What is ACT?

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a version of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) which encourages people to accept their thoughts and feelings for what they are i.e temporary psychological phenomena that come and go and that don’t have to spiral downwards into hopelessness and despair. People struggling with depression, anxiety, pain, stress and other long-term mental health issues often come to therapy after years of doing battle with difficult thoughts and feelings.  With children, young people and parents, a version of ACT called DNA-V can be used, which has been specifically designed to suit the developmental context of childhood.

How does ACT work?

ACT encourages people not to avoid or deny these tricky thoughts and feelings, but to adopt a different stance towards them, one that allows them still to live their life to the full and to invest their energy in the people and things that really matter to them.

Who is ACT suitable for?

Adolescents and adults of all ages. ACT informed approaches can also be used with younger children and parents.

What issues or problems are suited to ACT?

ACT and DNA-V have a growing evidence base that suggests they are effective in working with

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • stress
  • pain
  • chronic health issues
  • the challenges of adolescence
  • the challenges of parenting
  • relationship issues

How many sessions will I have?

This depends on the issues being explored, but typically people find that six to ten sessions of ACT can make a positive difference in their lives.


ACT Counsellors at Southside Counselling and Therapy Centre