Commitment and acceptance therapy- Throughout the past years, I have come across a different approach that has changed the way I see and work with clients. Perhaps, most interesting was to see the impact that such approach can have on one’s life journey.
Clients come to us, in need of support to manage emotional pain, trauma, mood swings, anxious mind and stress, and today there are a broad range of psychological theories and techniques that are proving to be effective.
However, ACCEPTANCE is one simple strategy that can be immensely powerful in overcoming emotional struggle. Furthermore, whatever thoughts and emotions you are experiencing, you can embrace your experience as it is, free of judgments and avoidance. Because avoiding thoughts and feeling will only bring more emotional pain and struggle into your life.
The truth is… we cannot change our past and we certainly cannot predict the future. So, for those who are depressed living in the past, dwelling on regrets and also for the ones who find it difficult to tolerate the unknown…if you acknowledge the present and accept whatever life is bringing to you, you can change the way you experience life completely.
For instance, have you thought that sometimes getting caught up by unhelpful thoughts about something that has happened would not change the circumstances, but may bring more suffering to your life? So alternatively, accept the present moment, embrace whatever lesson you have to learn from this experience and then keep going with your plans and goals for you life, focusing on your values, on the person you want to be.
Avoiding painful thoughts and feelings will only bring more struggle and anxiety. Trying to change your thoughts will make you feel tired and hopeless, because the job of our mind is to produce thoughts. Therefore, we are constantly thinking… so instead of trying to modify them, just try to embrace whatever is coming, negative and positive thoughts (they are just words in your mind).
You don’t have to ACT on them, just acknowledge them and let them go. Once you start practicing your acceptance and focusing on what is important to you, on the person you want to be and on the things you want to achieve….then may your journey take a different course.