Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for adults who stutter: Psychosocial adjustment and speech fluency

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APA Citation: 

Beilby, J. M., Byrnes, M. L., & Yaruss, J. S. (2012). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for adults who stutter: Psychosocial adjustment and speech fluency. Journal of Fluency Disorders, 37(4), 289-299. doi:10.1016/j.jfludis.2012.05.003

Publication Topic: 
ACT: Empirical
Publication Type: 
Article
Language: 
English
Keyword(s): 
Stuttering; Adults; Readiness for change; Psychological flexibility; Psychosocial functioning
Abstract: 

The aim of the present study was to assess the effectiveness of an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy group intervention program for adults who stutter (N = 20). The program consisted of 2-h therapeutic sessions conducted weekly for eight consecutive weeks. It was an integrated program designed to improve: (a) psychosocial functioning, (b) readiness for therapy and change, (c) utilisation of mindfulness skills and psychological flexibility, and (d) frequency of stuttering. The findings provide innovative evidence for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as an effective intervention with statistically significant improvements in psychosocial functioning, preparation for change and therapy, utilisation of mindfulness skills, and overall speech fluency. Follow-up data collected at three months post-treatment revealed that therapeutic gains were successfully maintained over time. These findings enhance the understanding of the impact of stuttering on psychological wellbeing and offer a new perspective on what might constitute successful stuttering treatment. Further, clinical research support is provided for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy delivered in a group format as a promising and novel intervention for adults who stutter.