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date: 16 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Acceptance and mindfulness-based interventions are part of the third generation of cognitive–behavioral therapies (Hayes, 2004). Among these approaches, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) enjoy the greatest empirical support in the treatment and prevention of depression. Despite some similarities, ACT and MBCT differ on philosophical, methodological, and strategic dimensions. Outcome literature is more extensive for MBCT; empirical support for putative therapeutic processes specific to each appears to be stronger for ACT. Increasingly both approaches have been extended into clinical areas previously occupied by the other, with ACT being used for prevention of depression and MBCT for treatment of acute depressive symptoms. These developments have made it possible to indirectly compare their therapeutic impact and suggest shared mechanisms of action. Randomized clinical trials in which ACT and MBCT are directly evaluated on common outcome and process variables are recommended to more fully explicate these comparisons.

Keywords: depression, acceptance, mindfulness, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT)

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