Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a much-used form of psychotherapy. Essentially, it helps a person accept unpleasant thoughts and emotions. This allows them to acknowledge negative thoughts as perfectly normal in certain situations and accept them so they can move past them. In fact, there are a few key questions that need answering:
- What has caused my trauma?
- Am I allowed to have these feelings?
- What can I do to accept these feelings?
- How do I allow myself to move past them?
What Are the Benefits of ACT?
For the majority of people, intrusive and negative thoughts come and go. However, for some people, especially those with substance abuse problems, the ideas persist to such a degree that they cannot seem to get rid of them.
Feelings Are Okay
With ACT, participants can be taught that they are allowed to feel bad. They are also allowed to experience negative emotions. This cannot be stressed enough. For many people, society has a habit of telling them to cheer up, be positive, and constantly look on the bright side. This can wear them down and make them feel like they are doing something wrong when they have negative emotions.
However, there is nothing wrong with feeling negative emotions. They are a natural part of human existence. When we teach people to dull their feelings, they often wind up worse than before.
Time and Place
There is, however, a time and place for everything. This is another critical piece for people to learn from ACT. We should always be allowed to feel emotions. When we cannot let them go, they can cause problems.
Some people may see themselves as emotional beings, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, these individuals may not realize the extent to which their behavior may be negatively affecting both them and those around them.
People can benefit greatly from ACT. This does not stop them from experiencing emotions. It simply puts things into perspective.
How Can ACT Aid Addiction Recovery?
For people with substance abuse issues, ACT can be a powerful tool. Once people have accepted that they have a substance abuse problem, it often leads to further introspection. This deep dive can show that their addictions exist because of past trauma and an inability to deal with it.
When trauma goes untreated, it can cause ongoing mental strain. This may lead the person to dwell on their anger and sadness to the point that they cannot think of anything else. A recovery program can help.
Upon entering the rehabilitation phase of treatment, the individual will begin both individual and group therapy. Each of these will teach different skills, some of which may involve ACT.
When a person is in individual therapy, they will explore the factors that led them to this point. Often, these revelations will reveal the reasons behind different aspects of their pain, such as:
The therapist will help them further explore why these feelings continue to arise and their validity. Once the individual has reached the point of truly understanding their situation, they can then begin the second phase of ACT.
ACT can also be done through group therapy. Group members will have the ability to share their feelings regarding their trauma. When they feel comfortable around others, it will become apparent to them that they are not the only ones suffering from their condition.
This is when the group leader will discuss the concept of acceptance and the idea of allowing oneself to let go of the negative emotions plaguing the group members. Understandably, this can be a hard subject to swallow. However, these people will be able to use the forum to talk about it as a group and discuss the reasons why it is so important to learn this skill.
The group will learn to help each other find ways of accepting their negative emotions, allowing themselves to feel them, and then finding ways to move on. It can be challenging, especially when someone has addiction issues. Taking those addictive tendencies, accepting them, and allowing oneself to move on can be life-changing.
ACT at Twilight Recovery Center
At Twilight Recovery Center, we offer a unique program for those suffering from substance use disorders. We understand that each person coming to us may feel broken or be scared about the process. However, our knowledgeable and caring staff is ready to help anyone on their journey.
Our ACT program has worked wonders for our residents and has allowed them the opportunity to see their addiction in a new light. Not as something that will ever be genuinely eradicated, but as something that can be dealt with and eventually moved away from.
In our tropical environment, individuals can find that relaxation techniques, coupled with ACT, can propel them to a new level of recovery. No matter what condition an individual arrives in, we will utilize all of our resources to get them back on their feet.
There are a variety of ways to treat addiction. When it comes to treatment programs, there are often a variety of techniques used together to achieve a final result. One of the most widely-used types of psychotherapy is acceptance and commitment therapy. This is often used for people who have recurring thoughts and possible dual diagnosis issues. People need to be told that they are free to have and express emotions, even negative ones. ACT addresses this but then shows people the point where they need to realize they are allowing negativity to take over their life. At Twilight Recovery Center, you will learn how to tame your negative emotions. Call us today at (888) 414-8183