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Reducing stress in the helping professions: Is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) a useful model for intervention?

Davis, Loretta (2017) Reducing stress in the helping professions: Is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) a useful model for intervention? Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University & Keele University.

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Abstract or description

Individuals working in the helping professions experience high levels of stress, which can impact upon their health and ability to function effectively at work. This thesis explores the utility of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) interventions to reduce stress within this population.

The first paper explores the effectiveness of ACT interventions for reducing stress with the helping professions. A systematic search of the literature produced ten empirical papers of which two were unpublished theses. Interventions were predominantly delivered to groups of employees with the number of sessions ranging from two to six. Five studies indicated a decrease in stress. The findings are compromised by quality of the papers which limits the conclusions being drawn about the effectiveness of ACT interventions. Implications for applying ACT within the workplace are discussed along with suggestions for future research.

The second paper examines the utility of the ACT model with Trainee Clinical Psychologists. Hierarchical regression was used to determine whether acceptance, cognitive fusion, valued living, committed action, self as context and contact with the present moment (the ACT processes) predicted perceived stress while controlling for gender. Committed action emerged as the most significant predictor of perceived stress. Valued living, contact with the present moment and cognitive fusion were also significant predictors. Acceptance and self as context were not significant predictors of stress. The findings are discussed in relation to the management of stress with trainee clinical psychologists and suggestions are made for future research.

The final paper provides a first person reflexive account on the process of undertaking and completing this project. Personal reflections are offered on the various stages of the research process. Learning points are discussed and ideas for future research are considered.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Psychology
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 16 May 2018 13:26
Last Modified: 16 May 2018 13:26

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