Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Is the Third Wave of Behaviorism Reaching Mental Health Professionals?

In order to gain knowledge about changes in the field of psychology, an online survey was completed by 35 mental health practitioners (Licensed Psychologists, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Board Certified Behavior Analysts) concerning their professional work, including theoretical orientation, educational trends, familiarity with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and the employment of ACT congruent therapeutic techniques. The majority of respondents were female and held Masters Degrees. The most common theoretical orientation was Cognitive Behavioral, and most participants indicated they provided individual therapy for children. Most participants were moderately familiar or very familiar with CBT, vaguely familiar or somewhat familiar with DBT, and unfamiliar with ACT. The majority of participants also scored high in the utilization of ACT congruent treatment techniques. This finding indicates that while few practitioners feel familiar with ACT, most of them utilize ACT processes in treatment.