Category: Treatment - ACT

Symposium

Symposium 6 - Acceptance-Based Treatments in the Context of Established Evidence-Based Interventions

Friday, November 17
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom A, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: Acceptance | Clinical Trial | Treatment-ACT

A large literature supports the efficacy of acceptance-based treatments for a range of psychopathology (Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 2012; Öst, 2008). Acceptance-based treatments such as acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) emphasize mindful awareness of one’s present-moment experience, cognitive defusion (i.e., creating distance from one’s thoughts), nonjudgmental acceptance of the full range of one’s psychological experience, and clarification of one’s broad life values, all in support of goal-directed behavior change. Accordingly, acceptance-based treatments aim primarily to improve functioning and quality of life rather than to reduce symptoms. However, many investigations of these treatments in comparison to other evidence-based interventions focus on differential rates of symptom change, an outcome that is underemphasized in acceptance-based theoretical models. A small body of literature suggests that acceptance-based treatments may yield greater improvements in behavior and functioning than on symptoms relative to established evidence-based interventions such as traditional cognitive behavioral therapy (tCBT; Brown et al., 2011; Glassman et al., 2016; Wagener & Zettle, 2011).


The current symposium will showcase three randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that highlight differential effects of acceptance-based treatments in the context of established evidence-based interventions on symptoms, quality of life, and behavior. The studies presented are united in their examination of effects of acceptance-based interventions on a range of outcomes but distinct in target (i.e., social anxiety, depression, and obesity) and evidence-based comparison condition (i.e., tCBT, antidepressant medication, standard behavioral weight loss treatment). Projects presented in the session include: 1) An RCT of ACT versus tCBT for social anxiety disorder that highlights differential effects on symptoms and behavioral performance; 2) An RCT examining incremental benefits of ACT added to antidepressant medication for comorbid social anxiety disorder and depression on symptoms, quality of life, and functioning; 3) An RCT of acceptance-based versus standard behavioral treatment for obesity, noting differential effects on weight loss, behavior, quality of life, and depression. Our discussant will integrate findings and comment upon implications for future treatment outcome research. Results are consistent with the theoretical model behind acceptance-based treatments, indicating that these treatments may produce greater effects on quality of life and behavioral variables than established evidence-based interventions.

Learning Objectives:

Joanna Kaye

Drexel University

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    Michael P. Twohig

    Professor
    Utah State University

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    James Herbert

    Drexel University

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    Evan Forman

    Professor
    Drexel University

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    Kristy Dalrymple

    Rhode Island Hospital/Alpert Medical School of Brown University

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