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Acceptance & Commitment Therapy Is Effective for Anxiety and OCD Disorders

15 Jan

Researchers from Utah State University performed a meta-analysis to examine the impact of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) – a treatment protocol that's a kind of marriage between mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy - on anxiety disorders and OCD spectrum disorders.

The analysis looked at the relationship between psychological flexibility, as measured by versions of the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (AAQ and AAQ-II) and measures of anxiety.

Results showed positive and significant relationships between the AAQ and general measures of anxiety, as well as disorder specific measures. Additionally, all outcome data to date on ACT for anxiety and OCD spectrum disorders were reviewed, as were data on mediation and moderation within ACT.

Preliminary meta-analytic results show that ACT is equally effective as any manual-based protocols such as cognitive behavioral therapy. Future directions and limitations of the research are also discussed.

Citation: Ellen J. Bluett, Kendra J. Homan, Kate L. Morrison, Michael E. Levin, Michael P. Twohig.  Acceptance and commitment therapy for anxiety and OCD spectrum disorders: an empirical review. Journal of Anxiety Disorders. 2014 Aug;28(6):612-24. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2014. 06.008. Epub 2014 Jun 23. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award.