Acceptance and commitment therapy worksheets (Top 7)

This page will provide you with some effective worksheets based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy strategies .

Some of these worksheets have been created by us while others have been curated from reputable third-party websites.

What are Acceptance and commitment therapy worksheets?

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) worksheets are exercises that you can do either under the guidance of your ACT trained therapist or by yourself. 

These worksheets are mindful exercises that allow you to build the skill to accept things in your life that you find challenging. 

These worksheets do not attempt to change or stop difficult and unwanted thoughts and feelings but rather helps encourage you to develop new ways of building a relationship with these thoughts, feelings, and experiences with self-compassion.

These worksheets will help you develop a mindful understanding of your own thoughts, feelings, behaviour, and values, accept them, and develop commitment to healthy strategies to help you achieve well-being in the direction of what you value and what you want in life and from yourself. 

What is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy?

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on helping people learn to be mindful of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours and accept them for what they are.

It is based on the notion that instead of disregarding our unwanted thoughts and denying our unhealthy feelings, teaching people that people can live normal lives by shifting the way we think about our psychological pain.

This form of therapy also requires people to commit to behaving in ways that are consistent with their own personal chosen values towards a life of well-being. 

ACT is based on core principles that include:

  • Accepting one’s emotional experience with openness and kindness so that it can be a learning experience.
  • Choosing values and clarifying how one wishes to live life.
  • Making commitment to make changes and engage in behaviors based on chosen values.
  • Exploring past attempts at self-help and using these attempts- successful or not- to identify personal values and commitment to stick to them.

A metaanalysis of ACT efficacy found that this form of treatment is more effective than the use of placebo treatments on control groups and can be used for the treatment of anxiety disorders, depression, addiction, and somatic health.

Here are some ACT worksheets that you can do to help yourself deal with your thoughts and emotions in ways that are kind and compassionate as well as help you move towards the direction of well-being.

Accepting realities and Practicing Commitment Worksheet

This particular worksheet requires you to give yourself some time to reflect on a reality that is unacceptable to you with honesty and kindness. 

What does this worksheet do?

This worksheet helps you look at difficult realities that you find challenging to accept and come up with kind ways of looking at it and yourself. 

The worksheet has two columns, one where you write down this reality. In the other, you make a note of your acceptance and a compassionate way of looking at it while at the same time write of a strategy that you can commit to to help you achieve what you truly want. 

How will this worksheet help you?

By taking the time to work on this worksheet it can help you identify unacceptable realities that challenge you. 

By writing down the ways you can accept this reality in a compassionate and non-judgement way, it can allow you the space to commit to various strategies and steps you can take to change this difficult reality. 

How to use this worksheet:

Take a moment to sit down and think about what you find hard to accept about your life- a reality that is seemingly unacceptable. 

For example, it could be about your weight. Write it down without judgement but rather as an objective truth. 

In the next column, you take a look at your unacceptable reality and write another note that expresses compassion. For example, “I am fat and that’s okay.” 

To this you add a strategy to which you can commit to that can help you achieve what you want in terms of your weight. For example, “I am fat and that’s okay. I will work on getting healthy by exercising.”

Mindfulness and Acceptance worksheet

This worksheet used in ACT is used to help clients and patients develop mindfulness or mindful attention of their present. 

What does this worksheet do?

This worksheet allows you to develop mindful acceptance of your current reality that you find challenging or difficult. 

This worksheet involves identifying your unacceptable reality that is causing stress or anxiety by focusing on present issues and possible strategies that you can do in the present to resolve the problem. 

How will this worksheet help you?

By taking courage to sit down with yourself and reflect on unacceptable realities that challenge you on a daily basis and mindfully identifying ways you can accept these realities can leave you accepting the reality without fighting against it.

By accepting your reality, this worksheet allows you to focus on other aspects of change such as identifying present strategies you can take to resolve the problem.

How to use this worksheet:

In the first column you make note of your current unacceptable reality- it could be something like “I have lost my job”.

In the second column, take note of your emotions and thoughts and make mindful efforts with which you take stock of your present situation and how you can resolve the issue.

For example, “I am unemployed. That’s okay, everyone faces this challenge at one point in their lives. I need a job so that I can take care of myself and my family. I can start by looking at ads on the paper or on networking sites.”

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Five sense worksheet

Being mindful also involves being present of what is happening in and around you. The five sense exercise is a great way to help you introduce yourself to the idea and lifestyle of being mindful. 

What does this worksheet do?

When you engage with this worksheet, it allows you to take notice of your five senses- sight, vision, touch, smell, and sound. 

This worksheet helps you to be present of what is happening in the world around you rather than just staying with your worries and anxieties in your head. 

How will this worksheet help you?

This exercise of being mindful to the world around you empowers you to commit to bigger goals rather than past events and internal ongoings. 

As you expand your awareness to other areas of your life- it can help you pay mindful attention to your thoughts, feelings, values that are true to who you are and what you want your life to be like.

How to use  this worksheet:

For the Five sense worksheet you start by taking a piece of paper and divide the paper into five parts. 

In the first part, write down 5 things you see around you, outside of your head. Take mindful effort to take notice of their colour, their shape, their placement. 

Next, you shift your awareness to four things you can feel. It can be the paper you are writing on,the pen, your clothes on the skin. Allow yourself to notice these textures. 

Next, notice three things you can hear that comes from the world around you 

Two things you can smell- be it a good smell or a bad smell, just notice, do not react to it. 

Lastly, focus on one thing you’re able to taste at the exact time you are working on this worksheet. 

This worksheet is readily available on the internet and you can access it from here.

Values and Problems Clarification Worksheet

An important part of resolving challenging issues and realities in your life involves understanding what continues to the problem. 

This means that while being mindful and aware of your challenges is important, so is understanding what you do or what behaviours you engage in that contributes to the problem- this could be thoughts, feelings, or behaviours that cause the problem to become such a huge part of your life. 

What does this worksheet do?

This worksheet used in ACT is under the premise that a key part of healing yourself is to identify the problem or distress causing thoughts, feelings, and behaviours and taking stock of your values- what you find meaningful, and what is your desired life- and actions steps to meet value based personal goals. 

How will this worksheet help you?

Because this worksheet invites you to take note of your values, the strategies that you have engage in earlier, and also invites you take note of thoughts and behaviours that are not adaptable, It helps you identifies goals and action steps that are inline with what you value most or what you want out of life.

How to use this worksheet:

For this worksheet you will need to get yourself some writing material and a quiet space to reflect on four main categories. 

Divide your paper to four portions and list down the following:

  • Problem Emotions and Thoughts such as self-criticisms, worries, fears, memories and regrets that occupy you..
  • Problem Behaviors that you engage in that have been harmful to you and will be harmful in the long run. This includes behaviours that hurt your physical well-being, your ability to move forward, keep you from doing what you want to, sap your energy, time, or finances.
  • Values: List some things that matter personally to you in the long run- it could be your relationships, certain areas of your career, it could be qualities about yourself that you want to build or the life you want to have. Write down what is important and personal ambitions drive you.
  • Goals and Actions: List some of your present behaviors which enhance your life.

Write down  things you’d like to do more frequently, or better? Based on your values, what goals can you identify for yourself? What steps might you take to start working toward them?

Taking the time to contrast the items of all four categories should help you identify how you’d like to improve your life and in which direction. 

If you also take the effort of coming up with actionable steps to meet the values of your life, you can begin to make changes that enrich your life by focusing on what is most important to you. 

This worksheet has been adapted from Russ Harris’ Complete Happiness Trap ACT Worksheets and can be accessed here.

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