Improving therapist psychological flexibility while training Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: A pilot study

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APA Citation: 

Luoma, J. B. & Vilardaga, J. P. (2013). Improving therapist psychological flexibility while training Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: A pilot study. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 42, 1–8.

Publication Topic: 
ACT: Empirical
Publication Type: 
Article
Language: 
English
Abstract: 

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) training often includes experiential elements aimed at improving therapist psychological flexibility, yet the effects of ACT training on therapist psychological flexibility have yet to be evaluated. This pilot study examines the effects of experiential phone consultation as an adjunct to a standard continuing education workshop on psychological flexibility and burnout among therapists learning ACT. In this study, counselors taking a 2-day ACT workshop were randomly assigned to either six 30-min phone consultation sessions (n = 10) or no additional contact (n = 10). The results show that those in the consultation condition reported higher psychological flexibility at the 3-month follow-up compared to the workshop-only condition. Improvements in ACT knowledge, overall burnout, and personal accomplishment were found in both groups, independent of whether they received phone consultation, and this increase was maintained over time. In conclusion, ACT phone consultation contributed to counselor psychological flexibility above the workshop alone and appears to be feasible as a means to improve counselor psychological flexibility.

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