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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/612

Title: Acceptance and commitment therapy for generalized social anxiety disorder: a pilot study
Authors: Dalrymple, Kristy L.
Keywords: Clinical psychology;Social phobia;Social phobia--Treatment
Issue Date: 15-Dec-2005
Abstract: Despite the demonstrated efficacy of cognitive-behavior therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), many individuals do not respond to treatment or demonstrate residual symptoms and impairment after treatment. Preliminary evidence indicates that incorporating mindfulness and acceptance techniques within traditional behavior therapy, through psychotherapy programs such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), can be helpful for a variety of disorders. Only one study to date has been conducted on ACT for public speaking anxiety in a college sample, which showed promising results. We examined the efficacy of ACT in individuals diagnosed with SAD in a pilot study. Participants received 12 weekly individual sessions of ACT for SAD. The treatment incorporated mindfulness and acceptance techniques within a standard exposure-based intervention protocol for SAD. Multi-modal assessments were conducted using standardized measures at pre-treatment, mid-treatment, and post-treatment. Self-reported baseline assessments were also included to control for threats to internal validity; results showed no change in symptoms from baseline to pre-treatment. Results showed significant pre- to post-treatment improvement in self-reported and clinician-rated social anxiety symptoms and observer-rated social skills, as well as significant improvement on ACT-specific measures of willingness, experiential avoidance, and valued action. Large effect size gains were found in social anxiety symptoms and quality of life, and were comparable to those of other studies examining the efficacy of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for SAD. Furthermore, 37.5% of participants met criteria for reliable and clinically significant change, and change in quality of life and experiential avoidance were significantly associated with treatment outcome. Results from the present study suggest the potential efficacy of ACT for SAD and highlight the need for future research utilizing larger samples and directly comparing ACT to CBT.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/612
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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