One of the words used over and over again in addiction recovery is acceptance. However, not everyone has the tools to understand and accept their circumstances. Through Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, also known as ACT, clients can learn how to accept discomfort and accept that they can’t control everything.

Accepting the Negative Aspects of Life

a woman smiles after her acceptance and commitment therapy or ACT sessionMany people struggling with addiction think that the negative things in their life prevent them from achieving sobriety. Many people, whether they deal with addiction or not, want to place blame when things don’t go their way. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy breaks free from that belief.

Sobriety isn’t just for people who have perfect lives. Many people find sobriety after trauma, physical health problems, and countless other obstacles. Once you accept that suffering and pain are a part of life, you can stop dwelling on it. Recognizing that negative parts of life exist allows you to move on and work toward recovery.

Learning to be Present

Part of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is learning to be present. That means stepping back and making neutral, objective observations. If someone feels tempted to drink alcohol again, stepping back might point to the real cause of stress. Often, cravings are brought on by something simple like hunger, thirst, or even being tired.

When you’re present and living in the moment, you can also distance yourself from unnecessary worries. Rather than fretting about things that happened in the past, or worrying about what might come in the future, you can focus on the here and now. ACT teaches clients how to center themselves and be mindful of what’s going on in the present.

Identifying Personal Values

Another element of ACT is discovering each client’s personal values. Rather than asking people to live up to a generic set of values, this therapy helps clients explore their own values. By independently discovering these values, clients will find it easier to make them a priority.

Creating a Plan of Action

Once clients outline their personal values, it is time to embrace them in a plan of action. Once again, it is much better for clients to do this on their own. People have far more motivation to achieve goals if they set those goals themselves.

If a client values giving back to the community, take it one step further. How can that client give back to the community today, this week, or a year from now? If a client values providing for their family, they might head back to school to increase their earning potential in the future.

Through Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, clients also learn that no plan is perfect. When people accept that obstacles will arise, they can get past them. This is a much better approach than giving up just when things get challenging.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy at Gateway Foundation Gurnee

At Gateway Foundation Gurnee, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is available to clients. During our Outpatient programs, clients will have the chance to explore a range of therapies and treatment methods. Some of the most effective strategies to get clients on track toward a lifetime of sobriety include all of the following:

For many clients, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a big part of their recovery. The addiction treatment staff at the Gateway Foundation location in Gurnee, Illinois, can help you find your best path to recovery from addiction. When you’re ready to take the very first step to a better life, call 847.473.6233.