Empower Counseling’s Approach to Anxiety Counseling Birmingham: Part II.

Last week we shared part I of Empower Counseling’s Approach to Anxiety Counseling in Birmingham.

This week we continue to explore Empower’s approach to anxiety counseling. It might surprise you!


The components of Acceptance Commitment Therapy

Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) is structured around six core processes that together form a powerful framework for therapy. These processes are designed to help individuals live more flexible, value-driven lives, especially when coping with anxiety. Below is an overview of each component and its role within ACT:

Cognitive Defusion

This process teaches individuals to alter their relationship with their thoughts. Rather than treating thoughts as facts, cognitive defusion encourages a perspective where thoughts are seen as just thoughts—transitory mental events that don’t necessarily hold any intrinsic truth or power. This helps reduce the grip of negative thought patterns and lessens their impact on the individual’s emotional state.

acceptance/ component of acceptance commitment therapy/ anxiety counseling/ Birmingham


Central to ACT is the practice of accepting one’s internal experiences—be it thoughts, feelings, or bodily sensations—without trying to fight, deny, or feel guilty about them. Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up or passively resigning oneself to suffering; instead, it’s about acknowledging the present reality without excessive struggle, which paradoxically often leads to a decrease in psychological suffering.

Contact with the Present Moment

This component emphasizes mindfulness, encouraging individuals to engage fully with the present moment. It fosters an awareness of one’s surroundings, actions, and internal state without judgment. By anchoring oneself in the now, it becomes easier to disengage from overwhelming anxious thoughts about the past or future.


Often referred to as the observing self, this aspect of ACT helps individuals realize that they are more than their thoughts, feelings, or memories. It fosters a sense of continuity and wholeness, enabling individuals to view their experiences without over-identification. This creates a space where one can observe one’s experiences without being consumed by them.

values/ a component of acceptance commitment therapy/ anxiety counseling/ Birmingham


Identifying and clarifying what is truly meaningful and important to the individual is a crucial step in ACT. Values act as a compass that guides the individual’s actions, helping them to move in directions that are fulfilling and enriching. Engaging in value-driven behavior is key to building a rich, full, and meaningful life, even in the face of anxiety.

Committed Action: An Important Part of Anxiety Counseling Birmingham

This final component focuses on setting goals based on one’s values and taking actionable steps to achieve these goals, even when difficult emotions or thoughts arise. It involves the development of larger patterns of effective action that are integrated into daily life. Through committed action, individuals learn to make consistent, value-aligned choices that enhance their lives and well-being.

Each of these components interlocks to form the therapeutic fabric of ACT. By engaging with these processes, individuals learn not just to manage their anxiety but to thrive in spite of it, leading lives of greater purpose, presence, and flexibility.

Acceptance Commitment Therapy/ anxiety counseling/ Birmingham

What to expect with Acceptance Commitment Therapy for Anxiety Counseling Birmingham

Embarking on a journey with Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) for anxiety entails a collaborative and exploratory therapeutic experience that is both enriching and empowering. Clients beginning this form of therapy will find themselves engaged in a dynamic process aimed at enhancing self-awareness, fostering acceptance, and pursuing value-driven action.

From the outset, individuals are introduced to a supportive environment where their experiences of anxiety are not only understood but also approached with compassion and without judgment. The initial phase of therapy often involves detailed assessment and discussion of one’s personal history with anxiety, current triggers, and the impact of these experiences on daily life. This foundational understanding is crucial for tailoring the therapy to the individual’s specific needs and goals.

A fundamental aspect of what clients can anticipate is an educational journey into the principles and processes of ACT. Therapists demystify the therapy’s core components, such as cognitive defusion and mindfulness, making them accessible and relevant to the client’s experiences. Through interactive discussions and practical exercises, individuals learn to observe their thoughts and feelings from a new perspective, one that reduces the inherent struggle associated with anxiety.

skills ability knowledge

Skill Building: An Important Component of Anxiety Counseling Birmingham

Skill-building is another key expectation of ACT for anxiety. Clients are guided through a variety of exercises designed to enhance their ability to remain present, accept their internal experiences, and connect with their deeper values. These skills are not only practiced within the safety of the therapy session but are also encouraged to be applied in real-life situations, enabling clients to gradually build confidence in their ability to navigate anxiety with resilience and flexibility.

Another unique aspect of what to expect revolves around the exploration of personal values. Individuals are supported in identifying what truly matters to them—be it relationships, career aspirations, personal growth, or other areas of importance. This exploration becomes the cornerstone for setting meaningful, achievable goals that align with one’s values, fostering a sense of purpose and direction amidst the challenges of anxiety.

Throughout the therapeutic process, a strong emphasis is placed on committed action. Clients are encouraged to take small, manageable steps towards their goals, even in the presence of anxiety. This proactive approach is supported by continuous reflection, adjustment, and support from the therapist, ensuring that the journey is responsive to the client’s evolving needs and insights.

In summary, embarking on ACT for anxiety is a deeply personal and transformative process.

It offers a pathway to not only manage anxiety more effectively but to also lead a life that is rich, meaningful, and aligned with one’s values. Clients can expect to leave the therapy with a set of practical tools, insights, and experiences that empower them to face life’s uncertainties with confidence and grace.

Success Stories from Clients of Empower Counseling using Acceptance Commitment Therapy for Anxiety Counseling in Birmingham

transformative power of Acceptance Commitment Therapy/ Anxiety counseling/ Birmingham

The transformative power of Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) at Empower Counseling has been vividly illustrated through the experiences of our clients in Birmingham.

Their stories serve as compelling testimonials to the effectiveness of our approach to anxiety counseling.

One client, a young professional grappling with severe social anxiety, shared how the principles of ACT, particularly mindfulness and cognitive defusion, revolutionized their way of interacting in social settings. Initially, social engagements were fraught with overwhelming anxiety and avoidance behaviors. Through dedicated work in sessions focusing on embracing their feelings without judgment and committing to actions aligned with their values of connection and growth, they began to notice a profound shift. Engagements became less intimidating, and the anxiety, while still present, became manageable. This client now navigates social scenarios with a newfound confidence and openness, a stark contrast to the isolation that once defined their existence.

Another inspiring story comes from a college student who struggled with debilitating test anxiety. This anxiety not only threatened their academic performance but also their sense of self-worth and future aspirations. By applying ACT’s core processes, especially acceptance and committed action, the student learned to approach exams with a different mindset. Acknowledging the anxiety without allowing it to dictate their actions, and focusing on their value of achieving academic excellence, enabled them to perform with more calm and focus. Over time, the student’s test scores improved, but more importantly, their relationship with anxiety transformed from one of fear to one of empowerment.

Furthermore, a client in their late 40s, facing anxiety stemming from career uncertainty and life transitions, found solace and direction through ACT. The exploration of personal values and committed action guided them towards making courageous decisions that aligned with their true self and aspirations. This process not only alleviated their anxiety but also ignited a passion for pursuits they had long neglected, ushering in a phase of life marked by fulfillment and engagement.

These stories from our clients in Birmingham underscore the profound impact that ACT can have on individuals struggling with anxiety. Beyond merely managing symptoms, our clients discover pathways to lead lives defined by purpose, connection, and empowerment. Their journeys, marked by challenges, growth, and resilience, are a testament to the life-changing potential of Acceptance Commitment Therapy facilitated by the compassionate and skilled therapists at Empower Counseling.

a woman in triumphant pose

Getting Started with Anxiety Counseling in Birmingham

Embarking on the journey toward wellness and relief from the grip of anxiety is a courageous step forward. At Empower Counseling, we stand ready to support and guide you through every phase of this transformative process. Our team of dedicated therapists specializes in Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), a proven approach that not only addresses the symptoms of anxiety but also works to enrich your life in meaningful ways.

Beginning therapy can feel overwhelming, but our process is designed to ensure your comfort and confidence from the start. When you reach out to us, you’ll be greeted with understanding and compassion. Our initial consultations are focused on understanding your unique experiences and needs. This allows us to match you with a therapist whose expertise and approach align with your personal journey.

In these initial sessions, we will delve into the nature of your anxiety, identifying specific triggers and the impact it has on your life. This thorough understanding enables us to create a tailored therapeutic plan that resonates with your goals. We prioritize a collaborative approach, empowering you to take an active role in your therapy. Your voice and experience are vital as we navigate the path to wellness together.

We understand that taking the first step towards therapy is a significant decision. That’s why we strive to make the process as accessible and welcoming as possible. Our practice is located in Office Park in Mountain Brook, Alabama, providing a serene and confidential environment where you can feel safe to explore and grow.

To begin your journey with Empower Counseling, simply contact us to schedule your initial appointment. Our friendly staff will guide you through the scheduling process and answer any questions you may have about our services, therapists, or what to expect. We are here to support you in taking this pivotal step towards a life less defined by anxiety and more infused with purpose, joy, and fulfillment.

Contact Empower to Begin Anxiety Counseling

Let Empower Counseling be your partner in navigating the complexities of anxiety. Together, we can work towards not just managing your anxiety, but thriving in spite of it. Reach out today, and let’s take that first step towards your empowerment.

At Empower Counseling, we recognize how difficult creating positive change can be. Our counselors are trained in Acceptance Commitment Therapy and can provide the compassionate, encouraging support that may not be available from others in your life.  

Marti, Savannah, Kathryn,  and Lucia can assist you in navigating change and discover how to live the life you really want.

Your team at Empower also offers counseling for depressionanxietyeating disorders, bipolar, women’s issues, trauma/PTSD, and perfectionism. Kathryn offers life coaching and executive coaching. Both Savannah and Marti also offer EMDR in Birmingham, AL.

We offer our services online throughout the state of Alabama and in person in our Mountain Brook offices: counseling forteens , counseling for college students at Auburn University, Samford University, The University of Alabama,  and all colleges in the state of Alabama, young adultsadults, and professionals.

Empower Counseling is located at Office Park in Mountain Brook right off of Hwy 280.

We’re Happy To Announce That Both Marti And Savannah Now Offer EMDR Therapy.

It is easy to get started.

1. Click here to send us a request for a free consultation or your first appointment.

2. Get to know your new therapist.

3. Begin moving away from anxiety and toward a more peaceful life.

Other helpful blog posts from Empower:

Spotting The Traits Of Codependent Relationships: From A Therapist In Birmingham

Perfectionism And Social Anxiety: Are They Linked? By A Birmingham Anxiety & Perfectionism Therapist

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