Commitment Therapy (ACT) And Compassion Focused Therapy

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This paper sets out to compare two of the third wave cognitive behavioural therapies: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT). Like other third wave cognitive behavioural therapies, both ACT and CFT encompass novel concepts of promoting acceptance, mindfulness and compassion into their therapeutic approach (Hayes, 2004). The paper will first outline historical and theoretical background and framework of ACT, its goals, stages of treatment and mechanisms of change. It will then proceed to outline CFT in the same manner, and discuss similarities and differences between the two approaches. ACT was developed in the late nineties by Steven Hayes in response to perceived limitations of the second wave cognitive…show more content…
RFT is empirically supported and comprehensive account of language and cognition (Hayes, 2004) which provides bases for understanding not only function of language in normal psychological process but also the way in which rules underpinning symbolism and generativity of language and its role in cognition and problem solving lead to psychological difficulties. According to theory underpinning ACT, the same processes, which are necessary for effective functioning in the physical world, are in some contexts responsible for rise of psychological distress. The shift from viewing psychological difficulties as disease, or abnormal functioning towards understanding psychological problems as by-products of normal functioning stemming from evolutionary shortcomings of human design is important feature of…show more content…
CFT however has different theoretical base; it is an integrated therapy approach that is rooted in social, developmental, evolutionary and Buddhist psychology, as well as neuroscience (Gilbert, 2009). It was developed in response to the observation that some clients failed to improve in therapy, although they were able to engage in cognitive and behavioral task and generate alternative responses (Rector, 2000, as cited in Gilbert, 2009). Gilbert (2009), based on his observation that in particular people high in shame and self-criticism had difficulties generating feelings of warmth and compassion towards themselves, hypothesized that their lack of improvement could be explained by inability to tag congruent emotion to generated alternative responses. Gilbert (2009) thus focused his research on the role and mobilization of affective systems in promoting psychological wellbeing, as well as on harvesting benefits of healing properties of compassion in

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