Elizabeth Jerison Terry, PhD

Pediatric Neuropsychologist • Licensed Psychologist PSY 20657

Acceptance Commitment Therapy

YOU HAVING FEELINGS

FEELINGS HAVING YOU

IT HURTS BECAUSE IT MATTERS

Uncomfortable thoughts and feelings are an inevitable part of life. We all have them and they are part of what makes us human. We have uncomfortable feelings about things that matter to us: seeing a loved one in pain hurts more than seeing a stranger in pain.

Dr. Russ Harris talks about “The Happiness Trap” – the (false) idea that the human state is a state of happiness.

Below is a quick animation from Dr. Harris: The Happiness Trap: Evolution of the Human Mind.

Courtesy of Ian Felton, MA, LPC at ianfelton.com

Fighting, trying to suppress, or trying to bury feelings is exhausting. With ACT, we learn to coexist with uncomfortable feelings (Acceptance) so that we can direct our energy towards actions (Commitment) that give our lives meaning. In ACT, a goal is psychological flexibility – broadening our response repertoire. ACT exercises focus on mindfulness (noticing, exploring feelings with curiosity rather than trepidation), identifying values, and creating a meaningful life lived according to those values.  

More animations from Dr. Russ Harris: 

Internal Struggles: The Chessboard Metaphor