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Psychiatry Journal
Volume 2015, Article ID 968596, 6 pages
Research Article

Acceptance and Avoidance Processes at Different Levels of Psychological Recovery from Enduring Mental Illness

1School of Psychology, Illawarra Institute for Mental Health, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia
2Anhanguera, Cascavel, PR, Brazil

Received 21 May 2015; Revised 23 July 2015; Accepted 30 July 2015

Academic Editor: Andrzej Pilc

Copyright © 2015 Vinicius R. Siqueira and Lindsay G. Oades. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. This study examined the use of psychological acceptance and experiential avoidance, two key concepts of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), in the psychological recovery process of people with enduring mental illness. Method. Sixty-seven participants were recruited from the metropolitan, regional, and rural areas of New South Wales, Australia. They all presented some form of chronic mental illness (at least 12 months) as reflected in DSM-IV Axis I diagnostic criteria. The Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (AAQ-19) was used to measure the presence of psychological acceptance and experiential avoidance; the Recovery Assessment Scale (RAS) was used to examine the levels of psychological recovery; and the Scales of Psychological Well-Being was used to observe if there are benefits in utilizing psychological acceptance and experiential avoidance in the recovery process. Results. An analysis of objectively quantifiable measures found no clear correlation between the use of psychological acceptance and recovery in mental illness as measured by the RAS. The data, however, showed a relationship between psychological acceptance and some components of recovery, thereby demonstrating its possible value in the recovery process. Conclusion. The major contribution of this research was the emerging correlation that was observed between psychological acceptance and positive levels of psychological well-being among individuals with mental illness.