A Trial of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy for Caregivers

A research project evaluating Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) for parents of individuals with autism

What is the project about?

This is a research project evaluating the benefits of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) for parents. ACT seeks to help individuals to struggle less with difficult things in their lives and mindfully connect with things that are most important in a way that is loving and respectful. With an introduction to the concept of ‘mindfulness,’ ACT does not attempt to directly change or stop unwanted thoughts or feelings, but to develop a new mindful relationship with those experiences that can free a person up to being open, and to take action consistent with what they care about. Each workshop is facilitated by a parent of an individual with autism and a trained clinician.

Who attended?

Mothers and fathers of children, youth and adults with autism. Fluency in English was required.

What did participation involve?

Participating involved attending three workshop sessions held in London, Ontario:

Workshop One: April -May 2019
Workshop Two: September - October 2019

Participants were randomly allocated to attend either Workshop One or Workshop Two.

As a participant in the project, they needed to attend all three sessions and complete some questionnaires before the workshop, and again on three occasions before and after the workshop. Participation in the workshop was free.

Want to know more about this project?

For more information please feel free to contact Dr. Jonathan Weiss, Principal Investigator on the study, at jonweiss@yorku.ca.


This study is supported by the York Research Chair in Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disability.