What is ACT? – Part 3: Get living

What is ACT? – Part 3: Get living

In the last of our three-part series on ‘What is ACT’, this post relates to the last of the core processes ‘get living’, which are about the doing what matters component. 

As with the other core processes, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) very much encourages flexibility in how we behave to assist not only increase psychological flexibility but choice and freedom in what we do. 


Values relate to things that are fundamentally important to us that bring us joy, pleasure, meaning and purpose. Essentially, values are about what you want your life to be about. Using our awareness and getting in tune with what ‘lights us up’ helps guide and motivate us towards a life that we naturally want. There are many values, but some common examples include connection, family, stability, learning, honesty, kindness and creativity.  

See this link for an extensive (not exhaustive) list you may like to use as a prompt to help identify what your values are. 

Another way to identify your values is think about activities/places/situations you like. For example,  I find going to the beach relates to the value of being connected to nature. When I play guitar, this often relates to the value of creativity as well as connection because I often play with friends.  

For further support to understand values, this short video can be helpful.

Committed action 

Simply put, committed action means taking action guided by your values. Meaning you are doing what matters to you even if it’s internally difficult or uncomfortable but is guided by your values. Actions don’t need to be big! Any action, no matter the size/effort leading towards a value counts. This is what we call living a values based life! 

For example, I really want to work toward the value of independence. I can take committed action by firstly writing a list of things I want to be more independent in. Or instead, I could meet with my therapist to chat about what I would like to do more on my own. The next step could be then coming up with a plan of how to do a specific task which include writing up a plan. The next step could be about how to undertake the task along with any supports/strategies required. And so on. Each step is just as important as the other and all work towards the value of independence.  

As a recap from the last 3 blogs related to What is ACT?, the 6 core processes are:  

  1. Present moment awareness 
  2. Observing self 
  3. Acceptance 
  4. Defusion or ‘Unhooking’ 
  5. Acceptance 
  6. Committed Action 

If you are seeking support for mental health concerns and are interested in this Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) approach, With Grace Therapy has a number of therapists and social workers able to help, so please reach out.  

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