PACJA articles highlight benefits of tailored therapy 

5 July 2022

The Psychotherapy and Counselling Journal of Australia’s (PACJA) latest articles highlight the benefits of tailoring psychotherapeutic approaches to marginalised groups, including older Australians and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. 

Age with ACT: A pilot acceptance and commitment therapy group for older adults receiving a community mental health service (Sadler et al., 2022) describes a pilot study which aimed to assess whether an acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) group could benefit the mental health of older adults in a community psychiatric setting. 

Ten older adults participated in a 6-week pilot ACT group. All participants had a diagnosed chronic/recurrent major depressive disorder with a variety of other psychiatric and medical conditions. 

The study found that ACT group therapy improved participants’ psychiatric symptom severity, mood, subjective health status, values progress, hopefulness, confidence, awareness, and social connectedness, and provides promising evidence that ACT groups could be a viable adjunct recovery option for older adults receiving community mental health services. Read the article

Meeting the needs of a culturally diverse nation: An evaluation of a behavioural program adapted to treat Vietnamese Australians experiencing gambling problems (Bertossa et al., 2022) describes the collaborative efforts of an ethno-specific service and a specialist treatment service to provide evidence-informed treatment for Vietnamese Australians experiencing gambling problems.  

Drawing on the evidence of 33 participants, the study identified which features of therapeutic practice had the most impact on retention and treatment completion. 

The paper’s authors note that nearly 25% of the Australian population was born overseas, with people of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds a significant proportion. 

‘Thus, it is critical to consider how health services can better meet the needs of a culturally diverse nation through the integration of culturally specific perspectives into evidence-informed practice.’ Read the article

Among other latest articles in PACJA, Dr Philip Chittleborough reviews Judith Belmont’s 127 More Amazing Tips and Tools for the Therapeutic Toolbox: DBT, CBT and Beyond (2020) and therapist Sarah Penwarden describes a critical moment in integrating person-centred therapy and narrative therapy. 

PACJA is our international, peer-reviewed academic journal. Launched by the PACFA Research Committee in 2012, PACJA promotes research into the efficacy of counselling and psychotherapy, skills development, theory and knowledge building, and promotes the industry as widely as possible. 

Read PACJA’s latest articles.