Mindfulness and acceptance-based group therapy and traditional cognitive behavioral group therapy for social anxiety disorder: Mechanisms of change
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The present study investigated mechanisms of change for two group treatments for social anxiety disorder (SAD): cognitive behavioral group therapy (CBGT) and mindfulness and acceptance-based group therapy (MAGT). Participants were treatment completers (n = 37 for MAGT, n = 32 for CBGT) from a randomized clinical trial. Cognitive reappraisal was the hypothesized mechanism of change for CBGT. Mindfulness and acceptance were hypothesized mechanisms of change for MAGT. Latent difference score (LDS) analysis results demonstrate that cognitive reappraisal coupling (in which cognitive reappraisal is negatively associated with the subsequent rate of change in social anxiety) had a greater impact on social anxiety for CBGT than MAGT. The LDS bidirectional mindfulness model (mindfulness predicts subsequent change in social anxiety; social anxiety predicts subsequent change in mindfulness) was supported for both treatments. Results for acceptance were less clear. Cognitive reappraisal may be a more important mechanism of change for CBGT than MAGT, whereas mindfulness may be an important mechanism of change for both treatments.
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