Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Write an essay on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

The application of approved/mindful and valued actions/assured strategies to increase psychological flexibility in patients with psychological disorders constitutes the acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) in cognitive behaviour psychological therapy. Evidence-based ACT is rapidly becoming popular for the treatment of psychological disorders since there are many patients who portray symptoms that can easily be identified with various psychological disorders. Evidence is vital in the diagnostics and administration of treatment to such patients. When there is evidence of the presence of a psychological disorder, it is easier for the patient to be convinced so that he or she can accept that there is a problem and commit him or herself to treatment that is available (Baer, 2015) . This essay will define ACT and critically evaluate the evidence that ACT improves the mental health outcomes for people with social anxiety disorder.

Social anxiety disorder is synonymous to social phobia. It is a psychological disorder in which a person has extreme fear for various social situations. Such people are always afraid that they are likely to make a mistake regarding some activities. They exhibit emotional and attention biases (in the form of sweating, avoidance of social situations, shaking, muscle tension and stomach upsets among others) and distorted negative self-beliefs (Goldin & Gross, 2010). When a person has this condition, it is difficult to help them get back to normal since they are not in a position to know that they have a psychological disorder. This is where ACT is helpful because it can assist in devising a treatment plan for such patients. The physician needs to diagnose the condition by means of physical analysis of the condition and then provide suitable therapy. Using ACT, the patient can quickly recover from the condition if he or she follows the instructions given by the practitioner treating them (Vøllestad, Nielsen, & Nielsen, 2012).

This treatment focuses on acceptance as a major step towards treatment of this condition. After the practitioner identifies all the symptoms that the patient has, the application of ACT becomes easy since the patient needs to accept that he or she has a problem that needs to be corrected for them to become normal once again. Acceptance of the disorder by the patient increases psychological flexibility and breaks the boundaries and attitudes of patients.  A cognitive behaviour therapy can be administered as a form of treatment in making patients feel important and avoid the issues that cause anxiety. After this the patient needs to commit to the treatment plan of the practitioner which includes a mixture of different therapies and drugs that will significantly reduce the effects of this disorder (Codd, Twohig, Crosby, & Enno, 2011). The results can they be evaluated using anxiety-specific, anxiety-sensitive, and non-anxiety-specific indices to check the acceptance and conscious action taken by the patient to improve the condition.

Thus, we can conclude by evaluating that ACT plays an important role in improving mental health.  It is easy to use and encourages self-awareness and self-effort in patients. There is active participation of the patient. Once patients accept and commit to the treatment process, it becomes easy for the practitioners to implement their treatment strategies on these patients. However, the only drawback may be the non-acceptance or denial to accept the disorder by the patient.


Baer, R. A. (2015). Mindfulness-Based Treatment Approaches: Clinician’s Guide to Evidence Base and Applications. Academic Press.

Codd, R. T., Twohig, M. P., Crosby, J. M., & Enno, A. (2011). Treatment of Three Anxiety Disorder Cases With Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in a Private Practice. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 25(3), 203–217.

Goldin, P. R., & Gross, J. J. (2010). Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on emotion regulation in social anxiety disorder. Emotion, 10(1), 83–91. 

Vøllestad, J., Nielsen, M. B., & Nielsen, G. H. (2012). Mindfulness- and acceptance-based interventions for anxiety disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 51(3), 239–260. 

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