Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as a Workshop Intervention for Body Image Dissatisfaction and Disordered Eating Attitudes
AuthorPearson, Adria Nicole
AdvisorFollette, Victoria M.
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This study was a small randomized clinical trial collecting pilot data to assess the effectiveness of a one day Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) workshop targeting body dissatisfaction and disordered eating attitudes. The treatment was compared to a wait-list control condition. The participants were seventy-three women from a local university and a medium sized city in the Western United States. Participants in the wait-list control group completed one week of self-monitoring of hunger and satiety and attended three appointments where they completed standardized measures. Subsequently they were offered the workshop and completed measures immediately post-workshop. Participants in the treatment group attended an initial appointment where they completed standardized measures. Then they attended the workshop and post-measures, and then attended two, once weekly follow up appointments. They also self-monitored hunger and satiety for one week following the workshop. Disordered eating pathology, body anxiety, distress related to thoughts about eating and body image and measures of experiential avoidance showed significant reductions in the treatment group when compared to the control group. Acceptance was shown as a mediating variable for changes in distress levels related to thoughts about eating and body image. Implications are that the study shows strong support as a brief intervention for a broad range of women experiencing disordered eating attitudes and distress related to eating and body image.