy fills that niche.

What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?

a counselor comforts a woman in acceptance and commitment therapy or ACTThere are two assumptions that make up the foundation of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). One, suffering is normal and inevitable. Fighting back against this idea only leads to more struggling. Two, attempting to control this suffering is the problem. This idea translates perfectly to the battle against addiction.

People dealing with addiction often started using their substance of choice to exert control over some unpleasant emotion. Common emotions they try to control are depression, loneliness, anxiety, or stress. Eventually, this substance abuse led to dependence and then addiction.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy differs from other therapeutic interventions in that its goal isn’t to reduce or relieve symptoms. Rather, it serves to help clients accept their circumstances and reframe how they think about conflicts and problems.

ACT also tries to target experiential avoidance, or the act of avoiding an unpleasant experience or emotion. This avoidance provides short-term relief but contributes to long-term suffering because the person refuses to confront the issue.

What to Expect During an ACT Session

At the beginning of a client’s journey with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, a therapist helps them learn to listen to their own self-talk. Therapists also help with how the client thinks about themselves and their circumstances. This includes the way they see their past and current traumas and conflicts.

Then, the therapist guides them through deciding whether to take action to change an issue or work to accept it as a part of their life. If it’s not something that the client can fix quickly, they generally work toward acceptance instead. In the meantime, they also learn about behavioral changes they can make for more positive outcomes in the future. Therapists also work to help the client examine their behavioral patterns to help them avoid repeating past mistakes. Eventually, the client will be able to commit to more positive attitudes and behaviors moving forward rather than dwelling on past missteps.

Relationship to Mindfulness-Based Sobriety

Gateway Foundation Joliet takes a mindfulness-based approach to treatment. This means that we emphasize planning for relapse triggers and teach coping mechanisms to help avoid relapse. ACT is a key part of this education, allowing clients to look at their thoughts impartially rather than reactively. With these coping skills in place, recovery becomes more manageable.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy at Gateway Foundation Joliet

Gateway Foundation Joliet’s addiction treatment staff prides itself on providing convenient half-day outpatient addiction treatment that incorporates the following treatment options:

To find out more about any of our treatment services, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, reach out to us today at 815.206.8477.