Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: New Wave or Morita Therapy?

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APA Citation: 

Hofmann, S. G. (2008). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: New Wave or Morita Therapy? Clinical Psychology: Science & Practice, 15, 280-285.

Publication Topic: 
ACT: Conceptual
Other Third-Wave Therapies: Conceptual
Publication Type: 
acceptance and commitment therapy, anxiety disorders, cognitive behavioral therapy, mediation, treatment mechanisms

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is an approach to treatment that includes potentially useful strategies. Some proponents of ACT view it as part of a third wave movement destined to replace cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as the dominant form of psychological therapy. This perception is problematic, because the criticism offered by ACT against CBT is based on a misrepresentation of the empirical evidence. Moreover, the strategies of ACT are not specific to the theory and philosophy underlying ACT. There are considerable similarities between ACT and Eastern holistic approaches, such as Morita therapy, which was developed 80 years ago. Future research on the mechanism of treatment change directly comparing CBT and ACT will help solve many of the current controversies. The term third wave in connection with ACT should be avoided.

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