By Chad Drake, PhD, assistant professor at Southern Illinois University

The normal wave pattern of emotions get interrupted and extended by three maladaptive coping strategies. The first is emotion avoidance. It’s important  to realize how the attempt to control and avoid emotions paradoxically maintains, even intensifies, emotional distress.

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) maximizes the change mechanisms of groups. When done well, ACT magnifies therapeutic change mechanisms inherent in group therapy. Developed as the clinical response to an increased understanding of the origins of human suffering, the model articulates the processes that can keep humans stuck, and how those same processes can be used to alleviate suffering. This directly translates to the therapy room.

relational points

Relational frame theory (RFT) posits that human actions never take place in a vacuum. There is always something preceding and something following each action. It is among these contextual factors—those that precede and those that follow—that the behavioral analyst looks for answers to questions about what governs behavior.

metaphor journey

by Niklas Törneke, MD, author of Metaphor in Practice

The main questions for behavior analysis are which factors, in a given historical situation, influence what someone does, and how these factors can be changed in order to affect behavior. The relationship between a specific act and the context in which it occurs is the point of interest.

baby learning language

Acceptance and commitment therapy is based on Relational Frame Theory (RFT). The basic premise of RFT is that human behavior is governed largely through networks of mutual relations called relational frames. These relations form the core of human language and cognition, and allow us to learn without requiring direct experience. For example, a cat won’t touch a hot stove twice, but it needs to touch it at least once to get the hint.

ACBS Worldcon in Seville

Pre-conference has just completed at ACBS WorldCon in Seville, Spain. For the last two days, the leading thinkers in contextual behavioral science have led experiential workshops on the compassionate mind, functional analytic psychotherapy, process-based therapy, language in psychotherapy, and much more.

How do we motivate young people to grow and develop? We know that criticizing them usually isn’t motivating, but what about encouraging them to believe they have talent?​​ Youth psychologist, Louise Hayes, PhD, explains research findings that caution against the praise of talent and offers other forms of effective encouragement.

The key idea in using compassion focused therapy (CFT) is to train our minds to focus on compassion and to activate compassionate ways of responding in order to better regulate our feelings. By doing so, we stimulate specific biological systems in our brains designed to calm down the threat-detection system.​


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