Using acceptance and commitment therapy to increase self-compassion: A randomized controlled trial

Author(s):
James E. Yadavaia, Steven C. Hayes, Roger Vilardaga

Abstract:
Self-compassion has been shown to be related to several types of psychopathology, including traumatic stress, and has been shown to improve in response to various kinds of interventions. Current conceptualizations of self-compassion fit well with the psychological flexibility model, which underlies acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). However, there has been no research on ACT interventions specifically aimed at self-compassion. This randomized trial therefore compared a 6 hour ACT-based workshop targeting self-compassion to a wait-list control. From pretreatment to 2-month follow-up, ACT was significantly superior to the control condition in self-compassion, general psychological distress, and anxiety. Process analyses revealed psychological flexibility to be a significant mediator of changes in self-compassion, general psychological distress, depression, anxiety, and stress. Exploratory moderation analyses revealed the intervention to be of more benefit in terms of depression, anxiety, and stress to those with greater trauma history.

This article is restricted to ACBS members. Please join or login with your ACBS account.