Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): Toward a New Psychological Model for Literary Analysis Illustrated by Contemporary Spiritual Self-Help Texts in Emerson's Tradition
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This dissertation charts new territory in the field of literary studies by introducing a new theoretical lens rooted in cognitive-behavioral psychology, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). ACT, which until now has not been used as a tool for literary analysis, offers an innovative framework through which not only spiritual self-help texts that have a similar purpose but creative literature in general can be examined. The core assumption in ACT is that humans suffer based on the rigid ways in which they approach language. ACT not only offers strategies to escape the experiential prison of language but also proposes a new conceptualization of the mind based on mindfulness relevant in contemporary literary contexts.