acceptance and mindfulness

Understanding Acceptance and Mindfulness:

What is Acceptance?

Acceptance is willingness to experience pain as an inevitable part of human life. If we understand the reality that pain and discomfort are going to occur in this lifetime we can learn how to react differently to our pain. So, acceptance is a crucial part of change. Accepting something about one’s life does not mean giving into, liking, or in agreement of the experience. It is an active, willing choice to allow the presence of pain. What causes suffering is not pain itself but an unwillingness to have pain. Life is a struggle, but the good news is we can do something about it.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a guided attention to thoughts, feelings, and senses using the breath and imagery. Based in eastern Buddhist practice, mindfulness is a method of contacting the present moment. The outcomes sought after are awareness and openness to all physical and psychological experiences. Mindfulness exercises may be used in therapy with your individual therapist, in group treatment, and practiced in any context. Mindfulness literature has shown effectiveness for anxiety, chronic pain, psychosis, and borderline personality disorder.

Acceptance and Mindfulness Treatments Available

  • Acceptance and mindfulness work: Mindfulness and acceptance-based interventions are central in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
  • Additional Information Online: Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (2008). ACT for the public. Retrieved June 14, 2009, from:


  • Hanh, T.N. (1976). The miracle of mindfulness: A manual on meditation. Boston: Beacon Press.
  • Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990). Full catastrophe living: Using the wisdom of our body and mind to face stress, pain, and illness. New York: Dell.
  • Kabat-Zinn, J. (2005). Wherever you go, there you are: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life (10th ed.). Hyperion.