Leone Centre Glossary

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approach. It focuses on accepting thoughts and feelings rather than fighting or feeling overwhelmed by them.

ACT Mechanism

People often struggle with intrusive thoughts and emotions. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a form of psychotherapy that uses acceptance and mindfulness, along with commitment and behaviour change approaches, to increase psychological flexibility. Traditional CBT focuses on altering these thoughts, whereas ACT encourages acceptance, helping individuals manage their experiences.

Core Principles

ACT integrates mindfulness and behavioural change activities. It helps individuals embrace their thoughts and feelings while committing to actions that align with their values. Key features include cognitive defusion, acceptance, contact with the present moment, self-as-context, values, and committed action.

Convenience and Flexibility

ACT can be adapted to various mental health conditions and is flexible enough to be integrated with other therapeutic approaches.

Benefits of ACT

ACT aids in reducing the impact of difficult thoughts and emotions, promotes psychological flexibility, and encourages actions that lead to a meaningful life.


What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)?
ACT is a type of therapy within CBT that encourages individuals to accept their thoughts and feelings and commit to actions that align with their values.
How does ACT differ from traditional CBT?
While traditional CBT focuses on changing negative thoughts, ACT promotes acceptance of these thoughts and feelings, aiming for a more flexible approach to dealing with psychological distress.
What are the core processes of ACT?
ACT includes six core processes: acceptance, cognitive defusion, being present, self-as-context, values, and committed action.


  1. Hayes, S. C., Strosahl, K. D., & Wilson, K. G. (2016). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: The Process and Practice of Mindful Change. The Guilford Press.
  2. Twohig, M. P., & Levin, M. E. (2017). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as a Treatment for Anxiety and Depression: A Review. Psychiatric Clinics, 40(4), 751-768.
  3. Arch, J. J., & Craske, M. G. (2008). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders: Different Treatments, Similar Mechanisms? Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 15(4), 263-279.
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision