chapter  20
8 Pages

Acceptance-based behavioral therapies and sport

ByFrank L. Gardner, Zella E. Moore

During the past decade, there has been a dramatic increase in the theory development, scientific research, and practice of psychological interventions often known as acceptancebased behavioral therapies (ABBT; Roemer & Orsillo, 2009). These approaches, derived from the clinical discipline within professional psychology, are often referred to as the “third wave” of behavioral psychology, and have a view of human progress, human suffering, and overall human existence that is distinctly different to previous models of therapy. The most well-known ABBT in clinical psychology is acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT; Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 1999), which has demonstrated sound efficacy as an intervention for a variety of clinical issues such as depression, binge eating disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, substance abuse and dependence, and borderline personality disorder (e.g., Roemer & Orsillo, 2009). These revolutionary theoretical developments and associated interventions have not gone unnoticed in the sport-performance domain. Specifically within sport psychology, the mindfulness-acceptance-commitment (MAC) approach to performance enhancement, which Gardner and Moore (2007) developed in 2001, is an acceptance-based intervention aimed at enhancing high-level competitive performance and overall psychological well-being. In this chapter we discuss the ABBT movement and its relevance to the sport context.