The Use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in Treating SAD

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Mixed Anxiety Disorders | Society of Clinical Psychology

The Use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in Treating SAD

2015 Criteria
(Tolin et al. Recommendation) Treatment pending re-evaluation 1998 Criteria
(Chambless et al. EST)

  • Basic premise: ACT is about both acceptance and change.

    Clients are encouraged to let go of the struggle to change unwanted thoughts and emotions; instead focusing on the present moment and acting on what the client values most.

  • Essence of therapy: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a behavioral therapy Relational Frame Theory, aims to change the relationship individuals have with unwanted or feared thoughts, feelings, memories, and physical sensations.

    Acceptance and mindfulness strategies are used to teach clients to decrease avoidance, attachment to cognitions, instead increasing focus on the present and psychological flexibility. Clients learn to clarify their goals and values and to commit to behavioral change strategies.

  • Length: approx. 12 sessions

Editors: Natalie Noel, M.A.; Zac Imel, Ph.D.

Note: The resources provided below are intended to supplement not replace foundational training in mental health treatment and evidence-based practice

Self-help Books

Important Note: The books listed above are empirically-supported in-person treatments. They have not necessarily been evaluated empirically either by themselves or in conjunction with in-person treatment. We list them as a resource for clinicians who assign them as an adjunct to conducting in-person treatment.

Video Demonstrations

  • ACT in Anxiety
  • Accepting Emotions
  • Anger, Compassion, and What It Means To Be Strong | Russell Kolts | TEDxOlympia
  • Chessboard Metaphor
  • Eva Adriana Wilson, MD: The Strong and Healthy Self
  • Finding your passion by inhaling meaninglessness
  • Hank Robb, Ph.D.

    : Being Where You Are and Doing What’s Important

  • Jason Luoma & Jenna LeJeune: The ACT Therapist
  • Jesse Crosby: Psych’d Out! Workshop Series
  • Joe Oliver: Demons on the Boat
  • Joe Oliver: The Unwanted Party Guest
  • Jonathan Bricker: The willingness to crave
  • Leahy, Hayes, & DiGiuseppe: Cognitive Restructuring and Cognitive Defusion Demonstration
  • Learning ACT – Skills and Competencies for Clinicians
  • Matthieu Villatte – Self as Context (Flexible Self)
  • Mental Brakes to Avoid Mental Breaks | Steven Hayes | TEDxDavidsonAcademy
  • Psychological flexibility: How love turns pain into purpose | Steven Hayes | TEDxUniversityofNevada
  • Rich Blonna, Ph.D.: A Brief Introduction to ACT
  • Russ Harris, MD: About ACT in simple terms
  • Struggling with Internal Hijackers? — From Mindi
  • The ACT Matrix 101 Videos by Kevin Polk, Ph.D.
  • The secret to self control | Jonathan Bricker | TEDxRainier
  • Thoughts on the future of ACBS and contextual psychology – 2016 – Steven Hayes & Barbara Gil-Luciano
  • Tom Lavin, MFT, LCADC, ACATA: : New Skills for Living – Experts on using ACT in daily life
  • Tom Lavin, MFT, LCADC, ACATA: : When Life Hurts – Meaning Can Provide Strength and Direction
  • Tom Lavin, MFT, LCADC, ACATA: Live Better Psychoeducation Series

Clinical Trials

  • Randomized clinical trial of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) versus acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) for mixed anxiety disorders (Arch et al.

    , 2012)

  • A randomised controlled trial of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy for generalised anxiety disorder (Avdagic, Morrissey, & Boschen, 2014)
  • Randomized controlled trial of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for social phobia: Outcomes and moderators (Craske et al.

    , 2014)

  • A randomized controlled effectiveness trial of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Cognitive Therapy for anxiety and depression (Forman et al., 2007)
  • Treating treatment-resistant patients with panic disorder and agoraphobia using psychotherapy: A randomized controlled switching trial (Gloster et al.

    , 2015)

  • Mindfulness and Acceptance-Based Group Therapy versus traditional Cognitive Behavioral Group Therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial (Kocovski et al.

    , 2013)

  • Effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy on the decrease of self-focused attention and improving self-efficacy (Mehrdoost, Neshatdoost, & Abedi, 2013)
  • The effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy reducing anxiety and depression in students with social phobia (Molavi et al.

    , 2014)

  • Cognitive mediators of treatment for social anxiety disorder: Comparing acceptance and commitment therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (Niles et al., 2014)
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of ACT for anxiety disorders in a self-help context: Outcomes from a randomized wait-list controlled trial (Ritzert et al.

    , 2016)

  • Acceptance and commitment therapy for generalized anxiety disorder in older adults: A preliminary report (Wetherell et al., 2011)
  • Moderators and non-specific predictors of treatment outcome for anxiety disorders: a comparison of cognitive behavioral therapy to acceptance and commitment therapy (Wolitzky-Taylor et al., 2012)
  • Effect of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy on young people with social anxiety (Yadegari, Hashemiyan, & Abolmaali, 2014)
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) versus systematic desensitization in treatment of mathematics anxiety (Zettle, 2003)

Other Treatment Resources


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