Acceptance and commitment training focused on repetitive negative thinking for clinical psychology trainees: A randomized controlled trial (Pages 81-88)

Volume 12, April 2019, Pages 81-88

Iduar Dereix-Calonge, Francisco J. Ruiz, Marco A. Sierra, Andrés Peña-Vargas, Eduar S. Ramírez


This parallel randomized controlled trial evaluated the effect of Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) focused on disrupting repetitive negative thinking (RNT) versus a waitlist control (WLC) in clinical psychology trainees. Ninety-four undergraduate, clinical psychology trainees of a Colombian university were invited to participate in the study. Eighty-five trainees agreed to participate and were allocated by means of simple randomization to a group, 6-session RNT-focused ACT intervention or the WLC. The ACT training was based on an online program for emotional disorders. The primary outcomes were measures of emotional symptoms and valued living, whereas process measures were RNT-related measures. All participants completed the study. At posttreatment, repeated measures ANOVA showed that the training was efficacious in reducing emotional symptoms (d = 0.75), depression (d = 0.79), the frequency of behaviors obstructing valued living (d = 0.51), RNT focused on clinical practice (d = 0.89), and general RNT (d = 0.62). Larger effect sizes were obtained by participants showing high levels of emotional symptoms (d = 0.75–2.52), with 73.33% of participants obtaining a reliable change in emotional symptoms, and 66.67% a clinically significant change versus 7.14% for both indicators in the WLC condition. The training effects were longitudinally mediated by the reduction of RNT focused on clinical practice at two-thirds of the program. An easy-to-implement RNT-focused ACT training is effective in reducing emotional symptoms and promoting valued living in clinical psychology trainees.

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