laguna beach rehab

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Soul Sanctuary was created to heal the souls of individuals at the depth of despair over their addiction to drugs and alcohol. We are a small residential rehab facility located in beautiful Laguna Beach, CA right on the ocean.

ACT Treatment in Laguna Beach

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a highly effective treatment for mental health disorders, substance use disorders (SUD), and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD). It supports the idea that it is better to accept and be mindful of our emotional pain rather than avoid it, causing more severe damage. At Soul Sanctuary, we use ACT to help you overcome your struggle with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. Our Laguna Beach addiction rehab will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that focuses on your specialized needs. 

What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?

The Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS) defines acceptance and commitment therapy as “a unique empirically based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behavior change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility.” 

Essentially, ACT is a type of treatment that stems from cognitive-behavioral therapy. Unlike other behavioral therapies, however, it follows the belief that suffering does not come from emotional pain but from a person’s attempt to control emotional distress and discomfort. This can often lead to extreme negative behaviors, such as using drugs and alcohol to avoid pain. 

ACT treatment

Acceptance and commitment therapy stresses the idea that emotional suffering is a natural part of the human condition. While it is human nature to want to have control over all aspects of their life, this can often cause more harm than good.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Treatment

Physical and emotional trauma can lead to long-term addiction and negative behavioral patterns if treated incorrectly or are not treated. Addiction treatment programs will commonly use different types of individual and group therapy to help patients process trauma healthily and productively.

Acceptance and commitment therapy is a highly effective and unique form of treatment in that it helps patients realize that they cannot “runaway” from the trauma. Many people believe that if they can avoid the painful emotions from remembered trauma, they can regain some form of control. In reality, this has the opposite effect.

ACT treatment

While working with a therapist, a patient will learn to take a step back and listen to their own “self-talk.” Together, the therapist and patient will determine what requires immediate attention and what can be accepted for now. Patients will learn to make changes to their behavioral patterns and commit to making positive changes in their lives, no matter how they may be feeling. Eventually, this will lead to a more optimistic emotional state. 

Core Principles and Goals of ACT

Acceptance and commitment therapy can be broken down into five goals; a patient must attain to achieve a successful recovery; these include:

Also regarded as “creative hopelessness,” patients must recognize that what they had been doing before treatment to escape emotional pain doesn’t work. Often, it will make the situation much worse. Patients must come to understand that there is no practical way of removing pain entirely from their life. However, they can lessen it in a healthy way and leads to a higher quality of life.

Also regarded as “creative hopelessness,” patients must recognize that what they had been doing before treatment to escape emotional pain doesn’t work. Often, it will make the situation much worse. Patients must come to understand that there is no practical way of removing pain entirely from their life. However, they can lessen it in a healthy way and leads to a higher quality of life.

Thoughts and feelings are believable; it is difficult to separate reality from the negative thoughts that a person is thinking. People who go through a traumatic experience will often believe that they are “broken” or “damaged.” This is untrue; patients need to realize that the negative thoughts they have are often false. Learning to step back and separate inaccurate beliefs from reality is another goal of ACT.

During an ACT therapy session, the patient will be encouraged to stop trying to avoid painful thoughts and emotions. Instead, the therapist will help them let go of their attempts at control and become more aware and accepting of the thoughts and feelings for what they are and not what the patient perceives them to be (i.e., harmful or malicious). 

The final goal of acceptance and commitment therapy is to commit to getting better. It takes work to retrain the human mind and body to use its energy on positive things, such as living a healthy and productive life. To accomplish this goal, patients will identify what’s important to them or what they value most. These need to be healthy values that lead to a rewarding lifestyle, and patients must commit to them no matter what emotion or feeling they are experiencing. 

Core Principles and Goals of ACT

One of the main benefits of acceptance and commitment therapy is that it can help treat anxiety disorders and depressive disorders without medication use. While medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is an often-used tool that has proven effective in preventing relapse and supporting long-lasting sobriety, some people prefer to use a more holistic or natural approach. 

ACT teaches coping skills to patients to no longer be overwhelmed by negative thoughts, but neither do they avoid them. Instead, they can objectively look at the thought and emotions they are experiencing and determine their validity. In doing this, they can effectively change false or negative emotions and change them to align with reality. Over time, this will become easier and a natural reaction to these types of anxiety-inducing thoughts. 

ACT treatment

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy at Soul Sanctuary

At Soul Sanctuary, we understand the power that thoughts can have over you. When thoughts and emotions become painful or harmful, it can lead to negative behaviors. Anxiety and depression are often a result, as is the use of drugs and alcohol in an attempt to prevent those feelings. Our Laguna Beach addiction treatment center will help teach you new coping strategies to manage your symptoms and give you a healthier way of processing pain and discomfort. Our therapists will work one-on-one with you and in a group setting, giving you the tools you need to overcome your addiction and mental health issues. 

If you or a loved one need help, contact us today. Our administrative team will begin the process of admitting you to our program and starting the recovery process.



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