Individuals may have developed a painkiller addiction while addressing chronic pain issues. Within the medical community, an ongoing concern regarding recovery revolves around pain management. Acceptance and commitment therapy, or ACT, is a proven method in aiding both addiction and chronic pain recovery at Driftwood Recovery.
Defining Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and commitment therapy is a form of behavioral therapy. Our therapists use it to address a number of important issues. However, it can be especially beneficial for those struggling with addiction and who need encouragement to change their addictive behavior. ACT has also proven to be helpful in promoting chronic pain recovery.
Objectives of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
As the name suggests, acceptance and commitment therapy focuses on two primary objectives: acceptance and commitment. The “acceptance” aspect refers to accepting the realities of life, acknowledging personal responsibility and dealing with the current situation. “Commitment” means embracing changes in decision-making, health and overall lifestyle.
ACT’s objectives will be different for each client. For those struggling with addiction or chronic pain, the primary objective is often to feel less pain without relying on prescription medication. To accomplish that objective, ACT works to separate emotional response to pain from actual physical pain.
Helpful Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Strategies
Talking about acceptance and commitment in the abstract is easy. It’s much harder to actually apply those principles when while in recovery. However, achieving acceptance is vital to the recovery process. Instead of worrying about why something is the way it is, acceptance and commitment therapy at Driftwood Recovery helps individuals work toward a resolution.
One helpful strategy for those dealing with a substance abuse disorder is acknowledging difficulty without running away from it. It’s normal for individuals to say that recovery is challenging and difficult. Rather than dwelling on why they’re in recovery, acceptance and commitment therapy helps them focus on what comes next.
Some individuals in ACT may also want to note and accept their feelings without taking action. For instance, it might be helpful to acknowledge cravings and temptations. Noting those feelings doesn’t automatically cause relapse.
Defusing Emotional Experiences
Acceptance and commitment therapy also aims to defuse emotional experiences. This means learning to recognize strong emotions as temporary. Although recovery incites various emotional responses, clients learn to not act impulsively as a result.
Learning to defuse an emotional experience isn’t easy. Through ACT, however, individuals can learn how to effectively recognize and defuse emotions that might normally spur on action. Some of these strategies could include the following:
- Writing down emotions when feeling particularly strong
- Noting physical sensations that accompany heightened emotions
- Trying to separate emotionally-fueled thoughts with practical ones
- Putting off decisions until emotions have stabilized
Therapists and counselors at Driftwood Recovery encourage those who participate in acceptance and commitment therapy to be more mindful. Mindfulness training, often described as comprehensive distancing, separates short-term thoughts, emotions and feelings to more permanent realities.
In the context of a person struggling with addiction in a residential treatment facility, mindfulness can be crucial. Instead of feeling overwhelmed with stress during recovery, for example, clients might recognize the physical challenges caused by ending an addiction. They can also acknowledge that temporary discomfort might be necessary for sustainable sobriety.
Acceptance and commitment therapy should be just part of a comprehensive recovery plan. Learn more about Driftwood Recovery and their life-changing treatment programs today. Call 866-426-4694 and start your recovery journey.