Studies on comorbidities in mental health issues, as well as the application of various types of therapies as the means of catering to the needs of patients with the specified health concerns, require a profound and detailed discussion. The pressure of emotional weight experienced by patients with mental health disorders that prevent them from controlling their emotions freely sets a rather unhealthy environment for the specified demographic, thus reducing their chances for recovery. Therefore, the effects of the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as the vehicle for assisting patients in accepting their situation and getting rid of the feeling of guilt are believed to be rather vast (Lin et al., 2019). Due to the focus on the descriptive part of their paper and the background of the subject matter, Fuller provides an exhaustive analysis of the effects of ACT on managing mental health issues. In turn, the profound theoretical foundation for their study elevates McCrea’s research to the same high level of competency.
The papers under consideration focus on the use of different behavior- and emotion-driven approaches to meeting the needs of people with mental health concerns. In the paper by Fuller, the outstanding effects of a humanistic approach are outlined, whereas the study by McCrea suggests that the introduction of empathy-based strategies encourages faster recovery. Both papers rely on the data derived from scholarly, peer-reviewed studies, which makes the validity of the research outcomes, as well as their reliability and generalizability, quite high. As a result, the papers by Fuller (2019) and McCrea (2019) have a rather impressive impact and weight in the area of mental health.
The analysis of the comorbidities observed in mental health patients and the effects that these comorbidities produce on the efficacy of an ACT-based treatment is also critical to the argument (Harvey, Breaux, & Lugo-Candelas, 2016). McCrea’s (2019) overview of comorbid issues observed in the target demographic points to the further direction in which the exploration of ACT-based interventions should develop (Rohani et al., 2018). Overall, the extent of research and the choice of methodology in the papers under analysis seems to be entirely legitimate. By studying the results of previous research on the problem of implementing ACT to address mental health issues, the authors have arranged the key information into the foundation for further research. Consequently, the importance and legitimacy of both papers appear to be quite high.
Notably, there are several issues that could have added even more depth to the analysis and emphasized the strengths of each study. For Fuller, providing more detail about the vulnerable groups whose needs the ACT regulation is expected to protect would have led to a more focused scope of the research and, as a result, to a better contextualization of its findings (Swain, Hancock, Hainsworth, & Bowman, 2015). Specifically, the characteristics and needs of children with mental health issues could have been mentioned to indicate that the study was geared toward addressing the unique concerns of young patients and the effects that the ACT would have on them.
Similarly, the paper by McCrea could have used a more nuanced exploration of the phenomenon under analysis. Specifically, the arrangement of the research raises several questions concerning the efficacy of the methods and the layout of the material. By selecting to critique each study separately instead of providing a homogenous synthesis of their essential findings, the author has introduced more clarity to the evidence, yet simultaneously obscured their own argument. Moreover, a range of opportunities for connecting the outcomes of overlapping studies and inferring critical arguments concerning the role of ACT in managing the needs of younger patients have been omitted (Batnik et al., 2016). Specifically, it would have been particularly engaging to elaborate on the treatment options and their effects, including the multimodal approach of Pelham et al. (2015) and the combined treatment framework offered by Helseth et al. (2015). The details in the evaluation of each article make the selected approach stand out, yet they also could be interwoven into an analysis performed on a larger scale.
Nevertheless, both studies share a perfect understanding of the subject matter and provide a nuanced analysis of the effects that the introduction of ACT has produced on the well-being of patients. The focus on the humanistic approach explored in Fuller’s paper has helped to prove the importance and effects of empathy in addressing the needs of patients with mental health issues. Specifically, the study has delved into the constituents of the ACT theory by examining changes in patients’ cognitive functions in association with the use of the ACT and the emotional support by nurses (Fuller, 2019). In addition, the detailed description of how the notion of the humanistic approach factors into the process of providing the ACT treatment. For instance, the focus on the commitment to change, which the use of the suggested strategy implies, allows managing the needs of patients more effectively by establishing a more positive attitude toward the idea of an intervention (Heydari, Masafi, Jafari, Saadat, & Shahyad, 2018). Introducing the notion of confidence into the life of a patient and, thus, changing the perception of their disorder leads to validating a patient’s emotional needs and creating a more comfortable environment for recovery, which the study shows quite clearly.
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Fuller, B. (2019). Humanistic approach to acceptance and commitment therapy for emotional dysfunction. (Unpublished paper). Fielding Graduate University: Santa Barbara.
Harvey, E. A., Breaux, R. P., & Lugo-Candelas, C. I. (2016). Early development of comorbidity between symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 125(2), 154-167.
Helseth, S. A., Waschbusch, D. A., Gnagy, E. M., Onyango, A. N., Burrows-MacLean, L., Fabiano, G. A.,… Wymbs, F. A. (2015). Effects of behavioral and pharmacological therapies on peer reinforcement of deviancy in children with ADHD-only, ADHD and conduct problems, and controls. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 83(2), 280-292.
Heydari, M., Masafi, S., Jafari, M., Saadat, S. H., & Shahyad, S. (2018). Effectiveness of acceptance and commitment therapy on anxiety and depression of Razi Psychiatric Center Staff. Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences, 6(2), 410-415. doi:10.3889/oamjms.2018.064
Lin, J., Scott, W., Carpenter, L., Norton, S., Domhardt, M., Baumeister, H., & McCracken, L. M. (2019). Acceptance and commitment therapy for chronic pain: protocol of a systematic review and individual participant data meta-analysis. Systematic Reviews, 8(1), 1-10.
McCrea, S. (2019). Behavioral modification and medication treatment for children with ADHD and comorbidity. (Unpublished paper). Fielding Graduate University: Santa Barbara.
Pelham Jr, W. E., Fabiano, G. A., Waxmonsky, J. G., Greiner, A. R., Gnagy, E. M., Pelham III, W. E.,… Karch, K. (2016). Treatment sequencing for childhood ADHD: A multiple-randomization study of adaptive medication and behavioral interventions. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 45(4), 396-415.
Rohani, F., Rasouli-Azad, M., Twohig, M. P., Ghoreishi, F. S., Lee, E. B., & Akbari, H. (2018). Preliminary test of group acceptance and commitment therapy on obsessive-compulsive disorder for patients on optimal dose of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, 16, 8-13.
Swain, J., Hancock, K., Hainsworth, C., & Bowman, J. (2015). Mechanisms of change: Exploratory outcomes from a randomised controlled trial of acceptance and commitment therapy for anxious adolescents. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 1(4), 56-67.