An ACT Therapist in Cincinnati, OH Shares Everything You Need to Know About Starting ACT Therapy
What is ACT?
Understanding what Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is and how it can be helpful can be an important first step in starting your therapy journey with an ACT therapist. ACT is a type of psychotherapy that can help you learn to accept your thoughts and feelings as they are. By doing so, we can be present, and focus our attention and actions on what we can control. Developing these skills and gaining an understanding of these concepts helps us learn to change our relationship with our thoughts and feelings. As a result, they interfere less often with doing what matters to us and dictating how we behave.
As human beings, we tend to get “hooked” by our thoughts and feelings.
Our thoughts and feelings consume our minds. They cause us to behave in ways that are inconsistent with our values and our goals. Through working with an ACT therapist in Cincinnati, OH, you can learn to take a step back from your thoughts and feelings. Taking this step will help you observe them, allow them to be, and take actions that are helpful and more consistent with your values and goals. You will also learn to be present as you’re engaged in these value-based actions. Together, we learn to make these thoughts and feelings “background noise”.
How Do I Stop These Thoughts and Feelings?
Unfortunately, unwanted thoughts and feelings are part of the human experience.
When there is a gap between what we want and what we have, we experience uncomfortable emotions and difficult thoughts. Our brains have been generating these thoughts and feelings for thousands of years. This is because they have been evolutionarily beneficial to us. In our development as a species, we have been more likely to survive and reproduce if our brains create thoughts about what might go wrong. By doing so, we can better avoid dangerous outcomes. For example, as we were living in tribes 100,000 years ago, it would have been helpful for our brains to generate thoughts like, “What if there is a predator in that direction?” This thought would contribute to anxiety, and we would avoid this dangerous situation. Thus, making it more likely we would survive and reproduce.
We can see that other types of thoughts and feelings were/are evolutionarily beneficial as well.
If we feel guilty about something we have done or said, and our brains generate thoughts related to this, we are going to be more likely to have the urge to atone and repair a relationship. This uncomfortable feeling, guilt, contributes to our urge to repair our relationships, which are and were essential to survival. If our ancestors had strong relationships in the tribe, they were going to be more likely to survive and reproduce. Most of us may not live in tribes any longer. But, our brains continue to behave in the same way. Our brains are always generating thoughts about what might go wrong. Thoughts of how we aren’t good enough in some way, what we have done wrong, or how someone has wronged us. All these thoughts contribute to our feelings and generate urges. But, since our brains have developed in this way, trying to change, stop, resist, or control these thoughts and feelings is mostly unhelpful.
If you consider all the things you’ve tried to do to stop your thoughts and feelings and if they have been effective, you will likely recognize that these efforts have not helped you.
Short-term distractions and unhealthy behaviors (e.g. consuming too much alcohol or drugs or avoiding things that are meaningful to you) work for a time. But, the thoughts and feelings always return when we are confronted with the same stimuli. When we can’t take a step back from these thoughts and feelings but are instead wrapped up in them, we give in to our urges. When we do, we may behave in ways that are inconsistent with our values and goals. Namely, we avoid what is important to us and act in ways towards our loved ones that we regret. Or, focus our attention and actions on what is unhelpful.
If I Can’t Stop My Thoughts and Feelings, How Can ACT Therapy Help?
ACT therapy can help you in several ways. When you allow yourself to get wrapped up in or hooked by your thoughts and feelings, you have no control over your behaviors. But, ACT therapy teaches you to take a step back. By doing so, you can shift your focus on what you can control: your attention and behavior. Working with an ACT therapist in the Cincinnati area can help you learn what your values are, and what matters most to you.
In doing so, so you can identify what actions are helpful for you and you can move in the direction of your values and goals. Thus, building a meaningful and rich life, instead of allowing thoughts and feelings to dictate your behaviors and move you in directions inconsistent with your values and goals. ACT therapy in Cincinnati, OH helps you to accept the thoughts and feelings (because resisting them is futile). ACT also helps you know them for what they are (uncomfortable mental events). By doing so, they no longer interfere with your behaviors.
By learning ACT skills and concepts, you can learn to behave towards your significant other, family, or friends in ways that are important to you. Rather than allowing your feelings of anger to consume you and control how you treat people you love, you can learn to accept your anxious thoughts and feelings. Then, you can start to approach situations that you have been avoiding. By acknowledging these situations, you can do things that matter to you. You can learn to unhook from harsh, unrelenting thoughts and feelings about yourself, and focus your attention on what is helpful. Working with an ACT therapist can help you to build a meaningful life.
Begin Working With An ACT Therapist in Cincinnati, OH
Overcoming 100,000 years of evolution is much easier said than done. I understand how difficult it can be to address and cope with your anxious thoughts and gain more control over anxiety symptoms. This is why I’m happy to offer support for the Cincinnati, OH area and online therapy across the states of Ohio & Kentucky. To start your therapy journey, please follow these simple steps:
- Contact Kyle Linnemann Counseling
- Begin working with an ACT therapist
- Start learning to accept and overcome your anxious feelings
Other Services Offered With Kyle Linnemann Counseling
ACT therapy isn’t the only service I offer from my Erlanger, KY-based therapy practice. I’m honored to provide a variety of mental health support options for those living in Ohio and across Kentucky. Other mental health services offered include anger management, anxiety treatment, complicated grief counseling, and depression treatment. I’m also happy to state I offer Humana therapy coverage, and therapy for relationship issues as well. Please feel free to learn more by visiting my blog, FAQ, or resources page today.