Anxiety can be crippling for students of all ages. It can make it hard to focus, hamper relationships, and prevent people from enjoying activities that used to bring them joy. Fortunately, there is a treatment called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) that can help manage anxiety in a safe and effective way. Let’s take a look at how ACT works and how it can help students deal with anxiety.
What is ACT?
ACT is a form of psychotherapy developed in the 1980s by Steven C. Hayes, Ph.D., an eminent researcher in the field of behavior analysis. The goal of ACT is to increase psychological flexibility—the ability to move freely between thoughts and emotions without getting stuck in any particular reaction or state. In other words, it helps people develop skills that allow them to make conscious choices about how they respond to difficult situations, rather than being driven by their automatic reactions or feelings.
How Does ACT Work?
ACT uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), mindfulness techniques, acceptance strategies, and commitment exercises to help students identify their core values and develop the skills necessary to live according to those values. For example, if a student has identified “learning new things” as one of their core values but finds themselves increasingly anxious when faced with challenging tasks, they could use the various tools offered by ACT to learn how to manage their anxiety so that they can focus on learning new things again.
Benefits of ACT for Students with Anxiety
The benefits of ACT for students with anxiety are numerous. For example, it can help them gain insight into their own thought patterns and behaviors; learn new strategies for managing stress; identify unhelpful thoughts and replace them with more adaptive ones; improve communication skills; regulate emotions better; recognize triggers that cause anxiety; practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation; build self-esteem; increase awareness of body sensations associated with anxiety; become more mindful of their surroundings; develop healthier coping mechanisms for dealing with stressful situations; create positive thinking patterns; set realistic goals; and cultivate positive relationships with others.
What Can A Student With Anxiety Expect Form ACT?
The ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) approach can be incredibly helpful for students with anxiety or other mental health concerns. By working with a psychotherapist you can learn principles of mindfulness, psyching skills, values-based practices, and goal setting tailored to your needs; these techniques are designed to help you “pause” in difficult moments so you can make more intentional choices about how to move forward. A therapist can also provide counselling to help you explore and navigate the core beliefs that may be connected with your experience of anxiety. Through this psychotherapy approach, you can better understand yourself, develop new approaches which challenge unhealthy patterns, and find greater peace within yourself.
How Long Will ACT Take To Work For A Student Suffering/Dealing With Anxiety?
ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) is an evidence-based psychotherapy that helps individuals develop new ways to effectively manage difficult emotions due to disorders such as anxiety. It fosters acceptance and encourages personal values-based living. The time it will take for the intervention to work depends on the individual involved, but a therapist can reasonably offer support and therapy within 12 – 20 sessions, depending on the individual’s commitment to recovery. Of course, psychotherapy isn’t a quick fix–it requires hard work, dedication, and investment of time. The therapist will listen vigilantly and utilize various techniques – including mindfulness exercises – in order to help the patient better understand their anxieties and behaviors with curative tips of counselling.
How Do I Know If ACT Is The Right Treatment For A Student With Anxiety?
Deciding whether psychotherapy, such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), is right for a student with anxiety can be difficult. It is important to talk to an experienced mental health professional like a therapist or counsellor who can provide insight into the effectiveness of ACT and other psychotherapies available. After a thorough assessment, they will be able to guide the student and their family in making informed decisions about treatment options that can address their particular circumstances. With the help of an expert assessment and guidance, students suffering from anxiety can make well-informed decisions that are right for them on their journey toward emotional well-being.
Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an evidence-based approach that offers students suffering from anxiety many potential benefits including increased insight into thought processes and behaviors, improved communication skills, better regulation of emotions, enhanced self-esteem, healthier coping mechanisms for stress reduction, greater mindfulness practices among many other advantages. If you’re looking for ways to help your student manage their anxiety levels then consider talking to a psychologist who specializes in this type of therapy!
If you have any questions or would like to explore further, please book a free, no-charge online appointment with either myself, Joe White, Psychotherapist, or one of the other psychotherapists at CARESPACE Health+Wellness in Kitchener and Waterloo. We are happy to listen and are here to help!