Working on Not Working
What do you do if you’re working with a client who’s experiencing burnout; who feels hopeless, exhausted, and overwhelmed; who’s imagining running off to an island somewhere and escaping from their life? You help them to understand that what they’re currently doing isn’t working. Now, this might seem obvious, or we might assume they already know this, which is why they’re coming to therapy.
That may be true on some level. There may be a rational part of the client’s mind that’s saying they need to fix things because they aren’t working. There’s a difference between ”This feeling isn’t working” and “This way of approaching my experience isn’t working”. The ACT focus is on the latter: what they feel is a reflection of behavior not working.