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date: 06 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter we review the application of a new form of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and consider its use with older people. We provide an overview of ACT as distinct from CBT, and review the potential utility of this therapy for the types of presentations of distress in later life. As ACT is relatively new there is a somewhat limited evidence base for its use with older people. We anticipate this will develop as there is a need for efficacious psychological therapy treatment alternatives with older people. As older people can face age-related challenges that may require a response different from that advocated in traditional CBT approaches, we are of the opinion that ACT possesses significant potential for use with current and future cohorts of older people. The evidence for ACT’s efficacy is critically evaluated here and the application of evidence for use with older people is reviewed and discussed.

Keywords: acceptance and commitment therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy, late-life depression, older people, geropsychology, gerontology, ageing

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