The self and psychotherapy: are the predictions ACT makes about self-as-content accurate?

Naidoo, Rohan James (2011) The self and psychotherapy: are the predictions ACT makes about self-as-content accurate? DClinPsy thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

Objectives: The evidence base for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy’s (ACT) overall effectiveness is highly promising. However, the extent to which the six processes comprising ACT have been investigated is extremely variable. In particular, the process regarding the self and therapeutic change is in need of validation, having never been subjected to empirical investigation The objective of the present study was to achieve this by testing whether the predictions ACT makes regarding the self and therapeutic change are supported by quantitative data. The specific prediction to be tested were that a) those with a fixed sense of self and low psychological flexibility will display high therapeutic resistance and b) those with a fluid sense of self and high psychological flexibility will display a strong tendency towards value-based behaviour.

Method: Data from 171 non-clinical participants was subjected to a two-way between subjects ANCOVA, with self-theory and psychological flexibility as independent variables and therapeutic reactance as the dependent variable, co-varying out the effects of gender.

Results: A significant interaction effect between psychological flexibility and sense of self was found. Post-hoc tests revealed two specific findings: Firstly, people with low psychological flexibility and a fixed sense of self displayed therapeutic reactance that was likely to impede therapeutic change. Secondly, people with high psychological flexibility and a fluid sense of self displayed therapeutic reactance that was more likely to be consistent with value-driven, goal-oriented behaviour.

Conclusions: These findings are consistent with ACT’s theorised process regarding the self and therapeutic change. Thus, ACT’s predictions regarding the self and therapeutic change have received their first empirical validation. Clinically, the overarching psychotherapeutic focus is on the client’s process of relating to their self-concept, rather than altering its contents.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (DClinPsy)
Supervisors: Beckley, K.
Nair, R.D.
Keywords: Identity, The self, Psychotherapy resistance, Reactance Acceptance and commitment therapy, ACT, Change
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > Institute of Work, Health and Organisations
Item ID: 12171
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2016 11:49
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2016 10:54
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/12171

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