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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

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Synonyms

ACT (pronounced as one word rather than as individual letters (e.g., “ACT” not “A-C-T”))

Definition

Acceptance and commitment therapy is a third-wave behavioral psychotherapy based on relational frame theory (RFT), a comprehensive behavioral account of language and cognition, whose primary treatment goal is to increase psychological flexibility.

Description

Relational Frame Theory

A comprehensive account of language and cognition from a behavior analytic perspective has emerged: RFT [6]. Several dozen studies have tested the tenants of the theory (see [6] for a comprehensive review), which in brief claims that human beings learn at an early age to derive bidirectional relations among events in certain contexts and to alter the functions of events due to these relations. For example, a young child may learn that “cat” is the same as “C-A-T” and a small furry animal. With these two trained relations, (a) all bidirectional relations among these three events will probably be...

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-0-387-79061-9_3142
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References

  1. Berlin, K. S., Sato, A. F., Jastrowski, K. E., Woods, D. W., & Davies, W. H. (2006, November). Effects of experiential avoidance on parenting practices and adolescent outcomes. Paper presented at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Annual Convention, Chicago.

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  2. Blackledge, J. T., & Hayes, S. C. (2006). Using acceptance and commitment training in the support of parents of children diagnosed with autism. Child & Family Behavior Therapy, 28(1), 1–18.

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  3. Cheron, D. M. (2006, November). Assessing parental experiential avoidance: Preliminary psychometric data from the Parental Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (PAAQ). In panel discussion, “Experiential Avoidance and Mindfulness in Parenting,” Cheron, D. M., & Ehrenreich, J. T. (Moderators). Presented at the 40th Annual Convention of the Association for Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies, Chicago.

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  4. Greco, L. A., & Hayes, S. C. (Eds.). (2008). Acceptance and mindfulness treatments for children and adolescents: A practitioners guide. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

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  5. Greco, L. A., Lambert, W., & Baer, R. A. (2008). Psychological inflexibility in childhood and adolescence: Development and evaluation of the avoidance and fusion questionnaire for youth. Psychological Assessment, 20(2), 93–102.

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  7. Hayes, S. C., Luoma, J., Bond, F., Masuda, A., & Lillis, J. (2006). Acceptance and commitment therapy: Model, processes, and outcomes. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 44, 1–25.

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  8. Hayes, S. C., & Strosahl, K. D. (Eds.). (2004). A practical guide to acceptance and commitment therapy. New York: Springer.

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  9. Hayes, S. C., Strosahl, K. D., & Wilson, K. G. (1999). Acceptance and commitment therapy: An experiential approach to behavior change. New York: Guilford Press.

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  10. Hayes, S. C., Wilson, K. W., Gifford, E. V., Follette, V. M., & Strosahl, K. (1996). Emotional avoidance and behavioral disorders: A functional dimensional approach to diagnosis and treatment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64, 1152–1168.

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  12. Wicksell, R. K., Melin, L., Lekander, M., & Olsson, G. L. (2009). Evaluating the effectiveness of exposure and acceptance strategies to improve functioning and quality of life in longstanding pediatric pain – a randomized controlled trial. Pain, 141(3), 248–257.

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Suggested Readings

  • Greco, L. A., & Hayes, S. C. (Eds.). (2008). Acceptance and mindfulness treatments for children and adolescents: A practitioners guide. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hayes, S. C., Strosahl, K. D., & Wilson, K. G. (1999). Acceptance and commitment therapy: An experiential approach to behavior change. New York: Guilford Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hayes, S. C., & Strosahl, K. D. (Eds.). (2004). A practical guide to acceptance and commitment therapy. New York: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

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Codd III, R.T., Hayes, S.C. (2011). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. In: Goldstein, S., Naglieri, J.A. (eds) Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-79061-9_3142

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