Acceptance & Commitment Therapy in NYC

Achieve greater psychological flexibility and positive life actions.

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy in NYC

What Is Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)?

ACT is a form of CBT that helps us learn a different way of relating to our thoughts and emotions, so they don’t have as much power over us. Through ACT techniques such as cognitive defusion, anchoring, and observing mindfully, you can learn to handle difficult thoughts and emotions more effectively.  Over time, and with practice, your improved reactions to distressing thoughts allows you to engage in more productive and fulfilling behaviors. ACT has been shown effective not only for anxiety and depression but for many emotional and behavioral conditions.




Acceptance and commitment therapy in NYC

How Does Acceptance & Commitment Therapy Work?

When our minds get hooked by negative thoughts and emotions it can take control of our actions, leading to unhealthy behaviors like avoidance, procrastination, addictions, or poor decision making. Through a process called cognitive diffusion, ACT teaches us how to create a healthy distance between ourselves and our distressing thoughts. This allows our minds to become unhooked, freeing us to take positive actions consistent with our life goals and values.

What Does Acceptance & Commitment Therapy Treat?

What does ACT treat


ACT therapy is incredibly powerful for people who struggle with anxiety. Anxiety is often characterized by negative thoughts and feelings of fear, dread, and concern. People with anxiety can begin experiencing anxiety about their anxiety, resulting in a spiral of emotions. ACT therapy helps people with anxiety learn to pause and notice their anxious feelings without passing judgment, allowing them to move more quickly through them and enact positive behaviors to improve their condition.

Social Anxiety

While cognitive behavioral therapy is usually the solution for social anxiety, many patients find benefits in ACT therapy. The mindfulness portion of ACT can help people with social anxiety to notice their anxious thoughts in social situations and to employ processes and actions to move through them to less distress.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Most often, OCD is treated using ERP therapy, but acceptance and commitment therapy techniques can help reduce the level of anxiety that comes with compulsions and lessen the need to enact rituals.


After determining what type of depression you’re struggling with, ACT therapy exercises can help you better manage painful thoughts and feelings. Instead of feeling the need to run from problems that arise, you’ll be able to face them head on with greater skill at distress tolerance and self-compassion.


Face your phobias with less fear and build a newfound resilience. Acceptance and commitment therapy can help you rewire the part of your mind that creates those fearful reactions by habituating to the fear. Once habituated it’s easier to overcome your phobias. 

What Is It Like to Do Acceptance & Commitment Therapy?

Acceptance and commitment therapy is a “third wave” form of cognitive behavioral therapy.  Sessions focus on teaching you skills and tools to tolerate difficult thoughts and emotions, so you don’t get hooked by them. You’ll practice these skills outside sessions in real life situations.  Over time you can learn to take positive action (ACT) despite having very uncomfortable feelings, allowing you to live life according to your true values.

What is like to do a therapy

Common Techniques

The ACT therapy process focuses on:

  • Cognitive defusion: Teaches you how to handle difficult thoughts and feelings more effectively.
  • Being present: Let go of judgments or predictions and simply be deeply aware of the moment.
  • Self as context: Remember that you as a whole are much more than just your experiences.
  • Values: Choose the life values you’d like to work towards.
  • Commitment: Commit to the action that will create the positive change you deserve.
happy couple walking in nyc

Benefits of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and commitment therapy brings a range of benefits including:

  • Reducing worry and stress
  • Handling difficult thoughts & feelings more effectively
  • Gain greater psychological flexibility
  • Improve ability to tolerate uncertainty
  • Break self-defeating habits
  • Take positive action according to your true values

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy at Behavioral Health of New York

1. Contact Our Office

Call us or fill out our contact form to get started.

2. Consultation with Dr. Levy 

All new clients receive an initial consultation with Dr. Mitchell S. Levy, our practice director.

3. Schedule Your Sessions 

Behavioral Health of New York will set up sessions at times that are most convenient for you.

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Feel Better with Acceptance & Commitment Therapy

Schedule a consultation for acceptance and commitment therapy at Behavioral Health of New York today.

Find BHNY ACT Therapy Near You

Serving NYC, Westchester, and Long Island

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Sessions Does Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Take?

Depending on your individual circumstances and goals, acceptance and commitment therapy can take anywhere from just a few sessions to longer-term treatment. We’ll help you decide the best route to take to reach your mental health goals.

Who Is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for?

Acceptance and commitment therapy is for everyone. You don’t have to be immensely struggling with your mental health to get started. Whether you just want to get a better understanding of yourself or you’re working through anxiety and depression, ACT therapy can help.

Who Developed ACT Therapy?

Steven C. Hayes originated and co-developed acceptance and commitment therapy. During his time as a professor at the University of Nevada in the 1980s, he developed the methodology based on his own experiences with panic attacks. His decision to accept his experiences changed both his life and the lives of countless others since then.

Does ACT Therapy Work?

Studies have shown that ACT therapy reduces anxiety and depression in many patients. It also builds mental flexibility, improving overall mental health. Depending on your goals and current situation, your therapist will let you know if acceptance and commitment therapy is right for you.