When James Dean's character in Rebel Without a Cause is asked 'What are you rebelling against?' he replies 'What have you got?' and people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) feel much the same about worry. Acceptance-based behavioural therapy (ABBT) promotes the acceptance rather than the avoidance of uncomfortable emotions, persuades people that they can usefully channel these emotions and gets them to confront the situations that make them fearful. A team of researchers from the University of Massachusetts studied 31 people, half of whom were put on a waiting list and half of whom received ABBT. The people who received ABBT had significantly fewer difficulties in regulating their emotions and felt less fear about their emotional responses as well as being less bothered by uncertainty; improvements that were maintained when they were followed up after three and nine months.
Treanor, Michael ... [et al] - Acceptance-based behavioral therapy for GAD: effects on outcomes from three theoretical models Depression and anxiety doi: 10.1002/da.20766