Assessing the valuing process in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Experts' review of the current status and recommendations for future measure development (Pages 225-233)

Volume 12, April 2019, Pages 225-233

Jennifer L. Barney, Jason Lillis, Ann F. Haynos, Evan Forman, Adrienne S. Juarascio

Within Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), personal values provide the foundational framework of the therapeutic process and are considered necessary to facilitate targeted behavioral movement and a more vital, meaningful life. Considering the proposed nature of values as a core mechanism of change in this way, a thorough understanding of the therapeutic valuing process through which targeted changes occur is essential to evaluate the true efficacy of the ACT model empirically and implement it most effectively. However, to date, development of measurement tools for this purpose is limited and those that do exist are often inconsistent in their targeted constructs. The current study collected in-depth, descriptive data from ACT experts to critically examine how the valuing process in ACT is currently defined and measured and make recommendations for future measure development. 11 experts participated in semi-structured interviews and responded to topic guided questions. Thematic analyses of experts’ responses were then conducted, and eight core themes were identified. Findings denoted that experts’ definitions of the valuing process and its core components are largely consistent with theoretical conceptualization of ACT but that no measurement tool to date provides a complete and adequate assessment of this process. Experts expressed the need for measures capable of assessing essential contextual aspects of the valuing process and gaining a more proximal evaluation of values-consistent behaviors and experiential momentary awareness. The current study provides insight into critical areas for improvement and provides recommendations for future measure development for the empirical assessment of the valuing process in ACT which is crucial for evaluating the role of values work as a therapeutic mechanism of action.

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