Radical acceptance is a dialectical behavioral therapy skill that is defined as the "ability to accept and let go of situations that are beyond our control without judging them". It involves acknowledging facts that are true and letting go of a fight with reality.
Acceptance is often misunderstood as approval (it is not) or as being against change (it is not). By choosing to radically accept certain situations and remove that attachment we have to them, the pain and suffering that is caused by them is reduced.
Let's practice together. Think of a situation where you think radical acceptance can be useful:
Observe that you are fighting reality
Practice accepting the situation with mind, body, and spirit
Contact/Locate the resistance in your body
Allow yourself to feel the sadness and grief
Acknowledge that life is worth living and accepting even when there's pain
Here are some radical acceptance coping statements that can serve as reminders to let go:
The present is the only moment I have control of
I can't change the past
Life is worth living even when there's pain
I can survive the present even when I don't like what's happening
There is no point in fighting the past
This is how it has to be
Maram Barakat, M.A., is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She has a master's degree in Clinical Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University, with a special focus on global mental health and research methods. She is primarily interested in providing access to quality mental health services in low-to-middle income countries and vulnerable populations. She is especially passionate about working with survivors of abuse and violence. In fact, she has integrated her passion with her academic interests by focusing her master's thesis on culturally adapting and implementing cognitive processing therapy to Syrian refugee women who have experienced sexual violence during and post-displacement. Maram has worked as a mental health professional and advocate in Lebanon, Uganda, and New York for the past six years. At the Lukin Center, Maram will be taking on the role of social media manager. Her main responsibilities entail managing and monitoring the center's social media platforms, creating content, increasing engagement, and more. Apart from her professional interests, she enjoys acting, karaoke, and extreme sports.
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