Acceptance and avoidance processes at different levels of psychological recovery from enduring mental illness
Objective. This study examined the use of psychological acceptance and experiential avoidance, two key concepts of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), in the psychological recovery process of people with enduring mental illness. Method. Sixty-seven participants were recruited from the metropolitan, regional, and rural areas of New South Wales, Australia. They all presented some form of chronic mental illness (at least 12 months) as reflected in DSM-IV Axis I diagnostic criteria. The Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (AAQ-19) was used to measure the presence of psychological acceptance and experiential avoidance; the Recovery Assessment Scale (RAS) was used to examine the levels of psychological recovery; and the Scales of Psychological Well-Being was used to observe if there are benefits in utilizing psychological acceptance and experiential avoidance in the recovery process. Results. An analysis of objectively quantifiable measures found no clear correlation between the use of psychological acceptance and recovery in mental illness as measured by the RAS. The data, however, showed a relationship between psychological acceptance and some components of recovery, thereby demonstrating its possible value in the recovery process. Conclusion. The major contribution of this research was the emerging correlation that was observed between psychological acceptance and positive levels of psychological well-being among individuals with mental illness.
Siqueira, V. & Oades, L. G. (2015). Acceptance and avoidance processes at different levels of psychological recovery from enduring mental illness. Psychiatry Journal, 2015 968596-1 - 968596-6.