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What is ACT?


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a form of psychotherapy and has been described as the “fourth wave” in therapy following cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Conceptually, ACT is based on the idea that psychological suffering occurs as a result of ongoing experiential avoidance, leading to psychological ridigity that prevents an individual from behaving in accord with their own core values. Rather than focusing on changing or challenging thoughts and emotions, ACT includes acceptance, mindfulness, cognitive defusion, values and committed action as the focus of treatment.

ACT incorporates traditional behaviour therapy techniques, including cognitive therapy and behavioural analysis. In addition, ACT introduces other techniques described as cognitive defusion, acceptance, mindfulness, values, and commitment methods. ACT differs from CBT in that the emphasis is not on thoughts, but on altering one’s relationship to one’s private experiences (including thoughts, feelings, memories and bodily reactions) to become “disentangled” from them. The goal of ACT is to help clients learn to overcome ineffective behaviour patterns that prevent them from achieving a better quality of life. In helping clients to achieve their goals, ACT uses many approaches, including CBT as well as acceptance strategies, mindfulness techniques and values-based living. ACT is evidence-based and is supported by emerging evidence for effectiveness with anxiety disorders, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic pain, psychosis, eating disorders, smoking cessation and substance abuse.

Why choose CBT Associates?

CBT Associates is a large, well-established and rapidly-growing network of clinics that provides evidence-based psychological services to children, adolescents, adults of all ages, and couples.

We are a highly-qualified group of over 50 psychologists and psychological associates who provide personalized, compassionate, respectful and discreet treatment with the highest level of... Read More

What is the policy for cancelled or missed appointments?

To help us reliably meet the needs of all our clients, we must ask you to provide 24 hours’ notice when cancelling or rescheduling an appointment. Appointments without sufficient notice will be charged the full fee.

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What is a psychologist?


  • Are registered healthcare professionals who are regulated like physicians, surgeons, and dentists.
  • Work with individuals, groups and organizations to promote positive change by assessing and treating psychological problems.
  • Are trained to assess problems accurately using psychological tests and semi-structured interviews.... Read More
What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist?

Psychologists are closely aligned with psychiatrists as both are highly-trained professionals. Psychiatrists are oriented toward pharmaceutical solutions (some illnesses in fact lend themselves to medication versus talk therapy, such as severe depression or schizophrenia); while psychologists are oriented toward talk therapy as a solution.

Psychologists and psychiatrists both undertake... Read More

What is the difference between a psychotherapist and a psychologist?

The first important difference between psychotherapists and psychologists is the number of years of education and training required to register by each college. The College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario requires members to complete any recognized training program in psychotherapy, with 450 hours of direct client contact, and 100 hours of clinical supervision. In contrast, to... Read More

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