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The relationship between three ACT core processes of change, PTSD, and depressive symptoms (Pages 178-182)

Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science (JCBS)

Volume 16, April 2020, Pages 178-182


Peter P. Grau, James E. McDonald, Michael N. Clark, Chad T.Wetterneck


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) targets six core processes of change including acceptance/experiential avoidance/, mindfulness/lack of contact with the present moment, committed action/inaction, cognitive defusion/fusion, self-as-context/self-as-content, and values clarification/values problems (Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 1999). Previous researchers suggested that targeting experiential avoidance, cognitive fusion, and valued living may assist with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment (Donahue, Khan, Huggins, & Marrow, 2017; Walser & Hayes, 2006), yet few researchers have investigated these ACT core processes in a PTSD treatment-seeking sample. Therefore, we sought to investigate the relationship between these three ACT core processes, quality of life, PTSD symptom severity, and depression symptoms. Results indicated that experiential avoidance was most strongly related to PTSD symptom severity and depression, though it was not related to quality of life. In contrast, valued living was not significantly related to PTSD symptom severity or depression and was related only to quality of life. Overall, experiential avoidance and valued living appear to be especially relevant ACT processes in a sample of people reporting elevated levels of PTSD symptoms.

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