Amanda Savage Brown, PhD, LCSW
If a fire were burning in your kitchen, you would put it out. Unlike a kitchen fire, you can’t just “get rid” of difficult thoughts and feelings that happen inside you. But your problem-solving mind has convinced you to try to stop your pain. Maybe you’ve isolated, tried alcohol or drugs, comforted yourself with food, tried other therapy, used self-help books, tried prescription drugs and herbal supplements, or engaged in self-harm or suicidal thinking. No one can blame you for wanting to move away from your pain. No one can say you haven't tried. It’s just that painful inner experiences require a different approach.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is that approach. And although I don’t know any way to make your pain disappear, or to prevent life’s inevitable pain from showing up in your future, I do know ACT. ACT is experiential: you will learn mindfulness and acceptance techniques so you can respond very differently to your painful thoughts and feelings.
I effectively use ACT to help people struggling with many kinds of experiences. You and I will work well together if you are ready to learn: a new way to respond to your difficult thoughts and feelings, how to struggle less with life’s inevitable pain, and how to engage more with the things that matter to you, all while feeling everything life has to offer.