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Behaviour Research and Therapy.

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Process-based therapy (PBT) is model of psychotherapy designed to improve people’s ability to use a variety of skills from evidence-based treatments to match environmental needs and personal goals in the moment. This randomized trial tested the effect of an online self-help intervention modeled after PBT principles for participants with perfectionism (N = 77). The intervention comprised two four-session trainings teaching skills from different evidence-based treatments (e.g., cognitive-behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy) and targeting cognitive and motivational processes: (1) cognitive training and (2) motivational training respectively. Participants completed 17 assessments throughout the intervention and at 3- and 6-month follow-up. Results indicated that the full intervention led to improvement in perfectionism, self-compassion, psychological distress, and cognitive skills targeted by the cognitive intervention (e.g., cognitive defusion; absolute βs = 0.02 to 0.66). In addition, the second four-session training (i.e., training after first four-session training) was associated with improvements in perfectionism, self-compassion, quality of life, and psychological distress (absolute βs = .09 to 2.90), suggesting it had incremental benefit. Whereas the cognitive training appeared to specifically impact cognitive processes, the motivational training increased both cognitive and motivational processes. These findings provide initial support for the feasibility and efficacy of a process-based approach, because they show that participants can benefit from learning skills from different orientations and applying them with reference to their goals. However, specific aspects of the PBT model, including whether interventions can precisely improve targeted skills, still need to be empirically tested in larger and more diverse clinical samples.