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Running Head: ACT and the Therapeutic Relationship 0Shannon SimonUniversity of New England OnlineAcceptance and Commitment Therapy and the Therapeutic Relationship
Running Head: ACT and the Therapeutic Relationship 1Acceptance and Commitment TherapyAcceptance and Commitment Therapy, also named ACT is a branch of clinical behavior therapy. ACT is a psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, mixed in different ways with commitment and behavior-change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility. Mindfulness strategies help the individual consciously bring awareness to their current experience, with openness, interest, and honesty. Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is composed of six individual core processes. “The six processes include acceptance, defusion, present moment, self-as-context,values, and commitment.” (Gordon, 2017).Acceptance works towards the conscious embrace of private feelings that are caused by our history. This process is done without attempts to change the frequency or form of the event, especially when doing so causes psychological harm. Acceptance helps the individual to open upand make room for the painful feelings. Defusion helps the individual to watch their thinking by working towards reducing the influence of unhealthy thoughts, feelings, and memories on behavior. Defusion allows for the individual to take a step back and separate from their thoughts and memories and see them for what they are. The present moment process helps the individual focus on conscious awareness of their experience in the present moment. This enables them to see what is happening more accurately. “Self-as-context is a way of experiencing oneself.” (Gordon, 2017) This process helps the individual focus on self-awareness. “From this perspective, a person is seen as the observer of their own experience, rather than saying they are their experience.” (Gordon, 2017). Values help the individual to know what matters by providing motivation and guidance for their actions. Commitment helps the individual take effective action with the guidance of values to do what it takes to live by the clarified values even if that brings