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Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a type of therapy that focuses on six different skills. It teaches you to take a more flexible approach when tackling the problems that you encounter in life. Are you interested to know how this type of therapy works? Read this article to learn more.

What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy. This treatment focuses on improving your resilience, teaching you better ways of coping with problems.


You cannot always resolve or prevent unpleasant events in your daily life. Everyone faces challenges. The trick is learning how to face them. Letting go is an important tool. When you find this difficult, you may slip into avoidance.

For example: endless Netflixing, endless overthinking or imagining disaster scenarios. It’s not a bad thing if this happens sometimes. Fortunately, there are other ways to face difficult challenges in your daily life.


Stand still for a moment and allow your feelings to be there, without immediately going into fight or flight mode. Next, you have a choice.

“I am going to focus on things that will make my life richer and more valuable despite this bad feeling.

You accept and then commit yourself to what you find important in your life. This is what ACT is all about.


When is ACT right for you?

With ACT you learn to live consciously and leave inhibitions behind. You focus on what is really important to you. ACT is a suitable form of treatment in many different situations. It is a philosophy for almost any aspect of life.


ACT can help with:



What does an ACT treatment look like?

Each ACT treatment is different and unique. There is no fixed treatment protocol. The treatment is tailored to your needs. The psychologist asks you questions to find out what your needs are. When do you feel stuck and in which direction would you like to go in life? What feelings, thoughts and behaviors are obstructing the path to lead that way?


At the beginning of treatment, the psychologist gives you insight into what is happening from a cognitive point of view. You will learn more about what processes are happening inside your head and brain. For example, the psychologist tells you that endlessly worrying and controlling your thoughts and feelings is usually a pointless exercise. It makes sense to better focus on what you consider important in your life.


ACT is not just talking therapy. You will talk partly about events from the past. However, most of the time you will have to do concrete exercises to improve your mental resilience. The aim of treatment is to develop resilience and increase your psychological flexibility. You learn through these tactics and exercises to deal with the challenges you face in life.


The six processes of ACT

ACT treatment is based on six principles. Together with a psychologist, you’ll work on these core processes. These six processes are also known as the ACT hexaflex model:


  1. Acceptance: All feelings are allowed to exist, just as they are. Whether they’re good or painful. You’re open to everything.
  2. Defusion: Viewing your thoughts from a distance without getting completely wrapped up in them.
  3. Self as context: Consciously observing your thoughts and feelings and looking at them from a different perspective.
  4. Present moment: Being conscious of the present moment – the here and now. This is also where mindfulness comes in. You’ll learn to feel and experience things without attaching any judgement to them.
  5. Values: What really matters to you? You’ll examine what makes your life rich and meaningful.
  6. Committed action: Taking conscious and focused action towards goals that are rooted in your values.


Depending on what exactly it is that’s holding you back, your psychologist will choose to emphasize certain processes from the above list. Sometimes it helps to identify your values, or maybe you need to practice some acceptance exercises. It might also be the case that you’ll benefit more from defusion exercises.


At the end of your treatment, your psychologist will spend some time walking you through relapse prevention. You’ll learn to recognize when you’re slipping into old habits and what you can do to get back on track.


More information

Do you have questions about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy? Or would you like to meet with a psychologist right away to see if ACT is a therapy that’s right for you?

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    iPractice is here for you. Feel free to call us at 085-1308900 or request an informal online consultation. This way you can feel if there is a click and if you feel comfortable. The psychologist will help you with an appropriate and expert treatment.

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    At iPractice, you will work with 2 psychologists. Treatment consists of both online contact and regular consultation room sessions at one of iPractice’s locations.

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    The cost of treatment is covered by most health insurance companies with a referral letter from the family doctor.

publish-icon Published - 23 Sep 2021
Nine has extensive experience with evidence-based methods, such as ACT, CBT and EMDR. Among other things, she treats anxiety and somberness symptoms and trauma-related issues.
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GZ-Psychologist Nine Gramberg

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Psychologists specialized in ACT

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Nine Gramberg

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Yvonne Jongma


Jacqueline Tolhoek

Sherida Alberga

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