Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) | Aster Springs

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is an evidence-based treatment that derives its name from what’s at the very core of its function: to accept and commit. Instead of pushing away or fighting with unpleasant emotions, ACT challenges people to focus on accepting them and working to more clearly understand why they exist. Doing this helps each client more effectively address the issues at the root of their eating disorder, teaching them how to cope with their emotions in healthier ways.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) forms the basis for ACT. In treatment, clients gradually learn to stop the avoiding behaviors they often use when faced with problems. Instead of denying or ignoring difficulties, they learn to recognize and confront them. Only when they acknowledge an issue can they move forward.

Overview of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Odyssey Behavioral Healthcare’s AVP of Clinical Services, Kate Fisch, LCSW, discusses acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).

ACT Components

ACT helps clients in the following ways:
So, how does ACT help clients with eating disorders? Maybe an individual uses food as comfort when faced with painful thoughts. It just feels easier to eat instead of telling someone they’re hurting. Alternatively, perhaps an individual rigorously controls their eating since they feel like they don’t have control over anything else. Instead of expressing their feelings, they bury them.

With the assistance of a skilled therapist, each client learns that it’s counterproductive to ignore their problems and suppress their emotions. They learn self-compassion instead of always judging themselves harshly.


Kate Fisch, LCSW

Kate Fisch is the AVP of Clinical Services for Odyssey’s Eating Disorder Network. With 17 years of clinical leadership and direct client care experience in the eating disorders field, she has a history of innovation, clinical training, and resource development in a variety of eating disorder treatment settings supporting families, clients, and clinicians.
If you’d like to learn more about ACT or our other treatment offerings, the compassionate team at Aster Springs is here to help.