By Dr. Roy Aloni, Rehabilitation Psychologist.
Do you sometimes think, it is unfair, or MS has taken so much of me?
Do you feel fearful? Bitter? Lonely? or frustrated?
Do you have beliefs such as I cannot cope with this? Is it too much for me to handle?
If these thoughts have crossed your mind, these feelings pained your heart, or these beliefs nagged your brain, you might benefit from ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), which uses similar principles as CBT and mindfulness. It is the most extensively used and researched contemporary variant of CBT.
Research indicates that people with MS who implement ACT can increase their quality of life, improved resilience, stress, and depression. Some studies among people with fibromyalgia showed that ACT was more effective than pain medication and anti-depressants for treating pain.
So- how does it work?
Once you recognize your thoughts and concerns, think about your response to these thoughts- how do you react when you get upset? What are the outcomes of your reaction? Do you recognize which response is helpful and which is not?
A therapist can help you learn to recognize helpful responses that might help you. Applying ACT might help you find how to do more of what’s useful for you and help you discover positive ways to look after yourself when things become difficult.
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