Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) finds its roots in relational frame theory and utilizes metaphors and experiential exercises. It is based on the principle that we all experience certain emotions, thoughts, memories, and physical sensations that are unpleasant. Problems are caused by trying to avoid or alter the actual experience. This is especially true when resisting or avoiding feelings that arise from the pain, which causes more pain. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) believes that “cognitive fusion” of thoughts influences feelings; for example, trying not to think of something causes you to think of it more. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) promotes mindful awareness of thoughts and feelings—it helps you separate the thought from troublesome feelings associated with it. This is called values-consistent behavior. The process of creating values-consistent behaviors starts with identifying what is valuable in your life. Next, what are the reasons to change your thoughts? You can learn to challenge the thoughts and feelings. Acceptance is a tool that is well known as part of twelve-step programs. It involves surrender rather than a futile attempt to control the uncontrollable (in Buddhist terms, attachment). Studies have shown that these accepting behaviors correlate with less pain intensity, depression, anxiety, and disability, and greater activity and well-being. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) also helps you decrease your sense of self as context. One key factor in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is being willing to accept even though pain may not lessen. Another technique that is important for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a focus on the present moment, utilizing techniques of mindfulness, which will be discussed next. This blog post is an excerpt from A Day Without Pain (Revised) by Mel Pohl, MD, FASAM; Published by Central Recovery Press (CRP).