Here at Counselling Online we are providing online counselling services in Australia through SKYPE using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and working with many clients who are experiencing relationship issues.
Acceptance and commitment therapy is a ideally suited to working with clients with experiencing relationship issues for these 5 reasons:
Many clients experiencing relationship issues struggle with difficult thoughts about their partner and relationship. We work with clients to show them how self-compassion and acceptance can assist with some of these thoughts.
We all have difficult and troubling thoughts about relationships from friends to lovers and we receive messages such as there is a perfect partner for all of us, that someone will complete us, that love is easy and love is everlasting.
This is strategy we show clients and they really respond to well.
L – Letting go of things that are a roadblock in a relationship such as letting go of resentment, blaming, criticising, demanding.
O – Opening up and allowing difficult thoughts and feelings to be present and practicing self-compassion.
V – Following values. We work with clients,so they can determine the sort of values or qualities they want to aspire to and live their life by. Understanding what values, we want from our life ads purpose and direction to a life. Values someone may want are being compassionate, being caring, or making connections with others. If we follow a value driven life we are less dependent on another person for meaning.
E – Engaging. This involves being psychologically present and available in a relationship. We show client mindfulness exercises and how to practice being present. This gives increased connection and engagement in a relationship.
- New Skills in relationship
Building new skills in relationships can a vital bridge to finding new meaning, connection and depth in a relationship.
Some skills we show clients are how to support partners in becoming more aware, present and engaged with themselves and their partner and to allow this awareness to fill each moment of the relationship.
We also show clients how to move from being swept along by endless stories or narratives and judgements and the feelings that they trigger to a much more flexible and adaptable response to the demands of the situation;
With new skills partners are much less likely to react to negative thoughts and feelings with words, actions and behaviours which cause hurt and harm. And consequently, less likely to land up feeling distant and isolated from each other and feeling lonely in the relationship.
- Taking Action
Its not just sufficient to say what our values are – we must take committed action towards these values. That’s what gives us a purpose driven life and by doing so we bring so much more vitality and engagement to a relationship.
- Experiential Acceptance
We show clients how sometimes in relationships we use strategies to try and control difficult or unpleasant thoughts and feelings. And often we sometimes do this without realising we are doing this and this can results in harmful consequences such as increased use of alcohol or stimultants which then undermine our engagement in a relationship. So, we work with clients to allow difficult thoughts, feelings and emotions to be present and by making room for them leads to a rich, full and meaningful life.
ACT has many major benefits and here at Counselling Online clients are responding with effective ACT interventions and we are seeing the following benefits:
- ACT can help create a rich, full and meaningful life whilst addressing difficult thoughts and how to work with them
- ACT teaches us the behavioural and psychological skills necessary to deal with painful and difficult thoughts and feelings, so they have less impact over us
- With ACT we learn to clarify what is important and meaningful in our life and use that knowledge as guide to inspire and motivate us to change our lives
- ACT seeks to put us in charge of our life rather than living in a life that is repetitive and dull or just existing.
ACT works with metaphors and imagery which greatly assists clients access the concepts. This also allows an element of playfulness in the online counselling session, so they don’t become rigid or boring. Adolescents and young adults especially relate to metaphors, stories and experiential exercises that are active and fun.
A great metaphor we use in ACT work is the driving a school bus metaphor – our minds are the bus and all the children in the back are our thoughts. We cant get rid of them so we have to learn to accept them – sometimes they will be noisy and disruptive and sometimes they will be quite and still and sometimes even they will bring us joy and other times pain. They are neither functional or dysfunctional or positive or negative – they are just there.
Online counselling services using acceptance and commitment therapy is achieving effective results for clients all around Australia impacted by relationship issues. For more information please refer to our website at www.counsellingonline.biz