First Step Treatment Center blog
It has been awhile since I blogged. I have busy making some changes at First Step that I want to share with those who come by this website for a visit. Since the last blog entry, I have been making changes that come from a shift in therapeutic approach that has been going on in my practice for some time.
I have received formal training, and instituted at my office an approach to helping clients called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) developed by Steven C. Hayes, Ph.D. This is a fascinating approach that looks at psychological distress as being the effort expended to avoid negative thoughts and feelings. This is called Psychological Inflexibility.
“Acceptance and commitment therapy has been shown to be effective in helping those with anxiety, depression, substance abuse and stress. According to NREPP, ACT also helps to reduce symptoms of depressive disorders and the intensity of certain anxiety disorders like OCD, relieve distressing symptoms associated with psychotic episodes (such as delusions and hallucinations), and improve general mental health.”
Some thoughts about ACT. ACT leads to a lifestyle… ACT guides you to a way of living that changes how you “live with thoughts and feelings without fighting them… A way of living in the moment, and according to values”. ACT is not a cure, but rather, a way of going through life in a more fulfilled way.
I began formally using ACT with clients this past September, 2017. Since that time, I have seen significantly more positive change taking place in the lives of individuals I am working with. Here is an example, from a post on the First Step facebook page:
Another ACT metaphor that is often used is the “passengers on the bus”. A great metaphor for understanding how we go through life collecting “passengers”, thoughts, feelings, experiences, that fill our metaphorical bus. As we drive through life, we often get feedback, both positive and negative, from these “passengers”. This can lead to difficulty in living life as we are often hassled by these passengers. But as we learn to live with the negative passengers, listen more to the “wise” passengers, we can make our decisions based on our values, instead of the negative noise coming from the negative “passengers”. Clients we work with often cite this metaphor as a significant moment in their therapy… Discovering that life with the passengers can be meaningful and fulfilling.
We have also started a DUII treatment program at First Step. This took some time to develop, but will serve clients in Newberg, greater Yamhill County, parts of Washington County and other areas. We will use ACT along with standard DUII information to aid individuals toward making healthy changes leading to fulfillment.