Acceptance Strategies for Social Anxiety

Brian-Pilecki

Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University Portland Psychotherapy

Key Points

  1. Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a treatment approach focused on creating psychological flexibility.
  2. Creative hopelessness is an ACT concept that helps clients get in touch with the frustration coming from the realization that their strategies to minimize uncomfortable experiences have not been successful, and to develop new approaches.
  3. Acceptance, or willingness, can be introduced as an alternate approach to the client’s problem-solving attempts.
 
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Psychological Flexibility

In acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), the main goal is to create psychological flexibility. That can be defined as acting in a way that is based on values and in keeping with creating a life worth living, rather than trying to control how inner experiences feel or present in such a way that life is not lived in keeping with one’s values.

In the ACT model, psychological flexibility is broken down into six processes that underpin conceptualizing cases and providing interventions. These can be explored one by one in relation to the case of Charles, to show how they might be used to help with his social anxiety. Such functional assessment within ACT means helping a client to develop a way of thinking about their problems that informs possibilities for positive change.

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