Group-based acceptance and commitment therapy to enhance graduate student psychological flexibility: Treatment development and preliminary implementation evaluation


Objective: Graduate student mental health is a growing concern and the need for interventions is well-documented. This manuscript outlines an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy group treatment for graduate students intended to promote psychological flexibility through the cultivation of six processes: contact with the present moment (mindfulness), freely chosen life direction (values), distance from thoughts (defusion), nonjudgmental acknowledgement of one’s internal experiences (acceptance), meta-awareness of one’s own experiences (self-as-context), and ongoing patterns of behavior in the service of values (committed action). Participants: The treatment was delivered to graduate students across academic disciplines with variable psychological concerns over several semesters. Method: Graduate students completed measures of preliminary acceptability. Results: Clients perceived the intervention positively and believed they benefited from participating. Conclusion: Treatment evaluation information support the social validity and acceptability of the treatment and justify future studies assessing treatment efficacy and effectiveness.

Publication Title

Journal of American College Health