Therapeutic processes in transdiagnostic acceptance andcommitment therapy groups

PhD Thesis

Shaw, H. 2018. Therapeutic processes in transdiagnostic acceptance andcommitment therapy groups. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
AuthorsShaw, H.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDClinPsychol

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is transdiagnostic therapy, found to be effective for both mental and physical health conditions. To date, much of the research has focused on evaluating ACT groups within single health conditions.

This study used a grounded theory methodology to develop an understanding of the therapeutic processes within liaison psychiatry ACT groups where individuals present with long-term physical health conditions (LTCs) and accompanying psychological difficulties. Interview data from thirteen participants who had either attended or facilitated these groups was analysed. In line with the methodology, data analysis ran concurrent to data collection. As categories emerged theoretical sampling was used to facilitate the generation of a theory. This grounded theory model presents an explanatory framework of ‘the individual journey through a transdiagnostic ACT group’. The theory suggests a combination of group processes and ACT processes enabled learning, which led to increased awareness. Learning extended beyond the group setting, but change was only maintained for some post group, with expectations and relationships to ACT appearing to influence longer term gains.

In conclusion, participants appeared to gain more therapeutically if they had low expectations and connected with values-based action. Implications for future research and clinical practice are discussed.

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Publication process dates
Deposited13 Nov 2018
AcceptedApr 2018
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
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