Thursday, November 05, 2009

Acceptance and commitment therapy and eating disorders

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a new approach that combines traditional cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) with an emphasis on mindfulness (non-judgemental living in the present) and an acceptance of events and factors that cannot be changed. ACT differs from CBT in that while CBT seeks to modify people's beliefs about events ACT encourages people to accept their feelings about what has happened but not to let these feelings about what has happened but not to let them interfere with their behaviour or stop them from reaching their goals. Researchers from Dartmouth Medical School in New Hampshire, the University of California, San Diego and the University of Minnesota tried using ACT on three patients who already had a history of intensive treatment for their condition. After 17-19 weeks of twice-weekly treatments with ACT all the women experienced a clinically-significant improvement on at least some measures and none of them had go worse or lost weight even after a year.

Berman, M.I., Boutelle, K.N. and Crow, S. J. - A case series investigating Acceptance and Commitment Therapy as a treatment for previously treated, unremitted patients with anorexia nervosa European Eating Disorders Review November-December 2009, 17(6), 426-434

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