We all know that life will naturally lead people to experience stress and anxiety. For some people, these stresses can be too much to bear, and addiction forms as an unhealthy way of coping with anxiety. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a behavioral therapy that strives to overcome negative thoughts and feelings by promoting a more fulfilled life. The goal of ACT is to help a person choose to act effectively even when faced with stressful or disruptive situations.
There are three main components to ACT:
- Accept the effects of life’s hardships
- Choose directional values
- Take action
ACT serves as the foundation for all treatment modalities at Silver Ridge. There is no way to completely eliminate difficult events from your life, but learning how to accept and manage them rather than turning to drugs or alcohol is an effective means of fighting addiction.
Separating Thoughts from Actual Facts
What drives a person to indulge in addiction? Studies have shown that it usually stems from extreme stress and feelings of worthlessness. Forgetting about problems by indulging in drug abuse or alcohol abuse may help you forget troubles for a time, but that does not mean they’re no longer there. The problems of today remain tomorrow, and they may be worse now because of the choices made yesterday.
Leaving problems unaddressed can lead to feelings of worthlessness. A person may think discouraging thoughts such as “I’m worthless. I can’t do anything. I will never be able to accomplish anything.” These feelings can further tempt a person to use substance abuse as a way to quiet the thoughts. ACT encourages people to address these thoughts and recognize them as perceptions and not actual truths.