Mindfulness Therapy

ACT and DBT are both mindfulness based therapies that have a lot in common. You don’t have to be good at meditating or anything in particular for them to be helpful. Just be willing to try new things and be your own compassionate observer. Here are a couple of brief descriptions to help decode the alphabet soup of therapies!

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Developed by Marsha Linehan, DBT is a form of therapy where the main focus is learning to regulate intense emotions. If you imagine emotions like runaway horses, DBT offers practice in reining them in so that you go where you want, not just wherever your emotions pull you. It emphasizes getting in touch with your “Wise Mind” – something everyone has (even if sometimes it doesn’t feel like it). Through mindfulness and self care, you can grow your tolerance for difficult emotions, reduce their intensity, and develop a sense of inner calm and peace even in the midst of turmoil.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT, pronounced “act”) was developed by Steven Hayes, and helps people create meaningful lives that are true to their most precious values, including relationships, career, health, and spirituality, or just plain enjoying life. It starts with accepting where we are right now, and being willing to experience difficult emotions rather than trying to bury them. Mindfulness is an important tool in being able to observe emotions and thoughts with compassion.¬†Through the practice of mindfulness, we become more compassionate observers of ourselves, expand our willingness to experience all emotions, and develop a lifestyle that moves us in the direction of our core values.

One of the most important aspects of ACT is its emphasis on taking active steps towards health. This includes developing a regular mindfulness practice, even if only for a few minutes a day. You can find recordings of brief mindfulness exercises on this website for your personal use.