An Acceptance and Commitment Approach to Issues of Behavioral Health Care in Soldiers

Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Capstone

Degree Name



Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

John McNeill

First Committee Member

Mark Aoyagi

Second Committee Member

John Okiishi


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy; Qualitative Research; Behavior/CBT; Military culture


For over a decade, the U.S. military has been engaged in two distinct, yet equally deadly conflicts: Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). There are many physical and psychological effects of war necessitating the activation and interventions of a myriad of behavioral health professionals. The purpose of the paper was to understand how and if contemporary military culture may work to support or hinder application of an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) approach to issues of psychological health among Soldiers. While the empirical research on efficacy with Soldiers is limited, a review of military culture revealed the promotion of rigid rule following, although effective in combat, influences the emotional control agenda and stigma while in garrison. However, empirical research demonstrating the clinical benefits and flexibility of ACT is rapidly emerging with civilian and Veteran populations. Suggested as a prevention technique utilized early in Soldier's training to increase psychological flexibility, ACT appears to demonstrate much promise in ameliorating the psychological consequences of war.


Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


50 pages

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