Health and Wellness

ACT: Taking Hurt to Hope

JoAnne Dahl, Ph.D.

ACT: Taking Hurt to Hope – Struggling with ACT processes: Persistency and Commitment

We live in a culture of quick fixes, immediate gratification. One of the things I love about my iPad is that I can hear about a book and have it downloaded in my iPad within minutes. We want immediate responses to text messages and it hard to remember the weeks we waited for responses handwritten and sent thru the post office. All this has shaped our behavior to expect quick relief from feelings we don’t like, and quick results of what we do want. Criminal behavior is another way of taking shortcuts. Quick money with little effort. Expressing aggressive behavior is also a way to get quick results. As is using drugs to help you do things that normally would be very difficult for a human being to do. 2 years ago Anders Brewick walked on to a young people’s camp in Norway and gunned down xxx young adults and said afterwards that he knew he need to be pumped up with steroids in order to carry out this gruesome plan.

Where do our children learn persistency in the face of difficulty? The ability to stay strong and persistent on a valued direction when the going gets tough? In earlier times we had extended families where many learned from older generations about the value of persistency. We had institutions like churches and scouting that taught the value of persistency. Today’s young people spend more time in front of commercialized forums like internet and TV than with adults. Persistency also called committed action in ACT is recognized as a key process, a skill that needs to be learned and practiced in order to live meaningful vital lives.

Today’s guest is Dr David Brillhart. David is a clinical psychologist specializing in ACT in forensic and correctional settings. Amongst his areas of expertise includes a 20-month groundbreaking pilot study using ACT as a treatment alternative to anger management with Sexually Violent Persons (SVP). He now works at a state psychiatric hospital treating high risk/special needs sex offender patients. Working with this difficult population has afforded David the opportunity to help clients in the community navigate life’s challenges at his private practice, ACT II Psychology. His website is found at:

Dr David Brillhart
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