A Comparison of the Effectiveness of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Cognitive Defusion Technique in Improving Marital Satisfaction

Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D. student, Department of Psychology, Qom Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qom, Iran

2 Associate Professoe, Department of Psychology, Qom Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qom, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Qom Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qom, Iran


The present study aimed to determine the effectiveness of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) in comparison with the cognitive defusion technique in improving marital satisfaction. Methods: The present research was experimental and had a pretest-posttest design and follow-up with a control group. Among the statistical population consisting of married clients of counseling centers in Tehran, 45 individuals were selected as the samples using the convenience method and were randomly assigned to three groups, namely the experimental group of acceptance and commitment therapy (n=15), the experimental group of cognitive defusion technique (n=15), and the control group (n=15). The research tool included Enrich marital satisfaction questionnaire (1989). The acceptance and commitment therapy and cognitive defusion technique were performed by Hayes treatment package (2011) for experimental groups for twelve sessions, but the control group did not receive any intervention. Data were analyzed using the repeated-measures analysis of variance. Results: The intervention of acceptance and commitment therapy (F=5.16, P=0.025) and cognitive defusion technique (F=4.28, P=0.048) was effective in improving marital satisfaction. The effect was also stable in the follow-up phase.  Conclusions: Therefore, acceptance and commitment therapy can be utilized to improve marital life, and the cognitive defusion technique was more effective. The cognitive defusion technique was effective in marital satisfaction because married people could see their thoughts separately and know that they were separate from their thoughts and could change them.


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