Next, the therapist held up a particularly
difficult thought card and had the participant push against the card. The participant and therapist struggled against each other, illustrating the internal struggle that the participant often had with the difficult thought. As an alternative, the therapist placed the card on the participant’s lap and asked if it would be possible for her to have the thought without having to fight with it (see Video clip 3). Finally, the participant was asked to carry her cards with her for a week and look at them periodically, noticing the thought that was written and her reactions to it. These activities helped to facilitate awareness of antecedents to problematic eating while also MK-2206 in vivo promoting defusion from difficult internal events. The final three sessions (8–10) focused on helping the participants clarify values and commit to acting in ways consistent with those values. The goal was not only to help reduce problematic eating, but also to increase participants’ self-empowerment to pursue life goals and to live fuller, more effective lives. This pursuit likely means working toward
life NVP-BGJ398 concentration goals even while experiencing difficult thoughts and feelings (“carrying one’s cards”) instead of investing time and energy into avoiding or getting rid of them. The concept of values was introduced as “chosen life directions” and “what you want to stand for in life.” Participants were asked to identify important areas of their lives (e.g., romantic relationships, friendships, education,
civil rights activism) and how they could live lives that were in agreement with these values. The “passengers on the bus” metaphor (Hayes et al., 1999, pp. 157–158) was used to help participants Ureohydrolase recognize that the loud and obnoxious passengers (difficult thoughts, feelings, memories, or bodily sensations) did not have to dictate where the participants drove their buses. As the bus drivers of their lives, participants had the power to move in their chosen life directions, regardless of what the passengers said. During these sessions, participants were also assisted in identifying potential barriers to their committed actions and different ways they could approach problematic situations while still being willing to commit to and act in accordance with their identified values. A randomly selected sample of 20% of the videotapes of the intervention sessions were scored by the fourth author, a doctoral student supervised by the second author in ACT research and practice. The sample of videotapes were scored for their coverage of ACT treatment components using a validated, reliable ACT treatment scoring system (Plumb & Vilardaga, 2010). Minor modifications were incorporated in order to be applicable to a study on binge eating.