Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Psychol Rev. 2008 Jan;28(1):1-16. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2007.09.003. Epub 2007 Sep 18.

Acceptance and mindfulness-based therapy: new wave or old hat?

Author information

Department of Psychology, Boston University, 648 Beacon Street, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02215-2002, United States. Electronic address:
University of Regina, Canada.


Some contemporary theorists and clinicians champion acceptance and mindfulness-based interventions, such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), over cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for the treatment of emotional disorders. The objective of this article is to juxtapose these two treatment approaches, synthesize, and clarify the differences between them. The two treatment modalities can be placed within a larger context of the emotion regulation literature. Accordingly, emotions can be regulated either by manipulating the evaluation of the external or internal emotion cues (antecedent-focused emotion regulation) or by manipulating the emotional responses (response-focused emotion regulation). CBT and ACT both encourage adaptive emotion regulation strategies but target different stages of the generative emotion process: CBT promotes adaptive antecedent-focused emotion regulation strategies, whereas acceptance strategies of ACT counteract maladaptive response-focused emotion regulation strategies, such as suppression. Although there are fundamental differences in the philosophical foundation, ACT techniques are fully compatible with CBT and may lead to improved interventions for some disorders. Areas of future treatment research are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center