Background & Objectives : Social phobia is one of the common anxiety disorders characterized by fear of social situations, shame and embarrassment in communicating with unfamiliar people. The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of acceptance and commitment therapy in reducing anxiety and depression in students with social phobia .
Methods: An experimental pretest-posttest with control group design was used to conduct the study. The population consists of all female students in Ardabil city, 2013-2014 academic years. Using a multiple-stage cluster sampling method, a representative sample consists of 400 students was selected for the study. Then, among the students those with social phobia (based on the cut-off point), 34 participants were randomly selected and divided into two groups of 17 people (one experimental group and one control group) . The participants in experimental group received acceptance and commitment therapy for 10 sessions of 90 minutes. The control group did not receive any intervention. Anxiety, depression and social phobia questionnaires were administered to the two groups before and after the intervention. Descriptive statistics and multivariate ANOVA (MANOVA) were used for data analysis.
Results: The results of data analysis showed that treatment based on acceptance and commitment therapy reduces anxiety, depression and social phobia of students in the experimental group compared with the control group (p<0.001) .
Conclusion: The present study showed that acceptance and commitment therapy for students with social phobia can be used as a psychological intervention along with other intervention mechanisms.