Tuesday, March 9, 2021

How can we improve our patients’ mental health through FACT and ACT

In Focused Acceptance Commitment Therapy (FACT) and Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), we take a transdiagnostic approach to solve mental health problems. This is ideal for General Practice and has less impact on future insurance issues.

What does transdiagnostic mean?

We are not so much focused on the diagnosis, but more about the underlying process. We framed most mental health issues as being “stuck” or “excessive zoomed in” to a particular group of thoughts, feelings, or narratives. Our job then is to equip our patients with the emotional literacy and skills to:

1 Be aware and acknowledge this experience. 

2 Be aware that “being stuck” may have cost them a life of meaning and purpose through the “fight or flight” responses and experiential avoidance. Look at all important domains in their lives including work, family, friends, community, and rate those out of 10.  

3 Being aware that the “fight or flight” response is “hopeless” for moving forward, so let’s commit to an alternative path. In Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), this is framed as “creative hopelessness”.

4. Being mindful enough to unhook, defuse, or “zoom out” from our thoughts, feelings, or narratives, and perceive our mental space with more clarity.

5. Being aware of a life that we want to create through identifying our values.

6. Take committed actions with those values.

7. Live a value driven life.

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