Helping clients and subordinates see the bigger picture can help them effectively choose actions and reactions that will help them move closer to that goal—whether it be an agency goal or personal happiness.  Acceptance and Commitment techniques can help people define the bigger picture and what is important to them.

The Main Principles of ACT are to:  Create a rich and meaningful life, while accepting the pain that inevitably goes with it. Learn to perceive difficult thoughts and feelings as harmless, even if uncomfortable, transient psychological events. Take effective action guided by your deepest values and in which you are fully present and engaged.

Six Core Principles of ACT

  • Values Awareness:  What people, things and values are important to creating a rich and meaningful life for you?
  • Contact with the Present Moment: Past experiences and automatic reactions can negatively impact the present.  Using mindfulness to be in contact with the present moment helps address situations early and examine them in the current context to best decide what course of action to choose.
  • The Observing Self means getting out of the emotional mind that is reactive and into the wise mind which is more analytical and detached.  This helps you make decisions based on the facts of the current situation.
  • Acceptance means accepting life is what it is, and your initial reactions (anger, fear, sadness, happiness) are natural reactions.
  • Diffusion means unhooking emotions from situations and thoughts to help you realize that every feeling doesn't have to be acted upon.
  • Committed Action means accepting and examining the situation in its present context through the observing self and choosing reactions which help you move closer to your goals and a rich and meaningful life.

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