The main difference between ACT and CBT is that ACT focuses on accepting negative thoughts, emotions, memories, and behaviors, while CBT focuses on identifying negative thoughts and emotions and changing them.
In short, acceptance and commitment therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy are two types of therapy that help you to deal with negativity. They can help you with anxiety, depression, as well as various other mental issues.
Key Areas Covered
ACT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, CBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
What is ACT
ACT or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a type of behavioral therapy that promotes the practice of self-acceptance. It helps you to understand that pain and distress are part and parcel of life. In other words, it teaches you to accept life as it is, both the good and the bad, instead of fighting against it. Therefore, it helps you to accept all your negative thoughts, feelings, memories, and behaviors. This therapy develops psychological flexibility in people. Moreover, ACT combines mindfulness skills, acceptance, commitment, and behavior changes.
Components in ACT
There are six core components in ACT:
- Cognitive Defusion
- Being Present
- Self as Context
- Committed Action.
Acceptance involves the active choice to allow negative thoughts and memories instead of avoiding or denying them. Moreover, cognitive defusion involves techniques that teach an individual how to change their reaction to thoughts and feelings – i,e. to face negative thoughts and feelings but not feel guilty about them or fixate on them. Being Present, on the other hand, refers to being aware of the present moment. This involves experiencing what is happening at that moment without trying to change the experience or without trying to predict its outcome.
Furthermore, Self as Context is the concept that teaches a person is not simply the sum of their thoughts, emotions, or experiences. It offers the concept that there is a self outside of the current experience. Furthermore, values in ACT are the qualities people choose to work towards in any given moment. Finally, committed actions help you to achieve long-term goals and live a content life consistent with your values.
What is CBT
CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of psychosocial treatment that helps to identify and change negative and destructive thought patterns that have an adverse impact on emotions and behaviors. Negative thoughts can affect your mood, contribute to emotional difficulties, and can ultimately lead to anxiety and depression. CBT helps people to change their automatic negative thoughts. In fact, CBT identifies these thoughts and replaces them with more positive thoughts.
Moreover, CBT uses a wide range of approaches and techniques. In addition, it can help many issues, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, anger issues, substance abuse, and phobias. Some of the most important strategies in CBT involve identifying your thoughts, practising new skills, goal setting, problem-solving, and self-monitoring. In addition, role-playing, relaxing techniques, and mental distractions are also useful in CBT.
Difference Between ACT and CBT
CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of psychosocial treatment that helps to identify and change negative and destructive thought patterns that have an adverse impact on emotions and behaviors. ACT or acceptance and commitment therapy, on the other hand, is a type of behavioral theraphy that promotes the practice of self-acceptance.
ACT focuses on accepting negative thoughts, emotions, memories, and behaviors, while CBT focuses on identifying negative thoughts and emotions and changing them.
Moreover, ACT can be long term or short term, whereas CBT tends to be long term.
Role of the Therapist
Also, in ACT, control over the therapy is shared between therapist and patients, but in CBT, the therapist plays a larger role.
ACT stands for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy while CBT stands for Cognitive behavioral therapy. The main difference between ACT and CBT is that ACT focuses on accepting negative thoughts, emotions, memories, and behaviors, while CBT focuses on identifying negative thoughts and emotions and changing them.
1. “How Does Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Act) Work?” PositivePsychology.com, 14 Dec. 2020.
2. Cherry, Kendra. “How Cognitive Behavior Therapy Works.” Verywell Mind.
1. “Woman, happiness, sunrise, silhouette, dress, beach, dom” (CC0) via Hippopx