Ossman, Wilson, Storaasli, & McNeill, 2006

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APA Citation: 

Ossman, W. A., Wilson, K. G., Storaasli, R. D., & McNeill, J. W. (2006). A Preliminary Investigation of the Use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in Group Treatment for Social Phobia. International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy, 6, 397-416.

Publication Topic: 
ACT: Empirical
Publication Type: 
ACT, group, social phobia

The present study examined the impact of a group treatment protocol based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) that was tailored toward the avoidant behaviors and life problems typical for socially anxious persons. Twenty-two participants enrolled in the group treatment, which consisted of 10 sessions. Twelve participants completed treatment. Post-treatment and follow-up data revealed significant decreases on the social phobia and experiential avoidance measures (follow-up effect sizes: 0.83 and 1.71, respectively). Completers’ ratings of effectiveness in living, specifically pertaining to social relationships, significantly increased at follow-up. Symptoms decreased despite their not being a treatment target. This suggests that decreased symptoms may result from an increased willingness to both experience aversive emotions, and engage in social behaviors that are consistent with what the participants valued, but previously avoided. Despite its exploratory nature and limitations, the study provides a basis for further application of ACT in this population.

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