THIS POST INCLUDES:
1. What is ACT
2. 6 Core Principles of ACT
3. ACT with Reiki
4. Free Download ACT Summary Guide
WHAT IS ACT
ACT is an acronym for a psychological therapeutic approach called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Acceptance is the core foundation of the ACT approach, along with a commitment to take practical steps to make behavioral changes.
Where CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) focuses on working with thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, ACT takes the approach of observing, acceptance, and embracing these aspects of ourselves. From that perspective, ACT allows the individual to see themselves in the context of their situation and take a committed approach to choose a better action and outcome.
Many of us prefer to avoid pain and suffering. This is a natural response to difficult experiences. However, in many circumstances, this desire to avoid pain and suffering can sometimes extend or amplify our experience of pain and suffering.
If we allow ourselves to accept our experiences, then we can allocate more energy into resolving negative experiences, instead of allocating our energy into avoiding them only to find that our avoidance did not deliver any real long term relief.
6 CORE PRINCIPLES OF ACT
ACT includes the concept of 6 core principles to its foundation. These principles help provide a framework for people to use when they attempt to resolve the problems within their own lives.
The core principles are listed below:
- Contact with the present moment – being consciously present with your experience, thoughts, and emotions in the current moment.
- Defusion – detaching from negative thoughts to let them come in and out from our experience. Defusion does not mean avoidance.
- Acceptance – allowing suffering to be felt and experienced. Resisting the struggle of trying to avoid negative experiences and instead allowing them the space to exist.
- Observing the self – developing awareness and attention as we step outside of our experiences and observe the different moving parts of our experiences.
- Values – understanding what matters to us in the overall picture of our lives. These values can help guide our choices.
- Committed action – using our values to develop an action plan to help guide our choices.
By using these core principles, we can develop a mindful and action-orientated approach that focuses on embracing our negative and positive experiences and using our values to improve our wellbeing.
ACT WITH REIKI
ACT is used in the context of psychological therapy for those seeking treatment for mental health issues. However, even if you don’t present with current mental health problems, ACT can still provide a useful framework in which to view processing all experiences in our lives.
It’s important to note that ACT makes a distinction of all human behavior as ‘normal’. Some traditional approaches to psychology present an assumption that we should be functioning at a level of normalness, and anything outside of that ideal is considered abnormal or aberrant behavior that we should seek to rectify.
Conversely, proponents of ACT view all human behavior as normal in the context of our experiences and that we should not look to label normal and abnormal, but instead accept our experiences and identify the changes we want to make based on our values.
In this context, ACT can also serve as a useful approach to everyday problems that distract us from achieving our goals and overall wellness.
Two of the 6 core principles of ACT are contacting with the present moment and observing the self. These two principles are also fundamental to the construct of mindfulness which is a core tenet of Reiki.
By being present, we can connect with the energy flow of Reiki that seeks to heal us. Additionally, by observing the self, we can become aware of Reiki energy and allow ourselves to identify how this energy flow positively affects us.
As practitioners, we can use the core principles of ACT to incorporate into our Reiki practice. This can help us develop more acceptance based practices and outcomes of the treatment we provide to clients.
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