Acceptance & Commitment Therapy

actACT (pronounced ‘act’ not ‘a.c.t.’) is a values and mindfulness-based behavioural therapy that aims to help people move toward valued directions or what really matters to them so they can live an engaged and meaningful life.

ACT was originally developed in the United States by Stephen Hayes, Kelly Wilson, Kirk Strosahl and their colleagues in the late 1980s.

ACT aims to help people increase their psychological flexibility and vitality through developing the following six core processes or skills:

1. clarifying values (what matters most)
2. taking committed action or steps toward these values
3. connecting with the present moment
4. observing all experiences and cognitions (observing self)
5. accepting all experiences and cognitions
6. defusing from unhelpful, limiting or restrictive thoughts, mind stories or commentary.

The last four of these processes are mindfulness skills. These can help people to pay attention in the present moment to their moment-by-moment experiences, openly, receptively, curiously (and non-judgementally).

ACT encourages and supports people to focus on moving toward and living a meaningful life that is aligned with their values and characterised by vitality.

ACT supports people to try out and develop new ways and skills to handle their concerns and challenging situations, including unpleasant, uncomfortable and unwanted sensations and feelings, as well as unhelpful thoughts, beliefs, mind commentary and stories.

The processes and strategies of ACT can be helpful to people with various concerns and conditions, and if they are willing and committed to practising these strategies.

Within the traditions of Western psychology ACT processes and strtaegies are being applied to the management of a range of conditions and concerns including pain, stress, anxiety, depression, substance use, trauma, relationships and couples counselling.

ACT can be beneficial to people who do not suffer from these conditions but want to develop ACT strategies to enhance their quality of life, vitality and relationships and to move toward valued directions.

Transformative Psychology is committed to ACT.

ACT is accessible to individuals and couples seeking counselling or coaching, and through group learning programs.

Charles Thermos is ACT trained and has a strong interest and extensive experience in ACT.

If you are interested in learning about ACT please contact Charles on 0438 055 565 or

For information about ACT programs click here.

For information about ACT resources click here.