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Utah State University

Psychology Faculty Publications

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

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Starting Off On The Right Foot In Acceptance And Commitment Therapy, Michael P. Twohig, Clarissa W. Ong, Jennifer Krafft, Jennifer L. Barney, Michael E. Levin Jan 2019

Starting Off On The Right Foot In Acceptance And Commitment Therapy, Michael P. Twohig, Clarissa W. Ong, Jennifer Krafft, Jennifer L. Barney, Michael E. Levin

Psychology Faculty Publications

This paper describes the initial phase of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). The paper begins with a review of ACT’s theoretical orientation. Basic empirical support for ACT and its model is covered. A case description follows that highlights the initial phases of ACT. The paper concludes with practical recommendations for starting therapy using ACT.

Clinical impact statement:

Question: The goal of this paper is to present the manner in which ACT is initiated. Findings: There are specific theoretical elements of ACT that suggest certain approaches be taken at the beginning of therapy. Meaning: Before starting ACT with a new ...


Evaluating The Open And Engaged Components Of Acceptance And Commitment Therapy In An Online Self-Guided Website: Results From A Pilot Trial, Julie M. Petersen, Jennifer Krafft, Michael P. Twohig, Michael E. Levin Jan 2019

Evaluating The Open And Engaged Components Of Acceptance And Commitment Therapy In An Online Self-Guided Website: Results From A Pilot Trial, Julie M. Petersen, Jennifer Krafft, Michael P. Twohig, Michael E. Levin

Psychology Faculty Publications

Online acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is promising for treating a range of psychological problems. Component research can further clarify which components are needed for optimal outcomes in what contexts. Online platforms provide a highly controlled format for such research. In this pilot trial, 55 adults were randomized to: ACT-Open (i.e., acceptance, defusion components), ACT-Engaged (i.e., values, committed action), or ACT-Combined (i.e., acceptance, defusion, values, committed action). Each condition was 12 sessions over six weeks, with assessments at baseline, posttreatment, and four-week follow-up. ACT-Open, ACT-Engaged, and ACT-Combined all significantly improved from pre- to post-treatment on mental health ...


An Examination Of The Transdiagnostic Role Of Delay Discounting In Psychological Inflexibility And Mental Health Problems, Michael Levin, Jack Haeger, Clarissa W. Ong, Michael P. Twohig Jan 2018

An Examination Of The Transdiagnostic Role Of Delay Discounting In Psychological Inflexibility And Mental Health Problems, Michael Levin, Jack Haeger, Clarissa W. Ong, Michael P. Twohig

Psychology Faculty Publications

Delay discounting is a basic behavioral process that has been found to predict addictive behaviors, and more recently, other mental health problems. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), is a transdiagnostic treatment that appears to alter delay discounting, possibly through reducing psychological inflexibility. The current study sought to further bridge research on delay discounting and ACT by examining the relation of delay discounting to a broad range of selfreported mental health problems and measures of psychological inflexibility. A cross sectional online survey was conducted with 389 college students. Small negative correlations ranging between .09 and .15 were statistically significant between delay ...


Delivering Acceptance And Commitment Therapy For Weight Self-Stigma Through Guided Self-Help: Results From An Open Pilot Trial, Michael E. Levin, Sarah Potts, Jack Haeger, Jason Lillis Mar 2017

Delivering Acceptance And Commitment Therapy For Weight Self-Stigma Through Guided Self-Help: Results From An Open Pilot Trial, Michael E. Levin, Sarah Potts, Jack Haeger, Jason Lillis

Psychology Faculty Publications

Weight self-stigma is a promising target for innovative interventions seeking to improve outcomes among overweight/obese individuals. Preliminary research suggests acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) may be an effective approach for reducing weight self-stigma, but a guided self-help version of this intervention may improve broad dissemination. This pilot open trial sought to evaluate the potential acceptability and efficacy of a guided self-help ACT intervention, included coaching and a self-help book, with a sample of 13 overweight/obese individuals high in weight self-stigma. Results indicated a high degree of program engagement (77% completed the intervention) and satisfaction. Participants improved on outcomes ...


Perspectives On The Use Of Acceptance And Commitment Therapy Related Mobile Apps: Results From A Survey Of Students And Professionals, Benjamin Pierce, Michael P. Twohig, Michael E. Levin Jan 2016

Perspectives On The Use Of Acceptance And Commitment Therapy Related Mobile Apps: Results From A Survey Of Students And Professionals, Benjamin Pierce, Michael P. Twohig, Michael E. Levin

Psychology Faculty Publications

Although mobile apps have proliferated as self-help or adjunctive therapy supports, scant research has explored their implementation among mental health practitioners. Little is known about uses and perceptions of mental health apps among applied practitioners, nor are agreed-upon criteria for evaluating and choosing apps available. The present survey study examined the uses and perceptions of mental health apps among 356 professionals and students familiar with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), as indicated by being a member of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. The survey found that practitioners are interested in using ACT-related apps, but that use of and familiarity ...


Web-Based Acceptance And Commitment Therapy For Mental Health Problems In College Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Michael E. Levin, Jack A. Haeger, Benjamin Pierce, Michael P. Twohig Jan 2016

Web-Based Acceptance And Commitment Therapy For Mental Health Problems In College Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Michael E. Levin, Jack A. Haeger, Benjamin Pierce, Michael P. Twohig

Psychology Faculty Publications

There are significant challenges in addressing the mental health needs of college students. The current study tested an acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) web-based self-help program to treat a broad range of psychological problems students struggle with. A sample of 79 college students were randomized to web-based ACT or a waitlist condition, with assessments at baseline and posttreatment. Results indicated adequate acceptability and program engagement for the ACT website. Relative to waitlist, participants receiving ACT improved on overall distress, general anxiety, social anxiety, depression, academic concerns, and positive mental health. There were no between group effects on eating concerns, alcohol ...


Web-Based Self-Help For Preventing Mental Health Problems In Universities: Comparing Acceptance And Commitment Training To Mental Health Education, Michael E. Levin, Steven C. Hayes, Jacqueline Pistorello, John R. Seeley Jan 2016

Web-Based Self-Help For Preventing Mental Health Problems In Universities: Comparing Acceptance And Commitment Training To Mental Health Education, Michael E. Levin, Steven C. Hayes, Jacqueline Pistorello, John R. Seeley

Psychology Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Examining The Role Of Psychological Inflexibility, Perspective Taking And Empathic Concern In Generalized Prejudice, Michael E. Levin, Jason B. Luoma, Roger Vilardaga, Jason Lillis, Richard Nobles, Steven C. Hayes Jan 2016

Examining The Role Of Psychological Inflexibility, Perspective Taking And Empathic Concern In Generalized Prejudice, Michael E. Levin, Jason B. Luoma, Roger Vilardaga, Jason Lillis, Richard Nobles, Steven C. Hayes

Psychology Faculty Publications

Research to-date on generalized prejudice has focused primarily on personality factors. Further work is needed identifying manipulable variables that directly inform anti-prejudice interventions. The current study examined three such variables: empathic concern, perspective taking, and psychological inflexibility/flexibility with prejudiced thoughts, as a test of the flexible connectedness model. A sample of 604 undergraduate students completed online surveys. A model indicated prejudice measures loaded onto a latent variable of generalized prejudice. In a second model, psychological inflexibility, flexibility, empathic concern and perspective taking were all significant, independent predictors of generalized prejudice. Psychological inflexibility also predicted prejudice above and beyond personality ...


An Initial Meta-Analysis Of Acceptance And Commitment Therapy For Treating Substance Use Disorders, Eric B. Lee, Woolee An, Michael E. Levin, Michael P. Twohig Oct 2015

An Initial Meta-Analysis Of Acceptance And Commitment Therapy For Treating Substance Use Disorders, Eric B. Lee, Woolee An, Michael E. Levin, Michael P. Twohig

Psychology Faculty Publications

Background: In the past decade, multiple studies have examined the effectiveness ofAcceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for substance use disorders relative to other active treatments. The current meta-analysis examined the aggregate effect size when comparing ACT to other treatments (e.g., CBT, pharmacotherapy, 12-step,treatment as usual) specifically on substance use outcomes. Method: A total of 10 randomized controlled trials were identified through systematic searches. Results: A significant small to medium effect size was found favoring ACT relative to active treatment comparisons following treatment. Effect sizes were comparable across studies for smoking cessation (k = 5) and for other drug use ...


Feasibility Of An Acceptance And Commitment Therapy Adjunctive Web-Based Program For Counseling Centers, Michael E. Levin, Jacqueline Pistorello, Steven C. Hayes, John R. Seeley, Crissa Levin Jan 2015

Feasibility Of An Acceptance And Commitment Therapy Adjunctive Web-Based Program For Counseling Centers, Michael E. Levin, Jacqueline Pistorello, Steven C. Hayes, John R. Seeley, Crissa Levin

Psychology Faculty Publications

Web-based adjunctive tools provide a promising method for addressing the challenges college counseling centers face in meeting the mental health needs of students. The current study tested an initial adjunctive prototype based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in a pre-post open trial with 30 counselors and 82 student clients across 4 counseling centers. Results indicated high ratings of program satisfaction and usability with counselors and students. The majority of students completed at least part of the program. Significant improvements were found across almost all outcome and ACT process measures with student clients. Improvements in student outcomes were predicted by ...


Decoupling As A Mechanism Of Change In Mindfulness And Acceptance: A Literature Review, Michael E. Levin, Jason B. Luoma, Jack A. Haeger Jan 2015

Decoupling As A Mechanism Of Change In Mindfulness And Acceptance: A Literature Review, Michael E. Levin, Jason B. Luoma, Jack A. Haeger

Psychology Faculty Publications

A growing body of research within the acceptance and mindfulness-based therapies suggests these treatments may function in part by reducing or eliminating (i.e., decoupling) the normative relationships between internal experiences and other internal/overt behavior. Examples of decoupling effects found in this review include reduced relationships between urges to smoke and smoking behavior, between dysphoric mood and depressive cognitions, and between pain intensity and persistence in a painful task. A literature review identified 44 studies on acceptance and mindfulness that demonstrated decoupling effects. Overall, preliminary evidence for decoupling effects were found across a broad range of problem areas including ...


Examining Psychological Inflexibility As A Transdiagnostic Process Across Psychological Disorders, Michael E. Levin, Chelsea Maclane, Susan Daflos, John R. Seeley, Steven C. Hayes, Anthony Biglan, Jacqueline Pistorello Jan 2014

Examining Psychological Inflexibility As A Transdiagnostic Process Across Psychological Disorders, Michael E. Levin, Chelsea Maclane, Susan Daflos, John R. Seeley, Steven C. Hayes, Anthony Biglan, Jacqueline Pistorello

Psychology Faculty Publications

The current cross-sectional study examined psychological inflexibility, a process in which behavior is rigidly guided by psychological reactions rather than direct contingencies or personal values, as a transdiagnostic process relevant to a range of depressive, anxiety, substance use and eating disorders. A sample of 972 first-year college students between 17 and 20 years of age completed self-report measures of psychological inflexibility and psychological distress as well as a structured diagnostic interview. Psychological inflexibility was significantly higher across a range of current and lifetime depressive and anxiety disorders as well as lifetime history of eating disorders, relative to students with no ...


Feasibility Of A Prototype Web-Based Acceptance And Commitment Therapy Prevention Program For College Students, Michael E. Levin, Jacqueline Pistorello, John R. Seeley, Steven C. Hayes Jan 2014

Feasibility Of A Prototype Web-Based Acceptance And Commitment Therapy Prevention Program For College Students, Michael E. Levin, Jacqueline Pistorello, John R. Seeley, Steven C. Hayes

Psychology Faculty Publications

Objective: This study examined the feasibility of a prototype web-based Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) program for preventing mental health problems among college students. Participants: Undergraduate first-year students (n = 76) participated between May and November 2011. Methods: Participants were randomized to ACT or a waitlist with assessments conducted at baseline, post and 3-week follow-up. Waitlist participants accessed the program after the second assessment. Results: Program usability/usage data indicated high program acceptability. Significant improvements were found for ACT knowledge, education values and depression with ACT relative to waitlist. Subgroup analyses indicated ACT decreased depression and anxiety relative to waitlist among ...