Case Study on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Paper Type:  Case study
Pages:  8
Wordcount:  1935 Words
Date:  2022-07-20


Acceptance and Commitment therapy is referred as an action-oriented strategy to psychotherapy whereby individuals are equipped with the skills of not avoiding, repudiating and fighting with inner emotions but rather agree such kind of deep feelings are suitable reactions to particular circumstances that ought not to be a hindrance towards moving forward with life(Vujanovic et al., 2017). With the comprehension at hand, clients start admitting their problems and adversities thus obligating to making an essential transformation in their conduct in spite of what they feel towards certain occurrences in life. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, on the other hand, is a psychological treatment that comprises acquiring new skills that help people experiencing anxiety to manage their symptoms. A person is taught new approaches of behaving and thinking that can be of assistance in getting control of the anxiety in the long run.

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CBT pays attention to the here and now meaning that treatment includes handling the symptoms that a person is tussling with right now instead of concentrating on the source of the problem (Taylor &Pruiksma, 2014). Even though comprehending how the anxiety came about can be fascinating, merely knowing the cause of anxiety problems is in most cases not sufficient to help manage the condition. CBT also accentuates on the essence of homework which means that a person must practice the learned skills from week to week and apply them in daily life. One of the core methods of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is contacting the present moment which in other words means being psychologically available determinedly relating to and engaging in what is taking place at this time. It also engages defusing whereby an individual learns to step back and discrete or disengage memories, images, and thoughts. A person should let the thoughts come and go like driving cars rather than being pushed around or getting caught up by them. What follows is acceptance which means opening up and creating room for hurting feelings, emotions, impulses, and sensations.

How Change is Conceptualized

In Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), change is conceptualized by facing the fears or rather the situation. CBT is all about learning to modify cognitions and behaviors thus the name cognitive-behavioral therapy (Jauhar et al., 2014). For instance, if a person is afraid of dogs and then he/she sees one, the situation will be seeing a dog, the thoughts that cross the mind is the dog biting, the feelings are getting afraid, and the behavior could be running away. One way of reducing the fear is changing the behavior which could come about through exposure. The individual could choose to approach dogs instead of circumventing them, and with time the fear could decrease, and there is a likelihood of learning that not all dogs bite. The best tool at disposal to deal with the fear and control the anxiety of dogs is exposure. The fear can also be reduced by changing thoughts. Challenging the thoughts at hand is important in this case. The person can transform the thought triangle by defying the perception that all dogs do bite. For instance, he/she could argue that if every dog was spiteful and bit people, then keeping them as pets would be fearful. By being anxious, thinking becomes exceedingly harmful since the mind is concentrated on threat and danger.

In Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, change is conceptualized through mindfulness which is an awareness course involving bringing to cognizance or a person paying attention to his/her experiences at the moment rather than being caught up in his/her thoughts. Mindfulness entails a certain attitude comprising openness and curiosity. Despite the experience at this moment is challenging, agonizing and unfriendly, a person can be open and curious about it rather than fleeing. There is the flexibility of attention in mindfulness which involves the capacity of deliberately directing, broadening or concentrating attention on diverse facets of experience. Psychological flexibility is the aptitude to remain in the present moment in complete awareness, being open to experience and taking action directed by values.

Therapeutic Aims

The therapeutic aim of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is creating an opulent, full and significant life while accepting the inevitable pain that it brings. The human mind is sophisticated, and even the most advantaged human being inexorably experiences substantial pain. In most cases, people tend to deal with their pain ineffectually. When human beings encounter painful sensations, feelings, and thoughts, they, in the long run, react in a manner that is self-destructive and self-defeating.

For this reason, an outstanding element of the ACT is equipping individuals with better approaches for handling pain through the use of mindfulness skills. The general aim of Cognitive-behavioural therapy is modifying people's thoughts, insights and beliefs thus changing their usual behaving patterns (Ehde et al., 2014). Changing the manner of thinking can facilitate behavioral as well as emotional change and modifications in the way a person acts can bring emotional and cognitive alteration.

Role of the Practitioner and Consumer

Cognitive behavioral theory, the practitioner has a role in listening, inspiring and teaching. The consumer, on the other hand, expresses his/her concerns, learns and implements what is taught. Consequently, CPT psychoanalysts are not supposed to tell their patients what to do but instead they find the strengths of consumers and utilize them in instructing them how to do (Cook et al., 2013). Therapists help their clients in recognizing non-productive behaviors and work with them in identifying and testing new behaviors. In Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, practitioners assist clients to identify, generate, and elucidate values followed by making a verbal commitment to initiation in the service of the ideals as consumers participate in the process with determination (Bhugra, 2003).

Common Interventions

One of the standard intervention in Cognitive-behavioural therapy is skills training whereby the patients are educated about coping skills. Lack of knowledge in some areas can lead to the development of delusions. Giving an intervention on how matters ought to be handled can thwart the response of a client to delusional belief. Consumers are trained in different ways of handling stress and anxiety. Self- monitoring intervention is also standard in both therapies. The intervention may nurture teamwork between psychoanalysts and consumers during data collection and study of important, inform the plan of treatment and improve the patient's sense of agency.

Case Study

The primary cause of depression in Paul's case seems to emanate from the fact that he performed well in school and now at 22 years, he is still not employed. Paul studied IT for one year, but he dropped out in the second year before the completion of his course. He faces Criticism from his mother and father, he hasn't had a girlfriend in the previous year, he has become a loner and also he wants to be a creative writer, but he is not able to write. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy equips individuals with the skills of not avoiding, repudiating and fighting with inner emotions but rather agree that such kind of deep feelings is suitable reactions to particular circumstances (Brow et al., 2014). His motivation to change should be building a rich, full and significant life. However, in case the symptoms are too severe, taking anti-depressants may be recommendable.

Reason for Choosing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

The ACT does not embolden an individual to challenge and try transforming his negative or unreasonable thoughts, but instead, it necessitates a person to become more mindful and tolerate them (A-Tjak et al., 2015). No matter how irrational the arguments of Paul could be, the therapy recognizes that it is okay to have them because that is the nature of the human mind. The human brain causes a lot of unhelpful things, like comparing a person to others and harshly criticising efforts made, suffering that ACT speculates to be a source of human language itself. The mind is regarded as a double-edged sword that is extremely essential for all types of purposes, but it could hurt people if they don't learn how to handle it effectually. The depression that Paul is undergoing is all in his head because of how he has structured his thoughts, a state that can be changed by acceptance. The ACT does not need Paul to start fighting his emotions but rather commence admitting his problems and adversities thus obligating to making the necessary transformation in his conduct in spite of what he feels towards the occurrences in life (Cook et al.,2013). It is like Paul is holding a war between himself and recognizing that he has the power to end it can be such a significant relief.

Paul's Goals and Challenges of Counselling

The goal of Paul should be to build a rich, full and significant life and admit the pain that inescapably goes with it. Paul has had bad experiences like criticism from his mother and father, he dropped out of school, he wants to be a creative writer, but he is not able to write, Paul hasn't had a girlfriend in the previous year, and he also has become a loner. He should aim at making his life better by accepting the pain that experience has caused him thus obligating to make changes regardless of the pain that he feels. One of the challenges is resistance to change whereby Paul may be afraid of transforming or not letting go of the old trends. His psychological distress is at a breaking point, and he may have uncertainties towards the outcomes. As a counselor, I would let him know that it is okay to be afraid at the initial stages as it is part of the process. I would motivate him to embrace and face the fear rather than running away and also help him come up with a goal for the procedure.

The Process of Working with Paul

The first step of working with Paul is getting him to contact the present moment which means availing himself psychologically (Ivanova et al., 2016). He ought to consciously connect with and involve in whatever is transpiring at the moment. Paul dropped out after his first year thus he was not able to complete school, an aspect that could also be contributing to the depression. Regardless of this happening, Paul should not spend most of his time engrossed in this thought because it is in his past. The father has expressed disappointment about him wasting his life and not working but this is the not the new state thus Paul should not be absorbed in the thoughts regarding his future. The second thing is defusion whereby he should learn how to step back, and detach himself from his thoughts, memories, and images. Paul should watch his thinking and rather than get caught up with ideas about lack of unemployment; he should let the thinking come and go as if it's nothing. He then must accept himself, open up about experiences and create room for bad feelings and emotions. Rather than battling the feelings, resisting and running away, Paul should open to all the sentiments and let them be (Einstein, 2014).

This, however, does not mean that he likes them or want them but it only involves creating a room for them.

Paul has had bad experiences like criticism from his mother and father, he dropped out of school, he wants to be a creative writer, but he is not able to write, Paul hasn't had a girlfriend in the previous year, and he also has become a loner. As a result, his thoughts, feelings, and responsibilities have changed, but he is the notice and observe all these changes will never change. To create a meaningful life, Paul should clarify values as they are going to g...

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Case Study on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. (2022, Jul 20). Retrieved from

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