Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a powerful coping strategy in drug and alcohol recovery. Often people become addicted to drugs to manage their negative emotions. These emotions tend to stem from physical or emotional abuse, or some underlying mental illness. If patients don’t find the support they need in an addiction recovery community Carbondale IL offers, they could find recovery very difficult. Relapse can become more of a risk without the proper addiction treatment programs they need.

Defining Acceptance and Commitment Therapy 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy program Illinois offers taking place Drug abuse recovery facilities use a variety of therapy regimens such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Unlike CBT, which teaches patients to change negative thoughts, ACT teaches patients to accept their feelings. In the book The Art of the Wellbeing, Meredith Gaston states:

“Instead of challenging distressing thoughts by looking for evidence and coming up with a more rational response like in CBT, in ACT you accept the thought, and then defuse it like a bomb. ACT is all about accepting that negative thoughts and emotions are a part of life, and ending the struggle that things can—or should—be any other way. It is pessimism at its most useful.”

For example, in drug abuse recovery, a patient learns to anticipate and accept negative emotions. As a result, they could choose to deal with the emotions in a more positive manner, rather than turning to alcohol, cocaine or other drugs to self-medicate.

How Successful is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?

The Acceptance and Commitment Therapy program Illinois provides is most successful when the patient understands the likelihood of symptoms and cravings returning. In other words, ACT is most successful when the patient understands that the desire to use drugs will return. Instead of feeling surprised and falling victim to these desires, the patients will learn how to deal with them effectively and take measures to avoid relapse.

Using It In Drug and Alcohol Treatment?

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy asks patients to separate thoughts from behavior and to realize, that although they may be experiencing negative feelings such as loneliness, regret, or inadequacy, they may choose how to react to these feelings. Patients identify what they value most in life, such as relationships or work and determine how their actions affect these goals.

If the family is important to a client, they need to determine how to direct their treatment to support that value. In the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy program Illinois offers, patients engage in exercises to increase mindfulness.

In short, mindfulness means to be present in our own minds and to be aware of our emotions. Mindfulness can help patients in recovery become aware of how their thoughts and feelings may drive them to relapse. They can then choose different actions instead of abusing drugs or alcohol.

Reaching Out for Help

Gateway Foundation Carbondale is a drug rehabilitation facility with over 50 years of experience helping people recover from drug and alcohol addiction. A few programs that many partake in are:

In addition to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Gateway Foundation Carbondale also offers an Addiction Recovery Community. The Addiction Recovery Community is an optional program which brings people in recovery together in a supportive community.

The purpose of the Addiction Recovery Community is to provide alumni with people who understand the unique challenges of addiction. These peers can support them in their goal to stay sober.

The Addiction Recovery Community is a step in an acceptance and commitment therapy program. It provides ongoing post-treatment support. If you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction and wants help to end the nightmare, please contact Gateway Foundation Carbondale today at 618.529.1151.