Chapter

Acceptance and Mindfulness-Based Approaches to Anxiety

Part of the series Series in Anxiety and Related Disorders pp 3-35

Acceptance-Based Behavioral Therapies for Anxiety

Using Acceptance and Mindfulness to Enhance Traditional Cognitive-Behavioral Approaches
  • Susan M. OrsilloAffiliated withSuffolk University
  • , Lizabeth RoemerAffiliated withUniversity of Massachusetts
  • , Darren W. HolowkaAffiliated withUniversity of Massachusetts

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Abstract

The ubiquity of anxiety to the human existence is obvious in the poetry, philosophical essays, religious tomes, and clinical/empirical literature of our society. From the standpoint of existential philosophy, anxiety is seen as a natural, multifaceted response to both the freedom and the responsibility associated with making daily choices about how to live one’s life. However, from a traditional mental health perspective, the universally human experience of anxiety can prompt a cascade of responses that signal the presence of a psychological disorder. Specifically, significant distress may emerge as a secondary response to fear and anxiety and impairment in important domains of life functioning can occur as an individual attempts to avoid situations that elicit fear and anxiety.