ACT in the Treatment of Depression

ACT in the Treatment of Depression

It is based on relational frame theory (language & cognition)
– the psychologists (including Steve Hayes) reviewed Skinner & rule-governed behaviour & inner self-talk
– they also reviewed CBT
– “cognitive distancing” was an earlier form of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy
– research shows it was as effective as CBT in the treatment of depression
– defusion techniques distinguish ACT from CBT & has been found to be highly effective
– they note ACT is increasingly being used by mental health professionals, particularly in Australia
– CBT is still considered the gold standard for treatment of depression

Use of ACT in the treatment of depression:
– notes that the Hexaflex should be used
– behavioural activation is critical in the treatment of depression
– re-activate behaviours that are values-consistent (I.e. important to you)
– honing in on valued action (what behaviours the individual values & is not engaging in)
– re-framing current activities so that they align with personal values (ensuring they re not over-looked – recognise what you are doing some & adding to it
– ACT techniques of “acceptance” (of things that cannot be changed) & “defusion” (not engaging in ongoing negative & judgmental thoughts, feelings & behaviours)
– defusion from the life story
– ACT is about developing psychological flexibility (measured by the Acceptance & Questioning Questionnaire) & reducing psychological inflexibility

Resource: Mindfulness & Acceptance Workbook for Depression (Throssel & Robinson) New Harbinger (includes exercises & homework)

[process measures | measurement | measures of therapeutic alliance]

Source: CBT Radio | CBT WNC podcast date – 3 December 2010


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