Tailoring acceptance and commitment therapy for use with chronic, comorbid, PTSD and substance use disorders

This article discusses Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as a treatment strategy for helping individuals with long-standing, comorbid Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorders (SUD’s).  We propose that ACT is a promising treatment for individuals experiencing this cluster of psychological problems as it targets experiential avoidance, a functional process that is common to both disorders, but that substantial deviations from standard ACT protocols are necessary for its use with this population.  This article discusses the prevalence, etiology and treatment issues that characterize comorbid PTSD and SUD, the basic elements of ACT, a rationale for using ACT in this context, and concludes with a case example that illustrates how to specifically tailor ACT for use with this clinical population.




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