A normal problem-solving mode of mind draws clients into the idea that where they are isn’t desirable and they need to be somewhere else. Jobs need to be changed, relationships fixed. More often than not, therapists go along, but this view directs attention toward getting, not the dynamics of doing.
We’ve all done it. We behave in a way that feels painful, or is destructive, or think we shouldn’t, and we resolve to behave differently in the future. We believe that the way to change behavior A is to take up behavior B. What we discover is that, however fervently we wish to change our behavior, it’s not that easy. We can’t just drop behavior A just because we’ve decided to for whatever reason.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a powerful treatment that is based in the belief that the road to lasting happiness and well-being begins with accepting our thoughts, rather than trying to change them. For ACT practitioners, it may be easy to adopt the basic principles of ACT, but it generally takes at least two or three years of hard work and ongoing study and practice to become truly fluent in the model. During that time, you will most likely find yourself “stuck” at some point, and so will your clients.