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Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)

ACT teaches patients strategies that can improve psychological flexibility (ie, healthy adaptation to life challenges), including skills in acceptance, mindfulness, and behavioral change.1 This therapy helps patients engage in meaningful life experiences, such as relationships and personal growth, even when experiencing negative thoughts or feelings.1 It is not specific to any particular medical condition or disorder.1 Research on ACT has found that it can be effective when used as a brief intervention (eg, a 1-day workshop lasting for 4–6 hours) or in longer formats lasting several weeks or months.1,2
Description: ACT teaches patients strategies that can improve psychological flexibility (ie, healthy adaptation to life challenges), including skills in acceptance, mindfulness, and behavioral change.1 This therapy helps patients engage in meaningful life experiences, such as relationships and personal growth, even when experiencing negative thoughts or feelings.1 It is not specific to any particular medical condition or disorder.1 Research on ACT has found that it can be effective when used as a brief intervention (eg, a 1-day workshop lasting for 4–6 hours) or in longer formats lasting several weeks or months.1,2
Potentially effective for the following mental health concerns: Depressive disorders, Psychotic symptoms
Potentially effective in the following age groups: Adult
Treatment setting options: Individual, Group
Treatment format options: In-person, Online
Typical treatment duration: < 10 sessions, 10-20 sessions
Potential limitations: ACT can be difficult for therapists to implement correctly.2 ACT is similar to cognitive behavioral therapy, but there are conflicts between the two types of practices as to which is more effective, highlighting gaps in both approaches.4

Footnotes:

Supporting references for the filters are as follows:

Potentially effective for the following mental health concerns: Depressive disorders1, Psychotic symptoms1; Potentially effective in the following age groups: Adult3; Treatment setting options: Individual2, Group1; Treatment format options: In-person2, Online3; Typical treatment duration: < 10 sessions1, 10–20 sessions2

References:

  1. Dindo, L et al. Neurotherapeutics. 2017;14(3):546-553.
  2. Twohig, MP et al. Psychotherapy (Chic). 2019;56(1):16-20.
  3. Kelson, J et al. J Med Internet Res. 2019;21(1):e12530.
  4. Gaudiano, BA. Int J Behav Consult Ther. 2011;7(1):54-65.

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