Footprints to Recovery, Mental Health Treatment Program in NJ

Life is about to get better.
Footprints to Recovery Mental Health New Jersey

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

During outpatient mental health treatment in New Jersey, our licensed and certified group facilitators dedicate their time to helping clients accept their circumstance, redefine their values, and live healthy, fulfilling lives that embody their core values in acceptance and commitment therapy.

acceptance and commitment therapy

Have you ever felt like you want to change, but your thoughts keep getting in the way? Those who struggle with mental health disorders often feel trapped in a loop of negative thinking and self-criticism. Recovery is difficult because our minds are always clinging to the safe, familiar way of thinking, even if it’s harmful.

The good news is that with self-acceptance, practice, and a commitment to perservere, you can learn how to break this cycle and reclaim control over your thoughts.

Footprints to Recovery Mental Health offers acceptance and commitment therapy in New Jersey at our licensed and certified treatment facility. A staff of professional, experienced, and dedicated clinicians is on hand ready to help anyone undergo acceptance and commitment therapy for a mental health disorder.


The healing process can pose many challenges - all of which can be difficult to cope with on your own.

Our team of licensed mental health professionals can help you manage your symptoms and create a new, more fulfilling life.


We accept most major insurance provider plans.

If you have coverage of any kind, we will work with you to determine your benefits for mental health treatment. Any information you share with us is kept strictly confidential.

What Is ACT?

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a form of psychotherapy rooted in the principles of mindfulness and behavioral psychology. It focuses on accepting one’s thoughts and feelings rather than attempting to eliminate or suppress them. Instead of fighting against unwanted emotions, ACT encourages individuals to embrace them and make choices aligned with their values.

Originating in the 1980s, ACT was developed by psychologist Steven C. Hayes. Unlike traditional cognitive-behavioral therapies (CBT), which aim to challenge and change negative thought patterns, ACT emphasizes cultivating psychological flexibility. It helps individuals detach from distressing thoughts and create distance between themselves and their emotions, allowing for a more objective perspective.

What Makes ACT Unique?

While ACT and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) share similarities in their emphasis on mindfulness, emotional regulation, and acceptance, ACT differs in its focus on values-based actions. It encourages individuals to commit to actions that align with their values and to engage fully in the present moment, even in the face of discomfort.

In contrast to CBT and DBT, ACT does not view emotional distress as inherently problematic but rather focuses on helping individuals develop a healthier relationship with their thoughts and emotions. By learning to be mindful and accepting of their inner experiences, individuals can make meaningful changes in their behavior and pursue a richer, more fulfilling life.

Overall, ACT offers a unique approach to therapy that promotes psychological flexibility, acceptance of emotions, and values-driven actions. It is particularly suited for individuals seeking a different perspective from traditional therapeutic approaches and aiming to enhance their emotional well-being and overall quality of life.

What Does Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Treat?

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a versatile therapeutic approach that can be applied to a wide range of mental health conditions. It is particularly effective for individuals who struggle with managing distressing thoughts and emotions. Some of the mental health conditions that ACT is used to treat include:

Some of the mental health conditions that ACT is used to treat include:

ACT helps individuals develop skills to accept anxious thoughts and feelings without trying to suppress or control them. It promotes mindfulness and the ability to remain present in the face of anxiety.

ACT teaches individuals to create distance from depressive thoughts and cultivate a more compassionate and accepting relationship with themselves. It encourages them to engage in activities that align with their values, even when experiencing low moods.

ACT can assist individuals in recognizing their triggers, accepting cravings, and making choices that align with their desire for sobriety.

ACT can assist individuals in recognizing their triggers, accepting cravings, and making choices that align with their desire for sobriety.

ACT helps individuals manage pain by changing their relationship with pain-related thoughts and emotions.

ACT supports individuals in developing a healthier relationship with their body and food, focusing on values-driven actions and self-compassion.

ACT enhances interpersonal skills and helps individuals communicate effectively while accepting differences and difficulties in relationships.

While ACT has demonstrated effectiveness across various conditions, it may be particularly beneficial for individuals who find traditional cognitive-behavioral approaches challenging or who struggle with experiential avoidance. However, the effectiveness of ACT can vary depending on the individual’s personality, willingness to engage in mindfulness practices, and the specific nature of their condition. It’s important for individuals to work closely with a qualified therapist to determine the most suitable therapeutic approach for their unique needs.

Who Can Benefit From ACT?

ACT can be effectively incorporated into both inpatient and outpatient care settings. In inpatient settings, ACT may be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes individual and group therapy sessions. In outpatient care, ACT techniques can be applied during regular therapy sessions, helping individuals manage their symptoms, develop coping strategies, and work towards their goals.

Overall, ACT empowers individuals to develop psychological flexibility, enhance self-awareness, and make choices that lead to a more fulfilling and values-driven life, despite mental health challenges.

Get a Confidential Assessment From
a Mental Health Specialist

How Does ACT Work?

Acceptance and commitment therapy offers a unique and comprehensive approach to addressing mental health challenges. The process of undergoing ACT with a therapist involves several stages, starting from the point of diagnosis of a mental health disorder.

The Process of Acceptance and Commitment

Initial Assessment

After a diagnosis, the individual collaborates with a qualified therapist to identify specific goals and challenges they want to address through ACT. During your entail assessment, your therapist will work with you to identify the exact context in which your goals and challenges exist.

Defining Values

ACT teaches that values are at the heart of meaningful living and encourages individuals to take action that is guided by their values rather than relying solely on what feels comfortable or easy. During ACT, your therapist helps you to identify your core values and what truly matters to you. 

By discovering these values, you can work towards a lifestyle that is in line with what they believe. Your therapist will also help you recognize when your behavior does not correspond to your core values and identifies strategies to help you act according to your priorities. In doing so, this step creates a foundation for setting meaningful and authentic goals.

Goal Setting

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a form of psychotherapy that helps people to accept the difficulties they face in life, rather than trying to resist or change them. It uses mindfulness-based techniques such as mindful breathing and self-talk to help individuals gain psychological flexibility and become less attached to their negative thoughts and feelings.

People who participate in ACT learn how to observe their thoughts without getting caught up in them, take actions that align with their values, and identify areas where they can focus on positive change. This therapy is effective for reducing stress, managing chronic pain, improving relationships, increasing self-compassion, and enhancing overall well-being.

Commitment To Action

ACT encourages you to develop a strong commitment to action – taking meaningful steps towards your goals that are based on your values rather than avoidance or fear-based behavior. This includes identifying obstacles that stand in the way of progress and exploring how to effectively overcome them. You may also learn ways to break down your goals into manageable steps while gradually expanding your comfort zones. With the help of a certified-ACT therapist, you can identify and practice new habits that are aligned with your values, even in the presence of challenging thoughts or emotions.

Practice and Progress

Beyond just developing these tools, ACT encourages individuals to practice them regularly through mindfulness and self-reflection. This means staying present in the moment and being aware of one’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in order to be more mindful of their own needs. This can help individuals recognize when they are feeling overwhelmed or triggered by certain situations and adjust accordingly. Through self-reflection individuals can also be better equipped to identify patterns in their thinking that could lead to a lapse in mental health and address them with the necessary coping skills.

What Is The Goal Of ACT?

The goal of ACT is to help individuals gain control over their thoughts and feelings so they can lead a fulfilling life free from distress. It focuses on helping you find peace in the midst of life’s struggles and learning how to accept yourself as you are. It focuses on developing mindfulness, accepting difficult emotions, and connecting with the present moment in order to live a meaningful life.

By using a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance-based techniques, and behavior change strategies, our ACT therapists strive to help clients let go of their unhelpful thought patterns and cultivate acceptance and compassion for themselves. For this reason, your therapist will work with you to develop coping skills to better manage difficult emotions, identify values that are important to them, and create meaningful goals. Throughout treatment, ACT will also help you to build stronger relationships by learning how to communicate effectively and express their feelings in a healthy way. As a result, acceptance and commitment therapy will assist you in bettering your relationship with yourself and others. 

What To Expect In ACT

During acceptance and commitment therapy, your ACT-certified therapist will guide you through the process of cultivating skills to help you achieve your goals.   Your therapist will also provide tools to help you identify and overcome barriers that may be keeping you from reaching your goals. With the support of an ACT-certified therapist, you can begin to create a life that is meaningful and fulfilling for yourself. 

6 Steps of ACT


Throughout ACT, acceptance is emphasized, allowing the individual to observe and experience their inner experiences without attempting to change or control them. Accepting that you will have unwanted thoughts and feelings is an important part of ACT and life in general. While in acceptance and commitment therapy, you will learn techniques to let those feelings come and go without causing problems. By accepting your thoughts and feelings, you can focus on what is important in your life.

Cognitive Defusion

ACT recognizes that individuals often get entangled in unhelpful thoughts and beliefs that hinder their well-being and actions. Your therapist helps you observe and defuse these thoughts fueled by cognitive distortions. Cognitive defusion techniques give you the opportunity to step back from distressing thoughts and observe them without judgment. Doing this can help you gain a different perspective on unhelpful beliefs or habits, and even lessen their intensity in the future.


A main point of emphasis in ACT is mindfulness. In a broad sense, that means becoming more aware of yourself and your surroundings. Practicing mindfulness can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations without judgment. Your therapist helps you develop mindfulness techniques to observe experiences without judgment and increase your willingness to experience difficult thoughts and feelings.


ACT teaches you to be more flexible in your view of yourself. Rigid self-identity leaves no room for growth or change. An ability to adapt your self-definition as you grow and face new circumstances can help improve overall mental wellness. By defining who you are in terms of values and goals, rather than labels or roles, you become more able to accept yourself as a human being. In using the self-as-context mindset, you can 


ACT helps you to reconnect with your values in life. Your values are what truly matters in your life and represent the direction you want your lives to take. These can include family, relationships, career, health, spirituality, or other goals that are meaningful to you. Through guided valuing exercises and discussions, your therapist helps you connect with your values and gain insight into how they influence different parts of your life. By developing a deeper understanding of them, you can take make purposeful decisions that align with your personal set of values.

Committed Action

After your therapist helps you set goals centering around your values, you will begin engaging in committed action. In doing so, you can take steps to modify problematic behaviors and increase your psychological flexibility. This process involves identifying obstacles that may prevent you from achieving goals and developing strategies for overcoming them.

Tips for Successful Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Engaging in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for the first time can be transformative with the right mindset and approach. Here are some valuable tips to make your ACT journey successful:

During ACT treatment, you can expect a collaborative relationship with your individual therapist. Sessions will involve discussions about your thoughts, emotions, and values. You’ll learn mindfulness techniques, engage in experiential exercises, and explore your willingness to commit to value-driven actions. 

While facing challenges, remember that ACT empowers you to develop psychological flexibility, effectively manage distress, and cultivate a more fulfilling and meaningful life. By embracing these tips and actively participating in the therapeutic process, you’ll find yourself better equipped to navigate life’s complexities with resilience and purpose.

Comprehensive Mental Health Services

Footprints to Recovery Mental Health provides experienced clinicians that specialize in delivering ACT therapy sessions to those in need of mental health treatment. Our team of mental health professionals is dedicated to helping clients reach their goals by providing quality care and creating an environment where they feel safe and supported. In offering ACT, our goal is to help you live a life that aligns with your values and purpose. 

“We take pride in our work and are committed to making each of our clients happy.”

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy at Footprints to Recovery

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an integral part of the comprehensive treatment approach at Footprints to Recovery. Our skilled therapists utilize ACT techniques to guide individuals toward embracing psychological flexibility, mindfulness, and values-driven actions. Through ACT, clients learn to observe and accept their thoughts and feelings without judgment, enabling them to navigate challenges more effectively.

Seeking help from a professional therapist or treatment center like Footprints to Recovery offers distinct advantages. Our experienced therapists provide tailored ACT strategies, ensuring a personalized and effective therapeutic journey. In a supportive and structured environment, individuals receive expert guidance, continuous assessment, and the opportunity to practice ACT techniques in various real-life situations. This ensures a higher likelihood of successful outcomes, fostering lasting change and improved mental well-being. Choosing a reputable treatment center empowers individuals to embark on a transformative journey toward greater psychological health, resilience, and more meaningful life.

More Resources

If you'd like to keep reading, we've prepared some pages that we think you'll find helpful.

Get Started

Our professional team is here to give you all of the information you need to help you make an informed decision for your best health. Give us a call, anytime.