Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

So you may be asking what the heck is Acceptance & Commitment Therapy?

“Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) gets it name from one of its core messages: accept what is out of your personal control, and commit to action that improves and enriches your life.” Dr. Russ Harris (

The aim of ACT is to help you live a more meaningful life even with the hard stuff that gets in the way. In sessions, we will work together to teach you skills to help you cope and manage your painful thoughts and feelings more effectively.  That way they will have less impact on you because when they do come up you will have some ways (or an emotional toolbox) to deal with them (i.e. the symptoms).

One of the ways we can do this is to build on your mindfulness skills.  I will talk more about mindfulness later, but in the most basic way, mindfulness is to just be aware of any thoughts, emotions, sensations happening in the here and now.  I encourage you to be especially tuned into the uncomfortable thoughts, emotions and sensations since those are the ones that can be most troubling and get in the way of stuff you want to do.

Using ACT we can also work collaboratively to clarify what is important and meaningful to you (values) and use that as a guide.  In ACT we compare values to a compass and by using values as a guide we will work together to move you towards the life you really want! 

P.S. I will share more about Mindfulness in my next post:)

Crystal Gerlach RSW RP

Psychotherapy and Clinical Social Work
Anxiety, Depression, Stress, PTSD, Life Transitions, Chronic Pain and more
5063 North Service Road, Suite 200
Burlington, ON L7L 5H6
Direct Line) 905-399-0808
“Social Workers. Real Experts for Real Life”

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