Acceptance and commitment therapy


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a type of mindfulness-based therapy that helps you live with the pain and difficulties that come with life.

The idea behind ACT is that sometimes resisting, avoiding, denying emotions are what cause us pain. Trying to control emotions can cause us to experience even more distress. 

Unlike CBT, ACT does not try to control or change emotions. Instead, clients learn how to be present with emotions (i.e., 'acceptance')— how to allow them to come and go instead of struggling against them. Clients learn how to embrace hardship and difficulties while also engaging in the necessary behaviors toward the fulfillment of personal values (i.e., 'commitment'). Time is spent discovering values and what is important to you, and setting specific goals towards these values in service of a meaningful life. 

It’s like you’re surfing… The same wave that can be a source of pain can be a beautiful flowing grace and source of power. It’s all a matter of how you respond to it.
— Trey Anastasio

six core processes of ACT

  • acceptance

  • cognitive diffusion

  • being present

  • self as context

  • values

  • committed action

Some people may be naturally more able to practice diffusing from emotions or thoughts, and accepting difficult life situations and emotions. For many others, learning and incorporating these skills into your daily life is understandably more difficult. If you would like support in this process, we're happy to help! Together we will come up with an approach to help you live a meaningful life even in the face of emotional distress or pain.

act is evidence-based


ACT is an evidence-based treatment for anxiety, stress, depression, and chronic pain. This means that it has been proven to be safe and effective through rigorously conducted scientific and clinical research involving many  patients and careful comparison of effects to alternative treatments.

Evidence-based treatments can increase the chance that problems are treated effectively, and that gains are maintained following treatment, reducing the risk of problems reoccuring in the future.

You are not alone. we can help.

At hope+wellness, we provide exceptional psychotherapy services to empower people to live happier, healthier lives. Our services are grounded in evidence-based treatments that suggest an important interconnectedness between mind, body, life experience, and wellness, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based therapies. Our office is located in Falls Church, Virginia. We serve the McLean, Great Falls, Falls Church, Arlington, Alexandria, and the greater Washington DC region. We will work together to help you heal and develop the skills to live fully aware, fully resilient, fully peaceful, mindful, and alive.