Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Still in landing from the Human Element Phase II in Österström with Ron Luyet and Per-Åke Sundholm. Even though I slowly begin to master my schizotypal brains intense activities, letting my feelings and body sensations move in more spatious context, I still have some analysing capacity left to do my continous investigation on interesting topics regarding everything in and related to the green zone environment and organizational development.

This weekend I read an article that really woke me up. It’s in swedish and it was kind of short but the headline about “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy” was compelling! I had to read more and write something about it in order to reflect and use it at work. The swedish article is at Motivation – Acceptera dina Tankemönster and actually I found a short story in English too Psychologytoday – Acceptance and Commitment Therapy which tells a bit about it.

The ACT is about mindfulness therapy which aims at accepting my thoughts and feelings, and as opposed to traditional cognitive therapy ACT embraces me and focus on my self concept instead. I like the ideas about exploring myself without blame and maybe even without interpretations. This was one of my biggest revelations during The Human Element PhaseII, and a good example is me stopping my morning run to make a statement to myself telling me that it wasn’t important to finish the 5 km race/training within 30 minutes. Talk about split personality :) During the 1:21 that I walked (I can see the time difference in my runkeeper ;) I realized that it’s okay to be sad of a bad result, and it’s okay to be happy when delivering a good outside measured product! As long as I feel ok with myself. And as long as I am aware of what is happening inside me. Then I started running and when I reached the finish I was upset and sad about my behavior but accepted that sadness warmly ;) It is okay to feel my feelings whatever flavor they are, and that’s what full-of-life is all about! In Human Element training we try to make our participants more okay with themselves by exploring their outside behaviors and their insides, listening to thoughts, patting their feelings and even, as we did on the floor in one excercise checking up on ye’ol body. During the ending days I figured out that I have been hard on my thoughts and feels, which have led to a hard time developing my inner self.

In my opinion the concept we use in Human Element is based on 1) increase your self concept to learn more on our behavior and feelings and 2) reach a higher level of self awareness where we are more open to ourselves where we listen to thoughts and feelings with acceptance and joy. As overambitious übermenschen it’s easy to fall in the trap thinking that everything we do is bad and don’t reach expectations, and that everything we analyze about ourselves is worth tonnes of critique. When I try to dig inside and develop the inner me or try to understand my inner me I critizise my low pace, me feeling too few feelings, or maybe… touché… I critizise me for being to critical! When this last wall falls, when I criticize my own critiquing, I can either give up or start accepting what is. There ACT, meditation and mindfulness is working tools for the process helping us and our participants reach this.

For me still landing I have tried meditation and I stumbled upon this guided meditation talking all about the acceptance of thoughts. “Minds wander away, it’s natural and you can gently congratulate yourself for that. I think. I feel. Then slowly move your focus back on breathing.”. It’s easy to check out on Youtube – Mindfulness Meditation Part I Part II. That has made my sparkly brain get some rest and more important I have stopped erroring my own thinking and feeling. Even the not-feeling I sometimes encounter I have stopped criticising! When I let my thoughts sift through and away the feelings arise from the bottom and I meet them.

With this approach I can even be proud of all the words I use to explain maybe simple topics ;)

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