International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 13 Num. 3 - October 2013


Application of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) with men serving sentences for abuse. A pilot study

Volume 13 Num. 3 - October 2013 - Pages 289-305


Lorena Sahag?n Flores , Carlos Francisco Salgado Pascual


The aim of the study was the implementation of a protocol based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) combined with formal strategies of Mindfulness, to a sample of 18 men convicted of domestic violence and serving time in a prison of Autonomous Community of Castilla y Le?n. The intervention protocol consisted on two individual sessions in which the work was focussed on value areas of the participants, and twelve more sessions, in which the work was aimed to encouraging actions related to what is important to participants and training strategies addressed to their acceptance of thoughts and feelings related to violent behaviour. There were changes in the AAQ II, Plutchik Impulsivity Scale, the Register of Discomfort and Action, as well as changes in the subjective impression of civil servants about the behavior and activity level of the participants. Although the randomization of the sample was not possible, the results showed the expected outcome. On one hand, there was a reduction on the level of avoidance and impulsivity in the experimental group compared to the control group and, on the other hand, civil servants in the prison reported behavioral progress in the same direction, though not significant. The discussion is focussed on assessing whether the functional contextual interventions with offenders (focused on the significant behavior for the person, rather than changing the content of their sexist cognitions) may be an effective alternative to prevent and reduce violent behavior.

Key words:

gender violence, offender, prison, acceptance and commitment therapy, mindfulness

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