Examination of the core cognitive components of cognitive behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy: An analogue investigation

Iftah Yovel*, Nilly Mor, Hagit Shakarov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

We aimed to examine the core elements of cognitive behavioral therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy that target distressing negative cognitions, cognitive restructuring (CR) and cognitive defusion (CD), respectively. Participants (N= 142) recalled a saddening autobiographical event, identified a distressing thought it triggered, and completed a task that induced rumination on these cognitions. They then completed one of four brief interventions that targeted these emotionally charged cognitions: analogue versions of CR and CD, and two control interventions. The personal negative cognitions were then reactivated to examine the protective effects of these interventions. CR and CD were similarly efficacious in alleviating distress, compared to a control intervention that focused on participants' negative thoughts. Mood improvement was associated with state levels of reappraisal and not with acceptance in CR, whereas the reverse was observed in CD. Improvement was associated with perceived efficacy of the intervention in CR but not in CD. The present findings suggest that although CR and CD effectively promote different types of cognitive strategies, they may share important features that set them both apart from maladaptive forms of coping.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)482-494
Number of pages13
JournalBehavior Therapy
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Israeli Science Foundation Grant 961/10 to Iftah Yovel.

Keywords

  • Acceptance and commitment therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Cognitive defusion
  • Cognitive restructuring
  • Negative thinking

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