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Acceptance and commitment therapy for people experiencing appearance - related distress associated with a visible difference: A rationale and review of relevant research

Zucchelli, Fabio; Donnelly, Olivia; Williamson, Heidi; Hooper, Nic

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Authors

Olivia Donnelly

Heidi Williamson Heidi3.Williamson@uwe.ac.uk
Associate Professor in Applied Health Research

Nic Hooper Nic.Hooper@uwe.ac.uk
Senior Lecturer in Psychology



Abstract

© 2018 Springer Publishing Company. People may have a visibly different appearance due to various causes, such as congenital conditions, injury, disease, or medical treatment. Some individuals with a visible difference experience social anxiety and isolation, body image dissatisfaction, shame and self-stigma, psychological trauma, and challenges managing their condition. In this article, we synthesize the relevant literature and present the theoretical rationale for the application of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a third-wave behavioral therapy combining mindfulness skills and value-driven action, to those experiencing distress relating to an unusual or altered appearance. We also outline how ACT may be tailored to the specific considerations of this population and recommend next steps in researching its acceptability and clinical effectiveness.

Citation

Zucchelli, F., Donnelly, O., Williamson, H., & Hooper, N. (2018). Acceptance and commitment therapy for people experiencing appearance - related distress associated with a visible difference: A rationale and review of relevant research. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 32(3), 171-183. https://doi.org/10.1891/0889-8391.32.3.171

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 25, 2018
Publication Date Aug 1, 2018
Publicly Available Date Aug 2, 2019
Journal Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy
Print ISSN 0889-8391
Electronic ISSN 1938-887X
Publisher Springer Publishing Company
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 32
Issue 3
Pages 171-183
DOI https://doi.org/10.1891/0889-8391.32.3.171
Keywords visible difference, acceptance, mindfulness, appearance, body image, stigma
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/863605
Publisher URL https://doi.org/10.1891/0889-8391.32.3.171
Additional Information Additional Information : The final publication is available at Springer via https://doi.org/10.1891/0889-8391.32.3.171

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