Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Increasing Psychologists' Willingness to Assess and Treat Substance-abusing Clients


Brandon Ward

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Capstone Project

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

John McNeill

Second Advisor

Ragnar Storaasli

Third Advisor

Chad Emrick


Substance abuse, Rehabilitation, Psychologists, Mental health, Moral and ethical aspects


The high prevalence of substance abuse in the United States and the low rates of assessment and treatment of these disorders by mental health providers points to a growing need to understand the factors that prevent substance-abusing individuals from receiving adequate services. Psychologists are one group of mental health providers that show little interest in working with this population and receive little research attention on the topic. This paper explores the potential role that education, previous experience, and the impact that holding stigmatizing beliefs towards substance-abusing individuals has on psychologists' willingness to provide clinical services for clients struggling with addiction. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is explored as a potential intervention for psychologists.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


39 pages

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