An ACT therapy session with a psychologist can vary depending on the psychologist’s approach and the individual’s needs. ACT sessions are typically delivered in a one-on-one setting. The psychologist will work with their client to identify their values and goals and then help them develop strategies to take action towards those goals while accepting difficult thoughts and emotions.
An ACT session with a psychologist is typically collaborative and focuses on helping you develop greater psychological flexibility and achieve a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
Some common elements are typically included in an ACT session with a psychologist:
- Assessment: At the beginning of the session, your psychologist will typically assess your current difficulties and concerns. This may involve discussing your background, current life circumstances, and symptoms.
- Psychoeducation: Your psychologist may educate you on the ACT model and its core processes to help you understand how ACT works and what to expect from therapy.
- Values clarification: Your psychologist may guide you through a values clarification process to help you identify what is most important and meaningful to you.
- Mindfulness exercises: Your psychologist may guide you through some mindfulness exercises, such as breathing and body awareness to help you observe your thoughts and feelings without judgment.
- Cognitive defusion exercises: Your psychologist may guide the individual through exercises to help them detach from negative thoughts and beliefs, such as visualizing thoughts as clouds or leaves on a stream.
- Experiential exercises: The psychologist may guide you through experiential activities, such as role-playing or visualization, to help you practice committing to your values.
- Homework: The psychologist may assign homework for you to practice between sessions, such as mindfulness exercises or values-based action.
Throughout the session, your psychologist may use open-ended questions, reflections, and empathic listening to help you explore your thoughts and feelings and better understand yourself.