Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Part of the "Third Wave" in the Behavioral Tradition

Springer, Joseph M.
July 2012
Journal of Mental Health Counseling;Jul2012, Vol. 34 Issue 3, p205
Academic Journal
As described by Hayes, Strosahi, and Wilson (1999), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is one of several methods for integrating mindfulness concepts into mental health treatment. Unlike many counseling approaches, ACT does not assume that the goal of treatment is to better control thoughts, feelings, or other private events. Individuals are taught to notice phenomena and take a non judgmental stance toward them rather than trying to control, avoid, or otherwise minimize them. Although relatively new, ACT has increasing support for its effectiveness in addressing a variety of problems (Pull, 2009). This article addresses the theoretical foundation and basic principles of ACT, reviews the research, presents a case study to illustrate how it can be applied, and discusses the counseling implications.


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