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A doctoral dissertation at the Carolingian Institute in Sweden investigated whether commitment therapy (ACT) can be used for people with autism spectrum disorders. The results show that treatment can be provided both in the school setting and in psychiatric outpatient care and can have an impact, among other things, on sensitive stress.

Autism occurs in almost two percent of the population. Difficulties with social interactionAdaptation to new situations and hypersensitivity mean that autistic people are at greater risk than others of suffering from stress and specific psychiatric symptoms.

“Because treatments that work and are adapted to autistic people are rare, there is a significant need for new treatment models,” says Johan Panke, a psychologist who recently received his doctorate from the Carolina Institute of Clinical Neurology.

In his doctoral dissertationJohan Panke researched the usefulness and effectiveness of a model of psychological treatment called ACT for reduction emotional disorder in autistic people.

ACT is a further development of cognitive behavioral therapy (CPT) and has previously shown its effectiveness, for example, in reducing stress. The dissertation evaluated an ACT-based group treatment program adapted for adolescents and adults with autism, called NeuroACT, developed by Johan Panke.

The treatment program consists of weekly group sessions lasting 150 minutes, with 12-14 sessions. Each session follows a similar pattern with a brief exercise in mindfulness or acceptance, followed by a review of homework, an introduction to the topic of the session, new homework, and an evaluation of the group meeting.

The dissertation explored how ACT-based group therapy acted on autistic students. Twenty-eight students aged 13 to 21 underwent ACT treatment or regular schooling. The treatment program worked well when implemented in Fr. school environment. Students who completed the program experienced, among other things, a reduction in stress, depression and anger compared to control group. However, the treatment did not affect the students’ anxiety and some other problems.

The dissertation also examines the treatment of adult autistics in outpatient psychiatric care. One study included ten people and the other 39. The results showed that most participants underwent the entire course of treatment and were satisfied. In addition, those undergoing treatment experienced improved stress and several mental health measures. However, no differences were observed on some issues.

“ACT adapted to autism seems to be able to reduce stress and improve the well-being of adolescents and adults with autism. It seems that treatment also helps participants overcome some of the major difficulties with autism. However, further research is needed to evaluate ACT’s effect autistic“Says Johan Panke.

On May 12, Johann Panke defended his dissertation “Therapy of Commitment and Commitment in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Assessing the Possibility, Effectiveness, and Validity of New Contextual Behavioral Therapy. treatment“At the Carolingian Institute.


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Additional information:
Acceptance and commitment to the treatment of autism spectrum disorders: an assessment of the feasibility, effectiveness and validity of a new contextual behavioral treatment. openarchive.ki.se/xmlui/handle/10616/48002

Citation: An evaluation of a new form of therapy for autistic people (2022, May 18) was received on May 18, 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-05-therapy-autistic-individuals.html

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