ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy) in San Diego, CA

When a person is ready to undergo treatment for substance use disorder, they have an opportunity to experience many different types of therapy. Evidence-based therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy, acceptance & commitment therapy (ACT), and group therapy typically make up the core of a treatment plan.

ACT is considered to be a leading method for helping those with addictions because it teaches individuals to both accept things as they are and take the steps that are necessary to make them better. 

ACT treatment specialists in California operate from the theory that increasing acceptance leads to improved psychological flexibility. In other words, acceptance makes it easier to learn new things. 

In the case of people with substance use disorders, learning healthy new ways to cope with stress and deal with triggers is foundational to long-term recovery. To talk with an addiction specialist about the Pacific Bay Recovery Acceptance and Commitment Therapy program, call (619) 350-8220 today. 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

What to Expect from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in California

No matter what reason a person starts misusing substances, continued use will eventually lead to addiction and physical dependence. Addiction directly impacts the brain and causes chemical changes that affect the way a person behaves and thinks. This explains why people who are addicted often make poor choices that negatively affect themselves and their loved ones. 

ACT is a form of traditional behavioral therapy similar to cognitive-behavioral therapy, which teaches people how to end negative thinking patterns. Acceptance and commitment therapy encourages people to first accept their thinking patterns and any traumas they might relate to. 

While working with a mental health professional trained in acceptance and commitment therapy in San Diego, patients learn to tolerate painful or uncomfortable feelings instead of automatically running away from them. 

Unlike some other methods of psychotherapy, ACT doesn’t focus on eliminating unwanted behaviors like substance use. Instead, it focuses on eliminating the struggle to avoid them while simultaneously engaging in meaningful and positive activities. 

The mental health experts who developed ACT theorized that negative emotions and behaviors are a normal part of life. Trying to avoid them can lead to more unhelpful thoughts and behaviors. Accepting these negative aspects can relieve stress and pave the way for positive change. 

For more information about ACT treatment in San Diego, call Pacific Bay Recovery at (619) 350-8220.

Techniques Used in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Treatment in San Diego

Emotional struggle can be exhausting. It is no wonder that people who are focused on avoiding their negative thoughts lack the energy required to practice new habits. With the goal of reducing struggle, ACT therapy in San Diego helps patients engage in more of the activities that bring their lives meaning. 

Of course, “meaning” is different for every person. ACT does not impose any specific set of values except to build a healthy, fulfilling life. The process of acceptance and commitment therapy is made up of six specific components

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Techniques

1. Acceptance

ACT therapy in San Diego begins with acknowledging and accepting all of your emotions and thoughts. That includes negative thoughts like wanting to misuse drugs or the desire to resist dual-diagnosis treatment because you don’t want to admit to having mental health concerns. Accepting all the parts of yourself without judgment is the goal. 

2. Cognitive Defusion

Cognitive defusion sounds complicated, but it’s really just the process of separating yourself from your inner thoughts. In other words, you are not what you think. Thoughts are simply thoughts, and you don’t have to react to them. Methods to encourage cognitive defusion include singing your thoughts out loud and observing without judging.

3. Being Present

Being present is a way of being mindful. It relates to simply experiencing a moment without judging it or trying to change it. 

4. Self-as-Context

Patients at our ACT center in San Diego learn that they are more than their thoughts. Self as context means understanding what you do is separate from what you think about yourself. You may think you cannot resist the urge to misuse prescription drugs, but that is just a thought. It does not define or predict your behavior. 

5. Values

During acceptance and commitment therapy in San Diego, CA, patients have the opportunity to examine their own values. A close examination of what gives your life meaning is an important source of motivation. 

6. Commitment 

The final step in acceptance and commitment therapy treatment is commitment. The commitment process involves reviewing the work accomplished in the previous steps and making behavioral changes based on your value principles. 

With ACT, making positive lifestyle changes is a natural extension of the willingness to accept your thoughts without chaining your identity to them. 

Man at window

Who Can Benefit from ACT Therapy in San Diego?

San Diego ACT treatment is a well-researched, evidence-based therapy that can help individuals with many different mental health concerns, including addiction. You may be referred to an acceptance and commitment therapy clinic if you need professional support for:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression and other mood disorders
  • Stress regulation
  • Substance use disorders
  • Certain phobias, such as social phobia
  • Relationship problems

Professionals who are hoping to increase their productivity and people with chronic self-esteem issues can also benefit from working with acceptance and commitment therapy specialists. 

If you believe you or someone you care about could be helped by this therapeutic approach, call the Pacific Bay Recovery Acceptance and Commitment Therapy clinic at (619) 350-8220.

Is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in San Diego, CA, Right for You?

Recovering from a substance use disorder is complex because people are complex. Every individual affected by addiction has experiences, values, and beliefs that are unique to them. A comprehensive treatment plan takes all of this and more into consideration. 

Treatment options like our San Diego Acceptance and Commitment Therapy program can make the difference in going through the motions of treatment and enjoying the benefits of lifelong sobriety and improved mental health. 

Discover Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) in San Diego

To find out more about ACT and all of our treatment programs, call Pacific Bay Recovery at (619) 350-8220 or contact us online today. 

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