Church offers ACT resources


First Presbyterian Church is located at 120 N. Front St., Marquette. Photo by: Neil Flavin

Sophie Hillmeyer

“From what I have observed, we are a community in pain,” Jenny Cammarata, a trained facilitator of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), said. “You can’t see the pain on my inside. There’s a stigma around it, and I’m over that.”

ACT is a free-of-charge program that meets from 7 to 8:30 p.m. every Sunday at the First Presbyterian Church on Front Street. Although held at a church, ACT is not a faith-based program, Cammarata said. The first meeting was held on April 1.

ACT is geared toward college-aged young adults to create a resource for people experiencing any type of emotional pain in their lives by creating tools to effectively cope with the reality of it, Cammarata said. Her motivation to start the program was in response to the increased number of student deaths, she added.

“I don’t know what to do, but I know that doing nothing is exactly that. Doing nothing,” Cammarata said.

This program was founded by Steve Hayes, a clinical psychologist from Reno, and is centered around six core therapeutic processes, including acceptance, cognitive defusion, being present (mindful), self as context, defining our values and taking committed action, she explained.

“There is no eraser with ACT. It’s just a way to move forward with all the [stuff] inside that you have to deal with,” Cammarata said.

Participants don’t need to bring anything with them and are welcome to join in at any meeting regardless if they attended the previous one, she added. If participants are not interested in attending the group meetings but still wish to utilize the program, Cammarata recommended buying the workbook, “Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life” by Hayes to complete the exercises from the privacy of your own home.

“If one person shows up and can get one thing that might help them along their way, then it’s worth it,” Cammarata said.