Free Paper Example: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Counselling Client

Published: 2024-01-09
Free Paper Example: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Counselling Client
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Psychology Mental health
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1286 words
11 min read

Acceptance and commitment therapy usually abbreviated as ACT is an action-oriented physiotherapy approach. In most cases, people avoid, deny, and struggle with their inner emotions. It is challenging to handle emotional struggles hence the ACT. The approach enables clients to accept that deeper feelings are appropriate responses to certain situations. ACT approach is used in different circumstances, such as treating workplace stress, social anxiety disorder, anxiety related to tests, depression, and even obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is also crucial in the medical sector, where the approach helps in treating medical conditions such as diabetes, drug abuse, and chronic illness (Wersebe et al., 2018). ACT is performed by a therapist whose work ensures that the client learns to listen to self-talk. Self-talk can be about traumatic events, relationship problems, and physical limitations. A person can then decide if a particular issue needs immediate action to counter it or whether it has to be accepted.

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ACT bases its outcome on the theory that it is ineffective but counterproductive to control psychological experiences and painful emotions (Dindo et al., 2017). It is vital to note that suppressing feelings results in more distress. This essay looks into the case study of a client suffering from anxiety, stress, low mood, and perfection-seeking at the workplace. It gives an insight into why the client is suffering from the problems. Finally, the essay discusses specific ACT interventions that are helpful to the client and how they are applied.

First, the client suffers from emotional problems due to psychological inflexibility. The psychological inflexibility process informs ACT and is vital to several contextual forms of Cognitive Behavior Therapy. It involves the rigid psychological reaction domination over the required contingencies and values. Dominance is what guides an individual's actions. Psychological inflexibility, in other words, is how behavior is excessive if not entirely controlled by one's internal experiences, feelings, and thoughts at the expense of actions that are effective and more meaningful. Inflexibility is composed of processes, for example, experiential avoidance, where individuals are more willing to escape, control, or even avoid complicated feelings and thoughts. Avoiding or trying to escape difficult thoughts results in consequences that are very harmful to an individual's mental health. It is vital to note psychological inflexibility and experiential avoidance are the routes to several psychological problems.

Recent studies have shown that avoiding situations that lead to anxiety or withdrawal and self-isolation of an individual during times of depression can be reinforced by aversive feelings and thoughts (Twohig & Levin, 2017). An example is when an individual struggles with unwanted feelings and ideas rather than engaging in value-adding actions. Such struggles result in depression and panic disorders. Most problematic behaviors that lead to emotional disorders initially develop as avoidant and become more severe with time. Major psychological problems, such as mood and anxiety disorders, are related to an individual's psychological inflexibility.

Based on the client-provided case study, it is evident that the individual faces psychological problems with anxiety being the predominant problem. The concern may be due to stress build-up at work. A specific incident consumes the client at work leading to panic. This results in a negative impact on the client's sleep. Sleep has been identified by researchers to be closely connected with mood. In most cases, inadequate sleep causes stress and irritability. On the other hand, excellent healthy sleep enhances well-being. The risk of developing mood disorders, for example, depression and anxiety, is greatly contributed by chronic insomnia. Therefore, it is right to conclude that the client suffers from a low mood due to unhealthy sleep, which is impacted by unnecessary thoughts.

It is essential to tackle psychological problems. The mental state determines the productivity of an individual. People with psychological disorders such as stress and anxiety tend to perform low (Bai et al., 2020). It is, therefore, essential to come up with interventions to counter the client's problems. Each problem is countered differently, given that they result from almost different events.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

ACT method for anxiety disorders is a specific intervention for people with anxiety problems. It is an acceptance-based behavior therapy that aims at reducing the regulatory function of the behavior. This therapeutic method focuses on behavior change, consistent with the client (Bai et al., 2020). The two main objectives of this method are:

  • To train the client to fully accept unhelpful problematic thoughts and feelings that need to be controlled.
  • To commit clients to living a life with chosen values.

The above-stated objectives show why ACT is all about acceptance and change at the same time. The application of ACT ensures that clients learn to end the struggles caused by anxiety-related discomfort (Wersebe et al., 2018). It further educates patients to be in control of the kind of life they want to live. Mostly, patients take charge by engaging in actions that are related to their choice of values.

Further, the ACT intervention method instills appreciation skills to clients. It teaches the patients (clients) to be more appreciative of the negative thoughts and feelings rather than decrease and change unwanted thoughts via avoidance (Bai et al., 2020). It is easier to counter accepted thoughts than it is to counter avoided thoughts. The reason is, that avoided thoughts tend to be reinforced at some later time.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Stress Relief

Given that the provided client has a stress-related problem, it is crucial to look at ACT for stress relief as one intervention. It is always not easy to change or influence stress-causing circumstances. For instance, it is not easy to quit a job or get a pay raise because finances are tight. Therefore, managing some stress is a must. Finding strategies that help deal with stress can be a life-changer as this minimizes the adverse effects expected. ACT for stress relief has become an essential tool in handling clients with stress problems. This form of counseling is useful when it comes to stress management. ACT method employs the use of acceptance stressors in one’s life and combines it with mindfulness strategies (Dindo et al., 2017). The process is mixed in different ways with commitment and behavior-change strategies that boost emotional and psychological flexibility.


In conclusion, acceptance and commitment therapy is a significant intervention for handling clients with psychological disorders. The method introduces the sense that a person's everyday functioning can be interfered with by the struggle and control of unnecessary thoughts and feelings. This approach is very constructive for behavior change and enhances the quality of life. The ACT program has one primary role: to encourage patients to engage in life aim direction. It concentrates on teaching the client acceptance and mindfulness skills necessary to avoid unwanted feelings and thoughts.


Bai, Z., Luo, S., Zhang, L., Wu, S., & Chi, I. (2020). Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to reduce depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 260, 728-737.

Dindo, L., Van Liew, J. R., & Arch, J. J. (2017). Acceptance and commitment therapy: a transdiagnostic behavioral intervention for mental health and medical conditions. Neurotherapeutics, 14(3), 546-553.

Twohig, M. P., & Levin, M. E. (2017). Acceptance and commitment therapy as a treatment for anxiety and depression: A review. Psychiatric Clinics, 40(4), 751-770.

Wersebe, H., Lieb, R., Meyer, A. H., Hofer, P., & Gloster, A. T. (2018). The link between stress, well-being, and psychological flexibility during an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy self-help intervention. International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 18(1), 60-68.

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