International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 12 Num. 3 - October 2012


A Review of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with Anxiety Disorders

Volume 12 Num. 3 - October 2012 - Pages 359-372


Katie Sharp


Anxiety disorders are the most widespread cause of distress among individuals seeking treatment from mental health services in the United States. However, despite the prevalence of research on effective therapeutic interventions and their promising outcomes, significant shortcomings remain. In response to these drawbacks, a novel treatment, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), was developed in an attempt to reformulate the conceptualization and treatment of anxiety disorders. The new treatment takes advantage of the power of exposure therapies while simultaneously addressing issues of comorbidity, fear, and avoidance related to them, as well as emphasizing the commitment to clients? chosen values. Although the research base is small, a review of the current literature supports the notion that the ACT model of anxiety may be appropriate for conceptualizing and subsequently treating these disorders.

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