Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)


ACT is a mindfulness and value oriented-based therapy and is a powerful and effective approach in supporting individuals with all types of concerns, as well enhancing quality of life.

ACT's core aims are to teach skills in defusion (letting go from unhelpful thoughts); acceptance (making room for difficult emotions to come and go); contact with the present moment (mindfulness); and values (connecting with what truly matters to you in your life, and committing to taking action that is aligned with your values, even if it feels uncomfortable).

By learning how to curiously observe your thoughts, sensations, urges and memories, you cultivate and strengthen your 'observing self' - the essence of mindfulness. This is an invaluable skill to support you to be with and accept difficult and painful emotions, and ultimately allow you to experience something called Psychological Flexibility, which is the ability to be present, open, adaptable, self-aware, and to live your life being guided by deeply held values.

As human beings we naturally try to avoid pain, and when we experience painful emotions, we tend to try to cope by attempting to get rid of, ignore, or numb the unwanted sensations. In the process of doing this, more discomfort and suffering can be created. ACT teaches us through mindfulness skills to observe, make room for, accept and even have compassion for these difficult emotions, thus transforming the way we navigate through our feelings.

Read below what Kate O'Connor, Little Window's Principal Psychologist, has to say about some of her ACT work:


Whenever I feel a sense of emotional angst, where my head is busy and my heart feels heavy, I find taking time to reflect on my values provides me with insight and guidance. Values are like our compass in life; they guide us as we navigate the inevitable ups and downs that living brings. Often however, we live our lives in automatic: we forget to ask ourselves what we want to stand for in this world, we lose sight of what is important to us and we start relating to ourselves, others and the world around us in ways which are destructive and painful.

Having clarity about our values is really important. Values are not rules; they are qualities, such as kindness, compassion, assertiveness and fairness. Knowing our values is incredibly empowering, they help us set boundaries, they encourage us to take care of others and ourselves and they provide us with choice in how we want to behave.

Here at Little Window, we often use value cards as a tool. If you would like to spend time discovering your own unique set of values, please make an appointment to spend time with one of our therapists.

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We would love to hear from you and would be honoured to support you in your journey to wellness.