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Title: ACTing on perfectionism : a single case experimental design examining the effect of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy on multidimensional perfectionism
Author: Hunt, Jenna
Awarding Body: University of Lincoln
Current Institution: University of Lincoln
Date of Award: 2017
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Perfectionism is a personality construct argued to be widespread with the potential for incapacitation (Pacht, 1984). It has been linked with a host of psychological difficulties impacting on social and occupational problems as well as physical and mental health. Interest in multi-dimensional perfectionism is growing and the search to uncover the domains within perfectionism which are adaptive, and should be nurtured, or maladaptive, and requiring intervention, remains ongoing. Perfectionism is considered transdiagnostic and targeting this construct may lead to symptom reduction across a range of other difficulties (Howell, et al., 2016). Cognitive Behavioural Therapies (CBT) are the current focus of interventions for perfectionism. Research has indicated some success in managing perfectionistic traits through CBT techniques, however, there are limitations to these studies. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a third wave CBT approach, focuses on altering the function of thought processes and changing the relationship with private events rather than trying to change the event itself (Guarna, 2009). This approach claims to be transdiagnostic and therefore may be an appropriate alternative to traditional CBT techniques for perfectionism. A multiple single case design was employed to examine the effect of a guided self help ACT intervention on perfectionism across five replications using self report and behavioural tasks as outcome measures. The effect of specific ACT processes was examined. Results were inconsistent across participants but some replication of effect was found for improved psychological flexibility, perfectionism and distress. The findings indicate that a guided self help ACT intervention could be an effective treatment for perfectionism, as decreased perfectionism and decreased self reported distress were found following the intervention. Further research is warranted to examine the impact of this intervention further.
Supervisor: Dawson, Dave ; Gresswell, Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: C800 Psychology