ACT and Telling Stories


Q:  How can I stop my thoughts driving me crazy?

A:  You can stop believing they’re true.

One of the things I liked most about ACT when I was first discovered it was the way it dealt with thoughts.

Our internal experience, ie our thoughts and our emotions, can be a rather unpleasant affair.  All the more so if we take our thoughts very seriously and believe that because we are thinking them our thoughts must be true.

When it was suggested that this might not actually be the case I couldn’t really get my head around it.  I believed that my thoughts were most definitely important and most definitely true.  I told myself some very favourite and very scary stories.  I still do at times.  When that happens it doesn’t take long before I am headed in a downward spiral.

Thanks to ACT though I am beginning to recognise when I am fused with my story.  In ACT, remember, it is not so much whether thoughts are true or false that is important as whether they are workable.  If they are helpful and moving us in a meaningful direction, great.  If they are not best to let them go.  Easier said than done?  Maybe, but definitely worth the effort.

I wrote “TELLING STORIES” to remind me of that.


  • Are you getting better at defusing from your stories?
  • Are you able to recognise fact from fiction?
  • What can you share that might be of help to others?

Please leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.






Maybe we’re all churned up and anxious and things are not going so well,

It’s the same old same old story, it’s the one we love to tell,

And it’s now engraved so deeply that we think it must be true,

And yet it only is a story, truth to tell it’s nothing new.

Oh we may give it embellishments to make it scarier still,

All those nasty little nuances all guaranteed to fill

Us with feelings of foreboding, even now our body reacts,

For when our mind makes up its stories, for our bodies these are facts.

And it’s really not surprising that we’re all churned up inside,

Mind and body locked together in a roller coaster ride,

And it’s not ‘til we make distance from this story of renown

That we distinguish fact from fiction, and our body can calm down.

And so next time we tell a story and our stomach starts to churn,

And our heart is busy thumping and our throat begins to burn,

Let’s remember these are signals that we’ve made ourselves afraid,

And if we know it’s just a story then the feelings start to fade.


© Corinne Shields, 2016

If you enjoyed, “TELLING STORIES” please pass it on, and do leave your comments.  I would love to hear from you.

And just before you go …..

A final word from ACT …..

ACT is very interested in teaching us how to defuse from unhelpful thoughts and stories so that we are more free to take steps to move forward in more meaningful directions in our life.

Instead of being trapped and held hostage by unhelpful thoughts, ACT teaches us techniques to reduce their power over us so that we are more able to act in ways that are consistent with our values.

These techniques don’t have to be very fancy.  In fact anything that helps us to create distance and see our thoughts as just thoughts, words and images floating around in our head, will do the trick.

Cuddly toys and spectacle cases are just some of the props used in a great video by Joseph Rhinewine entitled “Fusion and Defusion in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.”  Check it out and see what you think.

ACTivation Point!

SO ……………………….

Just-for-today-I-will not act

How about YOU?

What can YOU do just for today to ACTivate your life?

 Just for today I will ………………………

If you have read this far, please do leave your comments. How is ACT helping you?

I am a student of ACT.  I am on a journey.  I would love you to join me.

With all good wishes


Published by

Corinne Shields

I am a wife, mother, grandmother, erstwhile teacher for thirty plus years, and permanent student. I have long been interested in psychology and spirituality and enjoy writing inspirational poetry. Hence the publication of this blog at ACT Made I play golf badly, piano a little better and I love reading, writing, and all things French. I divide my time between Wales and France and enjoy travelling with my husband, Len and my dog Charlie.

3 thoughts on “ACT and Telling Stories”

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