Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT), also known as Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment (MAC) training, helps individuals to accept what is out of their personal control, and commit to action that improves and enriches their professional and personal life. It achieves this by:

  • Teaching psychological skills to individuals which assist them to deal with their thoughts and feelings effectively thereby minimising influence on behaviour
  • Helping individuals to clarify what is truly important and meaningful to them i.e. their values, and to? then use that knowledge to guide, inspire and motivate changes in behaviour.

ACT is a mindfulness-based approach. Mindfulness is “a motivated state of de-centred awareness brought about by receptive attending to present moment experience” (Cavanagh & Spence, 2012 p 117). Mindfulness has recently been increasingly recognised as a powerful intervention in both coaching and therapy, and is used in areas such as leadership training, building resilience, reducing work stress and treating depression.

Mindfulness facilitates individuals to engage fully in what they are doing at any moment. In a state of mindfulness, the impact of unproductive and/or difficult thoughts and feelings is significantly reduced. . Used by many therapists, mindfulness has also proven very useful in enhancing athletic and business performance.

ACT breaks mindfulness skills down into 3 categories:

  • Defusion – distancing from, and letting go of, unhelpful thoughts, beliefs and memories
  • Acceptance – making room for painful feelings, urges and sensations, and allowing them to come and go without a struggle
  • Contact – with the present moment: engaging fully with your here-and-now experience, with an attitude of openness and curiosity

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a unique and creative approach to behaviour change premised on scientific research into human behavioural psychology and a continually expanding evidence base.