Contact With the Present Moment in ACT: Mindfulness Skills and Commitments

Daniel J. Moran, Ph.D.

MidAmerican Psychological Institute
Pickslyde Consulting

Key Points

  1. Mindfulness practice calls to select a behavior and commit to doing it even if private obstacles arise.
  2. Mindfulness exercises encourage participants to develop a new relationship with these private events.
  3. An ACT therapist can utilize these practices to have the client’s mindfulness skills generalize to more clinically relevant areas.
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Transcript

Contact With the Present Moment in ACT: Mindfulness Skills and Commitments

Contact With the Present Moment in ACT: Mindfulness Skills and Commitments

Many mindfulness exercises like the mindfulness exercise we just performed in the last video invite you to make some kind of behavioral commitment. Sometimes, it is following your breath as in the exercise we did in the earlier module or sensing the chair like we did in that last video. If you’re doing yoga poses or tai chi movements, they’re all taught to be done by contacting the present moment by following through on a behavioral commitment and to make that commitment something that you focus on or attend to even in the presence of obstacles such as distracting thoughts, stressful emotions or uncomfortable sensations and just to simply notice those types of private events and not get hooked by them but to let them simply be while bringing your attention back to your commitment in the present moment.

Contact With the Present Moment in ACT: Mindfulness Skills and Commitments

See if you can recognize that as a very practical skill that can be generalized to other situations. Perhaps you can perceive mindfulness exercises as a way for clients to practice the skills they need to deal with clinically relevant issues. What if mindfulness practice helps build up the skills to simply notice depressive self-denigrating thoughts or to gently notice stressful urges to wash one’s hands over and over and over again or to simply be with and not get hooked by uncomfortable sensations like the impulse to pour another shot of whisky? Hopefully, you can see the practical application of mindfulness exercises with the examples of depression, OCD and substance abuse right there. Mindfulness can be helpful for lots of different clinically relevant concerns.

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