Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for parents, families and youth

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Recently, Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT) has been receiving more attention in the clinical practice. ACT was originally developed to treat adults, is focused on individual problems (e.g., anxiety or depression symptoms) and is often employed as a prevention program. In a meta-analysis on 18 RCT’s in adults, ACT was found to be more effective than control conditions (waitlist, placebo and CAU) and equally effective compared to established interventions such as CBT and IPT (Powers et al., 2009).

In this study, ACT is delivered as a parent counseling therapy in order to provide the parents new skills in dealing with their children’s interaction problems, to teach them new parenting strategies and enhance parental competence by increasing psychological flexibility. Previous research on the effectiveness of ACT as a parent counseling therapy is scarce. The hypotheses of this quasi experimental research are that after ACT parent counseling, psychological flexibility, parental competence, positive parenting skills and the quality of the parent-child interaction would increase. The design consisted of  pre-, post – and 6-month follow-up analyses. Parents’ self-reports were employed.

Besides this study, we have developed an individual ACT protocol for depressed adolescents and a family ACT protocol . Both protocols will be studied on their effectiveness. Different questionnaires will be assessed for example psychological flexibility, psychopathology, family functioning, etc. The design consists of pre-, post – and 6-month follow-up measurements. Children and Parents’ self-reports were employed.

Visiting Researcher
Assistant Professor