Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Brief therapeutic interventions are increasingly becoming more popular for a variety of reasons, including cost, insurance reimbursement rates, and time constraints of patients. While several brief interventions exist, most of them still require four to eight hour-long sessions and emphasize symptom reduction. One therapeutic model that differs from traditional cognitive behavioral therapy and focuses more on valued living is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT; Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 2012). While ACT is a complex treatment package, a therapeutic tool called the ACT Matrix presents the essential elements of ACT in a comprehensive yet brief fashion (Polk, Schoendorff, Webster, & Olaz, 2016) that may be useful in settings requiring brief therapeutic interventions, such as integrated primary care and college counseling centers. However, as the ACT Matrix is a clinician-developed activity primarily used as a component of individual and group therapy, currently there is little empirical research to support its usefulness. The current study examined the impact of the ACT Matrix versus a control group on valued-action, psychological inflexibility, quality of life, and depression and anxiety symptomatology at a one-week follow-up. Consistent with hypotheses, results indicated that the ACT Matrix had a significant impact on increasing valued action, values satisfaction, and quality of life while decreasing depression and anxiety symptomatology, as compared to participants in the control group. Limitations and future directions are discussed.
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