Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an action-oriented approach to psychotherapy that combines traditional behavioral therapies and cognitive behavioral therapy. Clients learn to directly face inner emotions, instead of avoiding or denying them and work to accept that these deeper feelings are appropriate responses to certain situations. When implemented ACT enables clients to be able to take their newfound awareness into action and help them move forward—no longer allowing unwanted behaviors or avoidance of emotions to prevent them from moving forward in their lives. By gaining a better understanding of themselves, their behaviors, and emotions, clients begin to accept certain issues and hardships in their lives and actively commit to making essential changes in their behavior, regardless of what is going on in their lives, and their programmed or repetitive feelings about it. Counselors that utilize ACT, help individuals acknowledge the ways in which their attempts to control, suppress or over-manage emotional experiences create challenges in their lives. By recognizing and directly addressing these challenges, individuals can become better able to implement values-based actions that support their overall well-being.  

When utilized effectively, ACT has helped to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, workplace stress, test anxiety, social anxiety disorder, and psychosis. ACT has also been utilized in the treatment of medical conditions such as chronic pain, substance abuse, and diabetes. There is growing evidence that it can also help with the symptoms caused by traumatic or disturbing events.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a more a contemporary form of psychotherapy that focuses more on mindfulness and acceptance activities. According to ACT’s paradigm, most mental health symptoms result from attempting to avoid a past experience or feeling. As a result, a goal of treatment with ACT is to develop more open, accepting, and mindful attitudes toward distressing memories (and emotions) as well as negative conditions rather than avoiding them. ACT consists mainly of exercises, role-playing, and metaphors as part of treatment to address six core processes: acceptance, defusion, present moment awareness, self-as-context, values, and committed action. Acceptance and commitment therapy can be delivered in individual or group settings and elements can be incorporated into diverse types of counseling and therapies.

The Counselors at the Trauma-Informed Counseling Center of Grand Rapids (and Health for Life Grand Rapids) are all well versed in similar techniques to ACT. Some of them have read about ACT and utilized interventions—however, we do not yet have someone on staff that is certified in ACT. Stay tuned—we will soon.  

All of the Counselors at The Trauma-Informed Counseling Center of Grand Rapids have undergone extensive additional training in order to help you:

Following graduate school, all of the counselors at The Trauma-Informed Counseling Center of Grand Rapids (located inside Health for Life Grand Rapids) have received extensive training in understanding the latest scientific research on neurobiology and how trauma affects the whole person. In addition, all of our therapists have learned at least one, trauma-specific intervention modality, which they have added to their toolbox of techniques in order to best help all people who seek help. This means, that they not only have the same training as your average counselor or therapist in Grand Rapids, MI to conduct traditional counseling and talk-therapy, but they have additional tools and information that will be helpful to people who are looking for more than a “solution-focused brief approach” or a strictly “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)” approach. More good news: Our therapists all know how to utilized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy and interweave those modalities into their personal style. And so, if you are seeking that type of counseling—we also can provide it.

Trauma-Informed Counseling Center

Health for Life Grand Rapids is a multi-faceted clinic that aims to treat the whole person. Health for Life Grand Rapids houses the Trauma-Informed Counseling Center of Grand Rapids, two Naturopathic Consultants, a Medical Support Clinical Hypnotherapist, and a Health Coach. We’re your one-stop shop for getting to the root of what is troubling you in mind and body, and helping you heal.

Success Stories

  • Name - Nicole Cain, ND MA

    "Nicole Cain, ND MA is an incredibly talented healer, the best I’ve ever had. She gives you more than 7 minutes, nods, pokes, and writes a script for pills. She is like nothing you have likely seen before in healthcare. She’ll completely change your view of what is possible and what WELLNESS can be." - Actual Client

  • Name - Dr. Matthias

    Professional quote: “Dr. Ronald Matthias: I am the consultant I am today in large part because of Nicole Cain, ND MA. There is no better Naturopathic consultant that I have worked with who has an amazing ability to relate to her clients. She is tough, thorough, and detailed, and her clients love her for it. I am proud to [...]

  • Name - Paul Krauss

    Professional quote: "I'm pleased to recommend Paul as a talented and diligent therapist. During our time together as clinicians at Jewish Family and Children's Service, we facilitated adolescent therapy groups and staffed with each other regarding the clients and families we were both involved in providing services for. During these and other interactions, Paul consistently demonstrated professionalism, genuine care, [...]

  • Name - Actual Patient

    Patient quote: “Paul, I think I know why I can be open with you and not all of the other counselors I have seen. Because I deep down truly and fully and in my heart BELIEVE that you CARE, about me, and about everyone. That is how you made yourself SO good at what you do. And that makes [...]