Discovering You and Your Mind Through Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

When you walk into a room, both you and your mind make a grand entry.  Although your mind is neither your friend nor your enemy, it has the ability to judge, remember, compare and analyze.  These behaviors of the mind link directly to eating disorder thoughts such as remembering calories and comparing your food plate to others.

At the Inner Door Center® we are committed to ongoing staff training.   Recently, our staff had the honor of having Julie Hamilton, LMSW, PC at our Center to share advancements in ACT.  In this article, we will share how you can benefit from this type of therapy in recovery from your eating disorder.

ACT stands for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.  ACT is a solution focused behavioral therapy.  In 2011, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services recognized ACT as an empirically based treatment modality for substance abuse and mental health services, such as eating disorders.  ACT is also endorsed by the American Psychiatric Association.

In ACT, you are asked to notice the negative self-talk and the emotional self-response that is affiliated with your thoughts.  You are not asked to push these thoughts away or replace them with positive thoughts, but to go below the surface of these thoughts in order to give them less importance….you simply notice and acknowledge these thoughts and feelings without judgment. After noticing these feelings, you are asked to carry this response with you as you move forward towards your own personal values.  ACT is extremely congruent with our mindfulness Yoga-based therapy as in both therapies; techniques are used to ensure emotions are acknowledged and not reframed, stopped or distracted.

Imagine a Chinese finger trap in order to create a visualization of the process of dealing with your emotions.  When your fingers get stuck in this device, it simulates the feeling of being trapped in your emotions.  For those of you familiar with this small and playful device, your fingers can only be released by making room for them.  Working with an ACT-trained therapist will help you make room for your emotions in your life and understand your values in order to accomplish goals in your recovery.

At the Inner Door Center® we incorporate Acceptance Commitment Therapy along with Mindfulness Yoga-Based Therapy in our healing work.  If you are interested in learning more about the programs and services available at the Inner Door Center® please visit our website at or call our office at (248) 336-2868.


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