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Anxiety Disorders: Acceptance Commitment Therapy

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Acceptance Commitment Therapy is a rather new therapy used to treat a variation of psychological issues ranging from anxiety, PTSD, suicidal tendencies, and more. This treatment has a few components that make it up; Defusion, Acceptance, present moment, observing self, values, and committed action. (Todd, J., & Bohart, A. C. 2006) The components of the therapy’s meanings are not complicated, as Todd and Bohart (2006) continue; defusion is the separation of a thought from the individual’s identity, acceptance requires the participant to accept things about themselves that they were previously pushing away, present moment refers to patients not dwelling in the past or worrying about the future, instead they focus on the here and now, observing…show more content…
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (or ACT) is a form of applied behavior analysis, underpinned by a specific theory of language known as Relational Frame Theory, which itself evolved from Skinner’s radical behaviorism. It values its empirical roots and is building a growing evidence base, in the tradition of cognitive and behavioral therapies.” (Ramsey-Wade 2015) The difference between the founding therapies and ACT is discussed by Ramsey-Wade (2015) what distinguishes Act from earlier second wave CBT therapies is Act’s main point that avoiding difficult internal experiences or needing to explain them causes the distress felt by patients, also a lack of understanding of one’s core values. ACT aims to support clients to increase their psychological flexibility, defined as the ability to respond to internal and external stimuli while staying connected to ones values. (Ramsey-Wade, C. E. 2015) The history of ACT does little to explore its effectiveness in treating psychological disorders, or its ability to communicate across…show more content…
Al. (2014), researched the effects of ACT on individuals suffering from social phobia. Their study found that those with social phobia will respond as well to ACT as they do to CBT. The reason for this may be the similar procedures and processes between these approaches. This study shows that ACT is an effective treatment for social phobia, though it does not have any perceivable advantage over CBT. The study was focused on exposure to theses anxious thoughts by forcing participants to experience their feared experiences. With CBT working with the goal of gaining control over their fear while ACT worked toward the goal of the participant expressing response that correlates with their core values. (Craske, Burklund, Wolitzky-Taylor, Vilardaga, et. Al. 2014). This study while not showing ACT as being superior to other treatments it helps to show the effectiveness ACT in its effect on Social Phobia. CBT was compared to ACT again in a study conducted by Davies, Niles, Pittig, Arch, and Craske. They found that ACT outperformed CBT for participants that avoided hyperventilation more than the other participants. The participants levels of anxiety during tasks conducted in the laboratory did not predict or moderate the outcome. The findings demonstrated that pre-treatment physiological and behavioral variables are important targets for guiding future treatment-matching efforts. (Davies, Niles, Pittig, Arch,
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