ACT and Christian Faith
Ingrid Ord is an English ACT Therapist who has studied the connection between ACT and Christianity for over a decade, in three different countries. Late last year she released “ACT with Faith” a beautiful book connecting the psychological flexibility principles of ACT with the richness of Bible passages, characters, stories and values. At Brisbane ACT Centre we hold with honour our clients beliefs and values, connecting with what THEY want life to be about, growing their psychological flexibility in order that they may deepen connections and purpose. Compassion and humanity are at the heart of Christianity, as they are increasingly in the mindfulness-based psychotherapies, and have been from the outset in the ACT community.
Present moment awareness is clearly supported through the Scriptures. A Christian worldview revolves around a moment by moment relationship. Inside their initial Commitment Christians are expected to develop a growing faith in the grace of God. A moment by moment, continual experience.
Flexible perspective taking is central in ACT, and also Christianity. Walking in another’s shoes, seeing things from the perspective of those suffering, equally being able to understand the perspective of those in power, those who may be weighed down by the weight of decisions and expectations.
Willing acceptance of difficult thoughts and feelings is exemplified by so much of the old and especially New Testament. Ability to handle difficult thoughts, unwanted urges, being less in their grasp, more connected with deeper values and purposeful sometimes difficult actions connects with much of Christian faith and actions. The secular psychology of ACT connects strongly with so many of the world spiritual traditions, and ability to handle discomfort and live fully is perhaps key.
For a beautiful piece on the Christian Worldview check out Ingrid’s article for the ACBS.