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December 17, - Published on Amazon. Not worth the time to plow through,. August 18, - Published on Amazon. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ACT, spoken and thought of as a whole word, please is a new and fresh approach in the world of psychiatry and psychotherapy.

It belongs to the well established family of behavior therapies and aims to develop behavior therapy further from symptom reduction to enriching and freeing constricted lives.


A lot of books have been published on ACT already. Some more theoretical, some more practical and also self-help books. This book is especially noteworthy. It shows the scope of ACT with chapters on diverse clinical issues eating disorders, somatic health with pain and epilepsy, depression, anxiety, self-destructive behavior, psychosis, and substance abuse as well as other themes like work related stress and socio-emotional intelligence.

A chapter on borderline personality disorder even makes contact with the psychodynamic approach. Seldom found in books like this it also contains a very practical chapter on giving away ACT to others, i. This will be especially helpful for readers who want to present ACT to less specialized professionals like primary care physicians or nurses.

What is ACT? - Brightside Counseling Services, LLC

For me, personally, the most intriguing were the opening chapters. The first one provides a welcome overview on contextual behavioral science linking philosophy of science, methodological issues, basic research, and practical application. The second chapter is a true highlight in that it goes through each of the practical facets of ACT like acceptance, mindfulness, or values work and unpacks them with respect to basic behavioral processes involved. This is useful at least for two reasons. First, it nicely shows the interconnectedness of what has come to be viewed sometimes by some people a bit mechanistically for my taste as components of treatment.

Second, these theoretical analyses are not mere theoretical. In fact, they are deeply practical and help the therapist to apply ACT very flexibly and smoothly fitting the necessities of every moment in sessions. That needs training, of course. This book offers some important steps towards such training. Go to Amazon. Discover the best of shopping and entertainment with Amazon Prime.

The objective of ACT is not elimination of difficult feelings; rather, it is to be present with what life brings us and to "move toward valued behavior". Its therapeutic effect is a positive spiral where feeling better leads to a better understanding of the truth. ACT is developed within a pragmatic philosophy called functional contextualism.

ACT is based on relational frame theory RFT , a comprehensive theory of language and cognition that is an offshoot of behavior analysis. Skinner's philosophy of Radical Behaviorism.

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ACT differs from traditional cognitive behavioral therapy CBT in that rather than trying to teach people to better control their thoughts, feelings, sensations, memories and other private events, ACT teaches them to "just notice," accept, and embrace their private events, especially previously unwanted ones. ACT helps the individual get in contact with a transcendent sense of self known as "self-as-context"—the you who is always there observing and experiencing and yet distinct from one's thoughts, feelings, sensations, and memories.

ACT aims to help the individual clarify their personal values and to take action on them, bringing more vitality and meaning to their life in the process, increasing their psychological flexibility. While Western psychology has typically operated under the "healthy normality" assumption which states that by their nature, humans are psychologically healthy, ACT assumes, rather, that psychological processes of a normal human mind are often destructive. As a simple way to summarize the model, ACT views the core of many problems to be due to the concepts represented in the acronym, FEAR : [ citation needed ].

ACT commonly employs six core principles to help clients develop psychological flexibility : [9]. Correlational evidence has found that absence of psychological flexibility predicts many forms of psychopathology. A meta-analysis concluded that the evidence was still too limited for ACT to be considered a supported treatment, and raised methodological concerns about the research base.

A review found that ACT was better than placebo and typical treatment for anxiety disorders , depression , and addiction. They also noted that research methodologies had improved since the studies described in the meta-analysis. The number of randomized clinical trials and controlled time series evaluating ACT for a variety of problems is growing.

In , only about 30 such studies were known, [11] but in the number had approximately doubled. ACT, dialectical behavior therapy DBT , functional analytic psychotherapy FAP , mindfulness-based cognitive therapy MBCT and other acceptance- and mindfulness-based approaches are commonly grouped under the name "the third wave of cognitive behavior therapy". The second wave emerged in the s and included cognition in the form of irrational beliefs, dysfunctional attitudes or depressogenic attributions. Rigid ideas about themselves, lack of focus on what is important in their life and struggling to change sensations, feelings or thoughts that are troublesome only serve to create greater distress.

Steven C. Grounded in an empirical, principle-focused approach, the third wave of behavioral and cognitive therapy is particularly sensitive to the context and functions of psychological phenomena, not just their form, and thus tends to emphasize contextual and experiential change strategies in addition to more direct and didactic ones.

These treatments tend to seek the construction of broad, flexible and effective repertoires over an eliminative approach to narrowly defined problems, and to emphasize the relevance of the issues they examine for clinicians as well as clients. The third wave reformulates and synthesizes previous generations of behavioral and cognitive therapy and carries them forward into questions, issues, and domains previously addressed primarily by other traditions, in hopes of improving both understanding and outcomes.

ACT has also been adapted to create a non-therapy version of the same processes called Acceptance and Commitment Training. This training process, oriented towards the development of mindfulness, acceptance, and valued skills in non-clinical settings such as businesses or schools, has also been investigated in a handful of research studies with good preliminary results.

The emphasis of ACT on ongoing present moment awareness , valued directions and committed action is similar to other psycho-therapeutic approaches that, unlike ACT, are not as focused on outcome research or consciously linked to a basic behavioral science program, including approaches such as Gestalt therapy , Morita therapy and Voice Dialogue, IFS and others.

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Both approaches endorse acceptance as an alternative to unproductive control. ACT emphasizes the hopelessness of relying on ineffectual strategies to control private experience, similarly the step approach emphasizes the acceptance of powerlessness over addiction. Both approaches encourage a broad life-reorientation, rather than a narrow focus on the elimination of substance use, and both place great value on the long-term project of building of a meaningful life aligned with the clients' values.

ACT and step both encourage the pragmatic utility of cultivating a transcendent sense of self higher power within an unconventional, individualized spirituality.


Finally they both openly accept the paradox that acceptance is a necessary condition for change and both encourage a playful awareness of the limitations of human thinking. Some published empirical studies in clinical psychology have argued that ACT is not different from other interventions. Several concerns, both theoretical and empirical, have arisen in response to the ascendancy of ACT. One major theoretical concern is that the primary authors of ACT and of the corresponding theories of human behavior, relational frame theory RFT and functional contextualism FC , recommend their approach as the proverbial holy grail of psychological therapies.

Coyne , in a discussion of "disappointments and embarrassments in the branding of psychotherapies as evidence supported", said: "Whether or not ACT is more efficacious than other therapies, as its proponents sometimes claim, or whether it is efficacious for psychosis, is debatable".

Psychologist Jonathan W. Kanter said that Hayes and colleagues "argue that empirical clinical psychology is hampered in its efforts to alleviate human suffering and present contextual behavioral science CBS to address the basic philosophical, theoretical and methodological shortcomings of the field. This analysis however is limited by the highly heterogeneous nature of the outcome variables used in the analysis, which has the tendency to increase the number needed to treat NNT to replicate the effect size reported.

More limited measures, such as depression, anxiety and quality of life decrease the NNT, making the analysis more clinically relevant, and on these measures ACT did not outperform CBT. A paper comparing ACT to cognitive therapy CT concluded that "like CT, ACT cannot yet make strong claims that its unique and theory-driven intervention components are active ingredients in its effects.

As of it had over 7, members worldwide, about half outside of the United States.

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  4. It holds annual "world conference" meetings: The 16th will be held in Montreal, in July ABAI serves as the core intellectual home for behavior analysts. The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies ABCT also has an interest group in behavior analysis , which focuses on clinical behavior analysis. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Counseling form developed by Steven Hayes in Mindfulness Mindfulness-based stress reduction Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy Acceptance and commitment therapy.

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    Buddhism and psychology Mindful yoga. Similar concepts. International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy.