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Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in the Treatment of Individuals with Eating Disorders

by Michelle Macera, PhD 4 CE Credits

Among psychiatric illnesses, eating disorders are associated with the highest rates of premature death and the highest rates of short- and long-term physiological complications. Given these statistics, a new empirically-based therapeutic approach, namely Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), may represent an important tool for clinicians. Rather than focus on reducing unwanted thoughts and feelings, ACT targets experiential avoidance, helping clients to mindfully observe and accept all thoughts and feelings, while maintaining commitment to core values. This course reviews  the theoretical and empirical underpinnings of ACT and presents ACT-relevant assessment and treatment techniques for use with eating disordered clients, such as mindfulness activities, exposure-based exercises, and commitment to core values.
This online course is approved for APA CE credit, NBCC CE clock hours, ASWB Clinical CE clock hours, and NYSED CE credit.
Course Sections/Outline:
  • Introduction
  • Brief Review of Eating Disorder Diagnostic Classifications
  • Experiential Avoidance: The Underlying Mechanism
  • The Development of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Common ACT Techniques and Strategies
  • Control is the Problem
  • Self as Context
  • Mindfulness
  • Acceptance
  • Values Identification
  • Commitment to Valued Directions
  • The ACT Therapeutic Relationship: A Critical Element
  • ACT-Related Assessment
  • Implications for Clinical Practice
  • Selecting a Clinical Setting
  • Summary
  • References


Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Identify at least 3 key diagnostic symptoms of anorexia, bulimia, and eating disorder not otherwise specified, and summarize the empirical evidence regarding how experiential avoidance contributes to its onset and maintenance
  • Describe Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) from a theory- and evidence-based perspective
  • Recognize and strategically apply the 6 therapeutic components of ACT, including how the therapeutic relationship can facilitate the implementation of ACT techniques
  • Specify at least 10 ACT-relevant assessment tools and guidelines for use in treatment planning, measurement of behavioral change, and selection of treatment setting