This approach to managing distress is the adaptive opposite to maladaptive strategies of avoidance, such as substance use or self-injury. It is important to introduce this concept with care and after establishing a validating relationship.
This idea, from CBT, emphasises the importance of providing clear education and instruction of a technique to a young person, including appropriate self-disclosure or modeling of the techniques.
G3i. Radical acceptance of painful events
Radical acceptance involves a young person be able to accept the present situation for what it really is, without judgement or criticism. Radical acceptance is an attitude towards life that helps to reduce unproductive judgements and responses such as self-blame, blaming others and anger.
H5. Introducing acceptance
Most of the time when painful experiences and feelings happen we struggle against them. Our mind resists and rejects the experience in any number of ways such as getting angry, blaming ourselves or others. Some people try to dull emotional pain with drugs or change emotional pain into physical pain by harming themselves. Others lash out at the world. This is called experiential avoidance. Acceptance involves dropping all of these kinds of strategies and allowing the painful feelings and experiences to be as they are. This practice element helps practitioners explain the concept of acceptance to clients in ways that will connect with a variety of client experiences.
H6. Getting into acceptance
A wide variety of techniques are available for use in practicing the process of acceptance. This element describes a series of 8 techniques that are widely used within Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Observe, Breathe, Expand, Allow, Objectify, Normalise, Self-compassion, Expand awareness.