Acceptance and commitment therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy deals with people’s attitudes towards their core pain. Instead of dysfunctional or discontinuous functional coping methods, it takes a meaningful and enthusiastic, value-oriented life by gaining new perspectives. Today, with this method, many people have changed their approach to their problems and provided meaningful changes in their lives.


  • Overview of Pain

Although every living thing feels physical pain, human is a creature that can also feel internal pain. This pain is sometimes caused by his own mind and sometimes by the approaches of others. For example, while our obsessions, perfectionism, and controllingness invite pain to ourselves, situations such as mobbing, discrimination and labeling are the pain imposed on us by others. Man, by nature, avoids pain. He tries to control the pain by avoiding the painful memories. He tries not to think, not to remember, unfortunately, many times he cannot be successful in this. Avoiding experiencing painful processes is actually the biggest obstacle to getting used to and the most dysfunctional coping method. The painful situation, the intention, the moment must be seen as it is, neither more nor less.

  • Is the Past Past?

We all have values ​​in life that make us who we are and make life meaningful. Who am I, what do I represent, 80. It is possible to find out these costs by asking questions about what I would like to have left behind on my birthday. However, sometimes the past comes to us so much that it is difficult to focus on the present. For this, we need to clear our minds again.

We have no choice as to what happened in the past, they have been and gone but now is the past of our future days. The only place we can touch is the present moment.

Recognizing and accepting the effects of our painful past experiences on the present and focusing on the action we will take now for our values ​​leads to a meaningful change in life. In this way, the dominance of the disturbing memory in our minds decreases. As the darkness decreases as the sun rises, the effect of yesterday will decrease as our actions towards our values ​​today increase. Mevlana’s words also describe this in a concise manner;

Gone with yesterday, my dear,

How many words are related to yesterday.

Now it needs to be said new things.

  • Decisive Action Against Inaction

Inaction or impulsive movements do not get us to the port we want to arrive at. First of all, we must determine the value we want to reach in life and take decisive actions in that direction. Other than that, we cannot make a meaningful change in our lives. Every therapy ends when it gains new behavioral experiences. Impulsive movements always throw us off in life, but they do not lead us back to a meaningful and enthusiastic life.

Imagine you are a bus driver. There are many passengers in the bus. At each stop, someone gets on the bus and someone gets off the bus. After all, there is enough space for all passengers on the bus. Some of the passengers are disturbing, some are pleasing, some are calm. However, your duty is to use the bus. If you focus too much on the contents of the bus, it is possible to have an accident. You hear them, you acknowledge their existence. You see them in the mirror in the middle, but you have to continue on your way. They will continue to get on and off as the road continues.

This is your life path, you are the driver of the bus. Passengers are your memories, your pain, your blood. You have to accept their presence and move on. Don’t worry, there is room for all of them on the path of life. No pleasure lasts forever, and no pain lasts forever. They will accompany us for a while on our way of life and then they will leave. It’s like, why, how questions only distract us from the road. Acknowledging their existence, on the other hand, allows us to move decisively on the path we will go by carrying the pain.

  • Goals and Values

We have purposes in life. Goals are achievable and finished. We also have values. The prices never end. When our goals are compatible with our values ​​and we shape our behaviors accordingly, we achieve a meaningful life.

What is most sincerely valuable to us in life? What do we live for? What do we put first? If we think of what we put forward as a compass and take steps in the direction of that compass every day, it means we are on the right path. But if we don’t know where we’re going, we’ll never get there.

  • Fighting Thoughts

Fighting thoughts, fears, anxieties is about to enter a tug-of-war with a monster. The harder we pull, the stronger it will pull. There is a bottomless well in the middle of us and the beast. If we lose, we will fall into a bottomless well. Then we must learn not to fight it, but to act sensibly and slowly let go of that rope. We can go on even when we have problems in our minds. We should not let it keep us from living our own values ​​in life. We must be able to persevere despite the fears and horrors. And once we start to experience it, it will be easier to continue.

While trying to control our emotions and ideas, we may lose control of our lives (like the bus). And this returns to us as tiredness and burnout after a while. Of course, our life satisfaction decreases as time flies in the middle. It turns out that when we look at what we can control and what we cannot control in life, we can see how effective our control effort is.

How valuable is it to deal with what we can change with effort that is within our control; It is just as valuable not to dwell on what we cannot control.

Accepting the things that happen to us in life is the first step in looking ahead and moving on. Whatever the feeling of the moment brings, to live that feeling bravely, to experience the process and to know that it will pass when the time comes…


What would you do if you lived bravely today? If you were free to do anything, what would you do if you didn’t focus on whether there would be a result, whether people would think you were different or whether it would make you feel good?

Considering the difference between you and the things you strive for, are you willing to accept all of those things as a whole and undefended, and do what is necessary to take decisive action in the direction of the values ​​that make you who you are in life and for which you live and make life meaningful?

Source- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Steven C. Hayes/Jason Lillis