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Effect of Life Experiences on Psychology Theory Orientation Assignment Sample

Growing up in a communist society, I had a very different viewpoint than my parents, which was difficult for me as a youngster. In order to live a normal life free from danger, one had to abide by the communist principles and worldview. A careless phrase or misguided notion might endanger the safety of the whole family. My parents might end up in prison as a result. But at night, my parents would watch the news from the so-called "enemy," West Germany. At the same time, two realities had to be balanced in life since they were in the same space. It was important to carefully consider both my words and my ideas. After the reunification, the "virtual fact" reported in the press became reality, significantly altering the context of existence. My views, values, and conduct needed to adapt in light of the new reality. What had previously been normal and even life-enhancing now became risky, and in some circumstances was even referred to be pathological.

Although this was my first direct encounter with a significant cultural change, it was not the last. I live in a multi-cultural and multi-contextual world as a Korean-American wife and mother of two children of mixed background. Culture is the systematic organisation of behaviour via the use of a shared history, language, and set of traditional beliefs and values that are passed down from one generation to the next (Kagitcibasi, 2007). A person's worldviews are impacted by changes in culture as well (Koltko-Rivera, 2004). The foundation for the purpose and worth of the cosmos and of each person's existence is their worldview. A person's or a group's worldview offers a set of guiding assumptions and ideas about the social and physical reality. Furthermore, via values and beliefs, those have strong influences on cognition and behaviour (Koltko-Rivera, 2004).

The philosophical underpinnings of functional contextualism, which includes worldview and culture in this context, represent my lived experience by combining the study of how things work given a certain context (Harris & Hayes, 2009). Functional contextualism holds that every activity has a meaningful purpose and is thus adaptable, in contrast to popular psychological theories that are founded on a mechanical worldview with dysfunctional, maladaptive, and pathological occurrences (Harris et al., 2009). The purpose of an action is taken into account within a certain historical and situational context that affects the whole organism (Hayes, Levin, Plumb-Vilardaga, Villatte, & Pistorello, 2013). A deliberate activity influenced by a particular environment and assessed for workability serves as the analysis' unit of analysis (Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 2012). The whole event and its meaning in action might be altered by a change in context (Hayes et al. 2013). This method of humanities assignment also accepts the presence of many realities, opening the door for the consideration of historical, contextual, and individual worldview impacts.

People's thinking, influences on emotions, and subsequent behaviours are shaped by their past and current experiences. As a result, a person's objectives, purpose, and the environment they are in all influence their functional behaviour. It is considered incomplete to concentrate simply on the internal functioning of behaviour that is dependent on ideas and emotions (Hayes, Levin, Plumb-Vilardaga, Villatte, & Pistorello, 2013). Radical behaviourism developed from B. F. Skinner's functional contextualism (Hayes et al., 2013). This kind of behaviourism views every action an organism does, including emotion and remembering, as behaviour (Harris & Hayes, 2009).

Radical behaviourism and behaviour analysis were pioneered by Skinner (Baum, 2011). Radical behaviourism, according to Harris and Hayes (2009), is based on behaviourism in that it views the study of behaviour as a natural science that can be understood through the use of animal research, the idea that the environment affects behaviour, and a focus on interventions that can change behaviour. Radical behaviourism, on the other hand, highlights how an organism's behaviour is influenced by biology, genetics, and experience elements, including its environment both now and in the past as well as its evolutionary history. Radical behaviourists differentiate between public and private behaviour. Private events can only be noticed by the individual experiencing them, but public events are acts that may be seen by others. Imagining, feeling, and daydreaming, as well as memories, rumination, and sensory impressions, are examples of private happenings. Numerous evidence-based techniques in clinical psychology that may influence human behaviour have emerged as a result of the thorough scientific research of those two areas of behaviour (Blackledge, Ciarrochi, & Deane, 2009). The field of applied behavioural analysis, which was primarily focused on creating interventions to generate perceptible changes in behaviour, sprang from radical behaviourism (Schneider & Morris, 1987). Additionally, Skinner developed the concept of verbal behaviour, suggesting that verbal conduct is an example of operant behaviour (Baum, 2011). His theory that consequences may have an impact on conduct was the third significant conceptual contribution (Baum, 2011).

Relational Frame Theory

Relational Frame Theory (RFT) is a post-Skinnerian contextualistic theory of language and cognition that seeks to provide fundamental guidelines for all varieties of cognitive occurrences (Hayes, 2016). According to RFT, humans may learn to link experiences via language and cognition. According to physical characteristics of both stimuli as well as established social practises, humans seem to be the only creature capable of correlating them (Hayes, Barnes-Holmes, & Roche, 2001). According to RFT, relational learning has three key traits. One is that it is bidirectional, which means that understanding how one event relates to another in a certain context will suggest a connection between these two seemingly unrelated occurrences. Using the name of a new species to continuously educate a young kid about it is one example. The youngster will naturally associate the image with the just discovered sound or word. Early childhood development of learning and knowledge is based on the capacity to swiftly form such connections (Harris & Hayes, 2009).

Two: These recently formed connections could be combinatorial. The presumption that A and C must also be connected, at least in this specific situation, follows from introducing a connection between A and B and B and C. A person has the capacity to build a relational network from a collection of a few presented relations.
Third, preexisting connections between stimuli may alter how those stimuli interact. This idea is illustrated by Hayes with the following example: "If you need to purchase candy and you know that a dime is valuable, it will be deduced that a nickel will be less valuable and a quarter will be more valuable, without requiring explicitly buying sweets with nickels or with quarters" (p. 875).

The term "relational frame" refers to the procedure that combines all three elements. Given that linguistic events play a role in relational framing, Skinner's theory of mind integrates them as psychological functions (Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 2012). Verbal knowledge is produced by neural networks with strong connections between inputs. The development of relational networks improves language and cognition, allowing the human race to produce an endless supply of ideas and concepts (Harris & Hayes, 2009). When viewed out of context, these relational reactions are seen as the cause of human misery. The power of one changed related event to influence the function of another related event is where relational framing's therapeutic usefulness rests (Hayes, 2016). For instance, someone could discover that snakes are harmful and even lethal. They are difficult to find and have a wooded home. Given that snakes may live in woods, this connection might result in a person having a long-lasting dread of them. Now that the forest and any potential forest-related regions have all been relationally framed around snakes, the individual may avoid them. These occurrences are now seen as verbal/cognitive-related while seeming to be unconnected (Hayes, 2016). According to RFT, relational framing is a generalised operant that occurs on demand (Hooper & Larsson, 2015). The cornerstone for emotional pain is thought to be this special capacity to create and react to derived connections. Human life depends on our capacity to organise, foresee, assess, speak, and connect to events and stimuli, yet it also poses challenges (Stoddard & Afari, 2014). The emergence of unpleasant emotional responses while thinking about a terrible situation might be explained by the capacity to integrate previously learnt associations and deduce into new interactions (mutual entailment). The process of developing self-rules also involves this step. The theory and interventions of ACT are guided by the recognised principles of cognition and language.

Contextual Behavioural Science

The ultimate goal of a practitioner rooted in functional contextualism is to have a constructive and deliberate effect on the world (Hayes, Barnes-Holmes, & Wilson, 2012). Additionally, advocacy had a part in Skinner's research and influenced the creation of CBS. He urged psychologists to consider societal responsibility for problems like social equality, democracy, and education (Vilardaga, Hayes, Levin, & Muto, 2009). According to the Association of Contextual Behavioral Sciences' (ACBS) mission statement, it is committed to "alleviating human suffering and advancing human well-being via research and practise based on CBS" (Association of Contextual Behavioral Sciences, 2005). The philosophical worldview of contextualism, the theoretical and philosophical foundation of CBS, is nested inside functional contextualism (Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 2012). This philosophical accord in science serves as the cornerstone around which analytical presumptions and procedures are built. The chosen scientific philosophy affects the limitations, justifications, interpretation, and logical foundations of the evidence that has been obtained (Vilardaga et al., 2009). As a framework for research and cross-disciplinary cooperation that reflected contextualism, CBS was developed. This framework allows it to drive and impact underlying research assumptions, future research orientations, creation of pathology models, assessment, and therapy development. This strategy emphasises the significance of contextually driven assumptions as the primary driver of human behaviour in an effort to explain behaviours. It aims to incorporate philosophical presuppositions, fundamental scientific concepts, fundamental and applied theoretical frameworks, intervention development, treatment testing, dissemination, and training. It encompasses several levels and aspects of evolutionary research as well as how human behaviour interacts with genetic, epigenetic, and cultural factors (Hayes et al., 2012). The social sciences' prevailing philosophical presumptions, such as that "happiness" is a natural condition of being, are challenged by CBS (Hayes, Levin, Plumb-Vilardaga, Villatte, & Pistorello, 2013). The phrase was changed to "the ubiquitousness of human misery" by CBS (Hayes et al., 2012). The likelihood of mental health issues in 17 nations, including Belgium, Colombia, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, China, South Africa, Spain, Ukraine, and the USA, is summarised in data from the World Health Organization (WHO), which lends support to this assumption (Kessler et al., 2009). They discovered that between 12% in Nigeria and 47.4% in the United States encounter a mental health condition in their lifetimes via the use of structured interviews that tested for diagnostic criteria. Additionally, it was discovered that, for those between the ages of 15 and 29, suicide was the second-leading cause of mortality worldwide. Every year, more than 800,000 individuals successfully commit suicide (Hooper & Larsson, 2015). The long-term goal of CBS is to develop a science that is more suited to the difficulties of the human condition. This entails empowering people to participate in transformational change, a method aimed at prosocial change (Hayes, 2016). Relational Frame Theory and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) both have CBS as their foundational research paradigm (RFT).

Historical Background of Behavioural Therapy

From a behavioural standpoint, Watson defined psychology as "a totally objective experimental branch of natural science" in 1913. Its theoretical objective is to anticipate and manage behaviour (Benjamin, 2007, p. 145). Behaviorists believed that psychology required objective scientific measurements in order to become a natural science. There have been "three waves" of behavioural treatments using behaviorism's concepts in the last century (Hayes, 2004). Each "wave" of behaviourism has its own set of presumptions, techniques, and objectives. The development of behaviour therapy was intended as a reaction to then-dominant therapeutic ideas. The goal of behaviourists was to create a science with a solid scientific foundation and a direct connection between theory and therapeutic therapies (Hayes, 2016). This was in sharp contrast to older kinds of treatment, including the psychoanalytical model, which was primarily based on the interactions between Freud and his patients in the therapeutic setting (Hooper & Larsson, 2015). In the 1950s, behavioural therapy (BT) was practically independently and concurrently founded by Joseph Wolpe in South Africa, Ogden Lindsay in America, and Hans Eysenck in England (st, 2008). Overt behaviours were a frequent area of interest for these scholars. They influenced such overt actions using operant and classical conditioning approaches, mostly ignoring emotions and ideas (Harris & Hayes, 2009). With his renowned "Little Albert" experiment, John Watson played a pivotal contribution in the development of behavioural psychotherapy. In an experiment, a white rat was used to instil dread in a nine-month-old baby. He combined his observations of how white rats are touched and how youngsters are scared by loud sounds. A loud noise would occur each time the infant touched the mouse. Because the results of this experiment fit within the framework of classical conditioning, it had direct implications for the emergence of psychopathology. Similar to "Little Albert's" instance, an unconditioned reaction is elicited by an unconditioned stimulus (noise) (fear). The white rat served as a neutral stimulus throughout these events, and the rate thereafter served as the conditioned stimulus for the fear reaction, which was then a conditioned response. The toddler was now upset and terrified by the white rat's appearance alone (Hooper et al., 2015). The first person to use this understanding in therapeutic work was Mary Cover Jones. She created the first desensitisation experiment, which included a three-year-old kid who was first trained to dread a rabbit before gradually becoming less afraid of it (Hooper et al., 2015). Joseph Wolpe built on her study and created the systematic desensitisation approach, which includes a gradual relaxation technique to suppress the fear response, a hierarchy of feared stimuli, and relaxation exercises while in the presence of the anxious stimulus (Hooper et al., 2015). According to Skinner, who popularised the operant paradigm in psychology, changes in behaviour are correlated with their effects. This social reinforcement concept was effectively used in the treatment of agoraphobia by the researchers Agras, Leitenberg, and Barlow in 1968. It is often regarded as the first "wave" of a psychotherapeutic strategy that was founded on research (st, 2008).

Neo-behaviorists used cognitive techniques to affect behaviour based on neuroscience, linguistics, computer science, ethnography, and psychology during the "second wave" of behaviourism, which peaked in the 1970s (Hooper & Larsson, 2015). The failure of behaviourism to explain and understand language and cognition was a major factor in the transition (Hooper et al., 2015). Aaron T. Beck created cognitive therapy (CT), which he based on the idea that bad thoughts produce unpleasant feelings and behaviours (Hooper et al., 2015). The major therapies entailed challenging dysfunctional and illogical thinking patterns and replacing them with healthy, logical ones (cognitive restructuring) (Harris & Hayes, 2009). Interventions were centred on content modifications, sometimes known as first-order alterations. The use of the cognitive model led to the identification of cognition patterns that were assumed to be connected to certain illnesses (Hayes, 2016). CBT was created by the fusion of first "wave" principles and more modern cognitive ideas (Hayes, 2016). Finally, CBT and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) dominated the "second wave" (Harris et al., 2009).

Currently, acceptance, mindfulness, and second-order transformation are heavily emphasised in so-called "third wave" behavioural treatments (Zettle, 2007). Second-order alterations, as opposed to changing behavior's form or substance, concentrate on how well actions fit into a given environment (Zettle, 2007). This category includes therapeutic modalities including Functional Analytic Psychotherapy (FAP), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and others (Harris & Hayes, 2009). Moving away from first-order cognitive alterations and stressing the cognitive framework in which ideas originate was initiated by mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. There was growing evidence that thoughts' functions may be changed without affecting their substance. In the 1990s, it became clear that "second wave" treatment procedures would not have the expected effects on the patient and might not even be required for successful therapy (Gortner, Gollan, Dobson, & Jacobson, 1998; Zettle, 2007). Cognitive therapies were questioned by process and component analysis of cognitive techniques. The awareness of the current moment was one novel component to encourage transformation (Hayes, 2016). Behavioral treatment methods from the first and second waves are included into ACT.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

ACT is the particular therapeutic strategy that I mostly support. The experimental results of RFT, which claims that human language and its bidirectional and evaluative features are the source of human suffering, serve as the theoretical foundation for ACT (Hayes, Barnes-Holmes, & Roche, 2001). The bold claim made by the ACT approach's creators is that "psychological distress is a core element of human existence" (Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 2012, p. 4). In our contemporary Western culture, when pleasure, health, and material success are valued as the norm, this assertion is highly divisive. a manifestation of the idea that one of life's primary objectives is to be free from bodily and emotional suffering. In contrast to this, experiencing bodily and mental challenges is often seen and regarded as abnormal (particularly in the medical industry), and it is classified as such via a collection of psychological symptoms that suggest disease (Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 2012). But according to Hayes, Strosahl, and Wilson (2012), this way of view diminishes or even completely ignores the significant influence of particular settings on behaviour while ignoring the functioning of behaviour.

The historical and situational context, cultural influences, and the relationship between ideas, emotions, and behaviour depending on a person's unique context are all included in the therapeutic focus of ACT (Hayes, Levin, Plumb-Vilardaga, Villatte, & Pistorello, 2013). Contextual science challenges the conventional belief that physical health is the absence of sickness and that human pleasure is the absence of aberrant processes. According to Hayes, Strosahl, and Wilson (2012), social, cultural, and contextual factors have an effect on human suffering and are pervasive. It is believed that a person's response to distress (bad thoughts and emotions) is more important for good functioning than the actual suffering they are experiencing. According to ACT, the three essential processes of "consciousness of the present, openness to private experience, and involvement in valued activities" are all dysfunctional (Strosahl, Robinson, & Gustavsson, 2012, p. 3). According to the ACT, every issue people face is caused by or connected to experienced avoidance (Hooper & Larsson, 2015). ACT seeks to improve psychological flexibility, which is defined as the capacity to go on with cherished activities despite suffering and unfavourable private situations, in order to alter results (Hayes et al., 2012). It focuses on recognising the ideas and emotions that obstruct leading a meaningful life. Instead than concentrating on modifying the experience itself, ACT aims to change the connection to those internal experiences (Stoddard & Afari, 2014). Healthy variations in behaviour and flexibility are thought to increase the present moment's engagement with the lived experience so that behavioural choices may be made consciously and deliberately (Hayes et al., 2012). The goal of ACT is to develop internal collaboration of the whole person, including all of their unpleasant and undesirable aspects. Clients gain the confidence to learn about and recognise previously ignored and feared ideas, emotions, and sensations via the therapeutic use of metaphors, paradox, mindfulness, and experiential activities. Clients are urged to embrace and appreciate their own inner experiences, create objectives based on their values, and make a commitment to altering their behaviour in accordance with those beliefs.

As a helpful tool for practitioners to direct conceptualization and therapy, a theoretical model of psychological flexibility that is connected to RFT and behavioural principles was created (Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 2012). The ACT case formulation process will be influenced by two key areas: "What type of life does the client most truly wish to build and live? What environmental or psychological factors have prevented or hampered the pursuit of that sort of life? 105 (Hayes et al., 2012). The client's proficiency with the six ACT core procedures is also assessed throughout the interview phase.

The Hexaflex

The underlying concept of psychological flexibility and concurrently the model of psychopathology in ACT is known as the "Hexaflex" (Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 2012). Aspects of psychopathology, psychological well-being, and psychological therapies are depicted by the hexagonal model. The six fundamental processes that support a person's psychological flexibility are represented by the "Hexaflex" in a visual way. Processes like cognitive fusion, sensory avoidance, or individualistic self-defeating behaviours are all examples of psychological inflexibility (Hayes et al., 2012). When someone attempts to avoid what they see as "bad" emotions like melancholy or worry, they are said to be engaging in experiential avoidance. This often puts valued living at odds with it, making it the definition of psychological flexibility's negative (Hooper & Larsson, 2015). Fusion might be thought of as a flight from uncertainty and confusion. The sensation of contradiction is undesirable, and the conception of a distinct self will not let material that may not match the established narrative. Unwanted sensations are momentarily reduced as a result (Hayes et al., 2012). This process often results in a restricted or small vocabulary of verbal guidelines, behavioural possibilities, and a lack of awareness of behavioural repercussions (Hayes et al., 2012). Even if changing the path of action is manifestly impossible, it becomes more difficult. Additionally, these habits make a person concentrate on the reasons why things are not going their way, which traps them in the cycle. The term "cognitive fusion" describes the situation in which an individual becomes enmeshed in their own self-stories and is figuratively fused with their cognitions. The capacity for perspective-taking and self-awareness is referred to as the self as context. The capacity to remain in the current moment is referred to as being present. By setting value-based objectives and taking deliberate, dedicated action in the direction of a life worth living, valuable directions are being formed (Hayes et al., 2012). On the other hand, the six processes of "flexible attention to present moment, selected values, committed action, self-as-context, defusion, and acceptance" all contribute to psychological flexibility (Hayes et al., 2012, p. 63).

The fundamental premise of ACT is nested in the model, which holds that suffering is a normal byproduct of existence, but that a lack of psychological flexibility restricts one's capacity to adjust to internal or external changes (Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 2012). Over-identification with language's literal interpretation results in psychological rigidity, which causes misery. The so-called six dialectical core therapeutical processes—acceptance and willingness, cognitive defusion, mindfulness, self-as-context, values, and committed action—are used in the ACT method to encourage psychological flexibility (Stoddard & Afari, 2014).

Acceptance And Willingness

The "voluntary adoption of a purposefully open, receptive, flexible, and non-judgmental stance with regard to moment-to-moment experience" is how acceptance is best defined (Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 2012, p. 272). It also entails a person's readiness to actively deal with upsetting personal circumstances, events, or encounters. The idea that the person's connection to their ideas and emotions should be the major emphasis rather than the substance of those things distinguishes this approach from other therapeutic techniques (Walser & Westrup, 2007). The aim of ACT is to assist the client in accepting their ideas, emotions, memories, and experiences by holding them in the palm of their hand, like a butterfly (Walser et al., 2007, p. 19). This requires the capacity to resist being too identified with the constant buzz of the human mind.

Cognitive Defusion

The capacity to see thoughts as straightforward ideas devoid of literal meaning that governs one's conduct is referred to as defusion (Hooper & Larsson, 2015). Thoughts are considered to be unproblematic, but when a person responds to them in a blind way, that's when they become problematic. Defusion from thought content refers to the ability to be conscious of a thought without engaging in negative self-talk. Here, a person modifies its connection to the thought's substance. Defusion, like acceptance, gives one the freedom to live according to their values (Stoddard & Afari, 2014).


From a psychological standpoint, mindfulness is best defined as paying attention to the experience happening in the present moment while adding present-centered awareness (Nagy & Baer, 2017). The secular Western society has adopted this age-old Eastern custom. Several of the previously listed "third wave" therapy philosophies have integrated mindfulness-based practises. These mindfulness-based therapies have been used with many different groups and diseases. Through the development of new connections with one's thoughts and emotions, the practise of mindfulness has been demonstrated to reduce rumination, improve emotion control and attention, as well as working memory (Nagy et al., 2017).

In ACT, present-moment awareness is practised with compassion so that the individual may feel openness. The technique includes being open to noticing emotions, ideas, and sensations—even when they are unpleasant. The four ACT processes of acceptance of experience, detachment from literal thought content, present-moment practise, and self-as-context are used to aid in the development of mindfulness (Walser & Westrup, 2007). These procedures provide the individual the ability to see internally experienced good and bad occurrences from the perspective of an observer, enabling a non-judgmental involvement with the material. "From a mindfulness viewpoint, our suffering originates out of our emotions and judgements about what is there as opposed to what is truly present," write Shapiro and Carlson (2017). (p. 11).


The capacity to imagine a past and future self while developing a sense of who we are as individuals is also a component of human linguistic talents. Self-as-context implies the existence of a "you" who is capable of seeing and experiencing both the inner and outside worlds but who is distinct from one's own internal activities (thoughts, feelings, roles). It may be characterised as a self that "observes" the occurrence of ideas and sensations. Instead, internal scripts that govern how people believe about themselves, about their lives, and about their past control a person who perceives a self-as-content. This individual often minimises flexible contacts outside of their self-created tale, which is often against their own beliefs. They tend to be defined by the details of that story (Stoddard & Afari, 2014). The self-as-context concept aims to change a client's viewpoint so that they become observers and active participants in their lives, with the power to make decisions based on their values.


According to the ACT paradigm, values have a significant role in influencing behaviour and may be effective change agents. Values are described as "qualities of ideal conduct, giving structure and coherence to life and driving purposeful activity" by Ciarrochi, Fisher, and Lane (2011). (p. 1184). Values occur in a variety of circumstances and eras and serve as the foundation for a person's drive to accomplish their life's goals. Increased value orientation while decreasing experiencing avoidance in the context of valued living is one of the objectives of ACT therapy (Ciarrochi et al., 2011). Nine areas, including family, friends, romantic relationships, job, education, leisure, spirituality, community, and health, make up the overall description of values. Each of these areas has the potential to spur the client to action and aid in bringing emphasis to certain value-based objectives. Greater flexibility for the aim of living in line with personal ideals is promoted by the practises of acceptance, defusion, present-moment awareness, and self-as-context (Stoddard & Afari, 2014).

Committed Action

While beliefs provide behaviour direction, dedicated action is what leads to real behaviour change (Stoddard & Afari, 2014). The setting of worthwhile objectives enables customers to choose committed action items. A committed action includes specific objectives that may be fulfilled, but a value is a direction or journey without an ending. To assist clients in moving toward their ideals, committed action therapy often integrates standard behaviour therapy components, such as problem-solving techniques, exposure, skill development, etc. To overcome internal barriers that can prevent taking action, the techniques of acceptance, defusion, mindfulness, and self-as-context are combined (Stoddard et al., 2014). When values are formed, an almost infinite variety of connected objectives and particular actions follow, which increases psychological flexibility (Zettle, 2007).

The Matrix

The matrix, created by Polk and Schoendorff, is another popular ACT strategy for conceptualising psychological flexibility (2015). The matrix may be thought of as an interactive representation of the ACT processes. The diagram's horizontal line distinguishes between internal and exterior events. The upper level of the matrix is for the real world, while the bottom level is for the client's private events. The vertical line serves as a functional delineation between behaviours that advance the client's values and occurrences that the client is attempting to flee or avoid (struggles). The four quadrants are then used to characterise the client's everyday experience, recognising both functional and dysfunctional acts (Hooper & Larsson, 2015). This method may be used to assist a client comprehend their experience and as a tool to help them become more psychologically flexible.

The Therapeutic Relationship

Evidence suggesting similar variables may be responsible for a substantial amount of the treatment success is compiled by Shapiro and Carlson (2017). The connection between the client and the physician, expectations, facing difficulties head-on, mastery, and the attribution of results are only a few of the crucial common variables that have been mentioned. Relationship factors are the best predictor. The most fruitful relationships are those built on empathy, unconditional positive respect, and client-therapist congruence. Due to its promotion of positive therapeutic relationship traits including presence, warmth, trust, connection, and understanding, mindfulness has been proposed as a common component. A good therapeutic relationship requires psychological flexibility on the part of the practitioner, according to the ACT. The goal of the clinician is to provide an example of psychological flexibility for the client. The therapist creates an atmosphere where his or her emotions serve as important initiators and provide learning chances that are moulded by contingencies. The therapist must be open, accepting, cogent, and consistent with ACT principles in order to enable the flexibility model to enter the room and direct the therapy interaction. ACT suggests dealing with the client less as an authority figure and more as a fellow human being going through a similar struggle. According to Hayes, Strosahl, and Wilson (2012), soft reassurance is yet another crucial element of ACT treatment. A clinician's capacity to confirm and normalise the experience of the other person's suffering, as well as their readiness to be open to experiencing their anguish, is referred to as soft reassurance. It is said that an essential quality for a successful ACT therapist is the capacity to feel empathy and compassion for the client's situation. Additionally, the ACT practitioner has a readiness to selectively self-disclose in order to promote the development of strong interpersonal bonds. It promotes camaraderie and gives the therapist the chance to serve as a role model for acceptance and commitment by acting as a suffering human being in the same room as the client.

I respect the experiences that are happening right now in the therapy room as I support all of the aforementioned facets of the therapeutic relationship and work to improve as an ACT therapist. A "therapist's presence is defined as the ultimate state of moment-by-moment receptivity and profound relational engagement," according to Geller, Greenberg, and Watson (2010). Instead of doing anything to the customer, it entails being with them. It involves being soft, nonjudgmental, and compassionate while accepting the client's experience. It also involves being open to being moved and affected by the client's experience while being rooted and receptive to the client's needs (p. 85). As a new therapist, I want to improve my capacity for present-moment awareness while also developing the abilities to integrate mindfulness with the methods and tools required to encourage psychological flexibility.


As an ACT therapist, I strive to accept and nurture the uniqueness of all people by being attentive to their unique social settings and individual distinctions. The social environment of a person affects how they see the world.

Many different cultural settings have seen the adaptation of mindfulness and motivational interviewing. I believe it is my responsibility to not only be aware of the cultural adaptations that therapy tools already have but also to be receptive to any modifications that may arise due to diversity in the room. Metaphors and experiential exercises within ACT may be customised and modified to the client's unique experience to maximise effectiveness. According to Hayes, Strosahl, and Wilson (2012), an ACT practitioner must be concerned with sexism, racism, degradation, and injustices since these issues also come up during therapy sessions. Community and diversity issues are crucial to the therapeutic process. ACT offers a strategy for integrating cultural adjustments that is process-focused (Masuda, 2014). The functional contextualism framework enables and directs the ACT therapist to organise and develop cultural knowledge in a practical and contextually aware way.

Efficacy Of Acceptance And Commitment Therapy

While outcome studies are often used to establish evidence-based practise, some of them lack a solid theoretical and empirical foundation (Hooper & Larsson, 2015). Due to a rise in effective outcome studies, including multiple random controlled trial treatment studies, many experts see ACT as being evidence-based (Hooper et al., 2015). A survey of 265 empirical studies on depression, anxiety disorders, significant mental disease, drug misuse, quitting smoking, eating habits, and pain is provided by Hooper and Larsson (2015). The correlation between the ACT processes and the results has been the subject of around 25% of this study. Nevertheless, st (2014) came to the conclusion in his meta-analysis that ACT did not meet the requirements to be regarded as a well-proven therapy for any condition. He noted minor impact sizes and methodological issues. A-tjak and colleagues (2015) recruited 1,821 participants with mental illnesses or physical health issues in a second efficacy study. Based on the results of this research, the authors came to the conclusion that ACT is more effective than standard care or a placebo. They added that ACT could be just as successful in treating anxiety disorders, depression, addiction, and somatic health issues as well-known psychological therapies. After reviewing st's first meta-analysis, Atkins and colleagues (2017) claim that there may have been inconsistencies in his findings. The authors highlight the multiple randomised trial publications as well as APA Division 12 designations of ACT's evidence-based effectiveness in the treatment of psychosis, obsessive-compulsive disorder, mixed anxiety, and chronic pain.

Additional Techniques and Strategies

I identify as an ACT practitioner who is rooted in functional contextualism and a member of CBS, but I also use other methods and approaches to support the ACT way of doing therapy. To encourage committed, valued action, I'm using elements of solution-focused treatment, motivational interviewing, dialectical behaviour therapy, behavioural activation, and skill-based strategies.


My personal experiences, exposure to many cultures, travel experiences, and interest in different worldviews, together with training that emphasised diversity and social justice, fit well with the ACT method and contextualism. I am making an effort to take cultural issues into account and to improve my cultural sensitivity and expertise. I'm actively working to cultivate mindfulness in my daily life, and I also want to do so in my therapeutic practise. To guide my therapy work, I use techniques that have been scientifically established and backed by evidence. I also use Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and a number of skill-based therapies in addition to ACT. I agree with the American Psychological Association's ethical guidelines for responsible, ethical practise and understanding of existing cultural diversity as a newly qualified mental health professional.



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