ACT and RFT in Context

ACT and RFT in Context

Expanding behavior analytic practice with a functional understanding of psychological flexibility

CE Hours available

Psychological flexibility can be understood in a broad sense as the ability to navigate challenging situations effectively, even when difficult thoughts and emotions are present.

Much of our work involves teaching others to behave more flexibly within their context, and establishing the prerequisite skills that lay the foundations for psychological flexibility later; psychological inflexibility plays a role in many of the common difficulties we encounter.

Acceptance and commitment therapy, or training, (ACT) and relational frame theory (RFT) offer a lens for viewing psychological flexibility and prosociality as key language repertoires at the heart of our work as contextual behavior scientists.

Promoting psychological flexibility within cooperative contexts for behavior change is the primary function of ACT, requiring functional analyses at all levels from the self to systems. Viewing ACT as a framework for promoting psychological flexibility, rather than a set of techniques, allows for an individualized, functional approach to intervention, grounded in basic behavior analytic principles and a conceptually systematic, RFT-based definition of psychological flexibility.

Viewing behavior analytic intervention through the lens of psychological flexibility gives a clear focal point for building a meaningful, values-directed, compassionate and responsive practice, centered on social validity.

Interactive exercises and discussions throughout the webinar series will emphasize identifying repertoires necessary for psychological flexibility at all levels of development, practitioner repertoires needed to create cooperative contexts for change, and an understanding and promotion of the prosocial interactions and systemic contingencies that support sustainability, diversity, inclusion, and equity.

This training offers 10 CE hours if attended live. We can only provide CE to those who are present via Zoom for the live sessions. However, the sessions will be recorded and available to watch later. Registrants may access these recordings at any time for up to nine months after the live training ends.

Before registering, please review conflict of interest disclosures and complete CE information here.

Session 1 | September 24, 2024, 12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. EDT

  • Hour 2: Overview of functional contextualism in the context of behavior analytic practice, including functional analysis models and terms, and how to view psychological flexibility in the context of functional analysis within one’s own practice.
  • Hour 1: Defining ACT as the promotion of psychological flexibility within a cooperative context for change, based on functional analysis; defining psychological flexibility and prosociality as socially valid aims for behavior analytic practice (**ETHICS CONTENT**).

Session 2 | October 1, 2024, 12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. EDT

  • Hour 1: Defining selfing as a complex languaging repertoire and a component of psychological flexibility; identifying foundational early repertoires of selfing
  • Hour 2: Describing and defining the relational framing repertoires relevant to selfing and considering how these repertoires influence psychological flexibility, both for oneself and for one’s clients

Session 3 | October 8, 2024, 12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. EDT

  • Hour 1: Defining rule-governed behavior in terms of relational framing, including transformation of function as it pertains to rule-governed behavior
  • Hour 2: Defining valuing as a type of rule-governed behavior, and exploring transformation of function in the context of valuing, both for oneself and for one’s clients

Session 4 | October 15, 2024, 12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. EDT

  • Hour 1: Defining and describing cooperation as a complex repertoire that includes empathy, curiosity, compassion, self-compassion, and humility. (**ETHICS CONTENT**)
  • Hour 2: Describing and exploring the role of cooperative repertoires in establishing working alliances with individuals and in groups (**ETHICS CONTENT**)

Session 5 | October 22, 2024, 12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. EDT

  • Hour 1: Defining and describing relational framing in the context of prosociality within and between organizational, social and cultural systems.
  • Hour 2: Exploring how psychological flexibility impacts our own behavior within groups and systems, with particular emphasis on issues of sustainability, diversity, equity, and inclusion. (**ETHICS CONTENT**)

Participants will be able to:

  1.  Describe functional analysis from the contextual perspective.
  2.  Explore the importance and relevance of this perspective as it relates to your own practice.
  3. Describe the relation between selfing and psychological flexibility.
  4.  Explore your own conceptualization of yourself, including the relational patterns you can identify between your self and different aspects of your context.
  5.  Define rule-governed behavior in terms of relational framing, including transformation of function as it pertains to rule-governed behavior.
  6.  Explore the power of values to transform stimulus functions, with respect to your own values and activities.
  7.  Describe how repertoires of curiosity, empathy, compassion, and humility are necessary for cooperation and require psychological flexibility.
  8.  Identify your own and others’ behaviors that demonstrate cooperation—including curiosity, empathy, compassion, and humility—when observing interactions.
  9.  Identify how your own selfing repertoire contributes to establishing an effective working alliance, and relates to your identity as a group member for a variety of groups that you belong to.
  10. Describe how repertoires of psychological flexibility, cooperation, and prosociality influence systems and organizing agencies and are critical to the design of a more prosocial world.
  11.  Identify how the different systems and professional cultures that individuals operate in influence their work together toward a common outcome in ways that may foster or inhibit cooperation and prosociality, and identify an action that you can take to help shift from aversive to appetitive control.

Please review complete CE and conflict-of-interest disclosure information prior to registering. This live online course is sponsored by Praxis Continuing Education and Training and is approved for 10 CE Hours by the following listed below. There was no commercial support for this activity. None of the planners or presenters for this educational activity have relevant financial relationship(s) to disclose with ineligible companies whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.

Praxis CET maintains responsibility for the program with the CE approvals outlined below:

Joint Accreditation: In support of improving patient care, Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

IPCE: This activity was planned by and for the healthcare team, and learners will receive 10 Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credit for learning and change.

Psychologists: Continuing Education (CE) credits for psychologists are provided through the co-sponsorship of the American Psychological Association (APA) Office of Continuing Education in Psychology (CEP). The APA CEP Office maintains responsibly for the content of the programs.

Social Workers: As a Jointly Accredited Organization, Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved under this program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. Social workers completing this course receive 10 clinical continuing education credits.

National Counselors: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6759. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

Behavior Analysts: Praxis CET is an approved BACB ACE Provider # OP-17-2718. This course is approved for 10 learning CEUs.

NY Social Workers: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0467

NY Counselors: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors. #MHC-0198.

NY Psychologists: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0002.

Ethics Hours: This course offers 4 hours of ethics training.

NOTE: Many state boards accept offerings accredited by national or other state organizations. If your state is not listed, please check with your professional licensing board to determine whether the accreditations listed are accepted.

Practitioners: BCBAs, dually licensed MFTs/LCSWs, other clinical psychologists/MFTs/LCSWs/counselors interested in learning more about behavior analytic foundations and RFT.

Esquierdo-Leal, J. L., & Houmanfar, R. A. (2021). Creating Inclusive and Equitable Cultural Practices by Linking Leadership to Systemic Change. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 1-14.

Hayes, S. C., Law, S., Assemi, K., Falletta-Cowden, N., Shamblin, M., Burleigh, K. et al. (2021). Relating is an Operant: A Fly Over of 35 Years of RFT Research. Perspectivas em Análise do Comportamento. 

Hayes, S. C., & Sanford, B. T. (2014). Cooperation came first: Evolution and human cognition. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 101(1), 112-129.

Pritchett, M., Ala’i-Rosales, S., Cruz, A. R., & Cihon, T. M. (2021). Social Justice is the Spirit and Aim of an Applied Science of Human Behavior: Moving from Colonial to Participatory Research Practices. Behav Anal Pract, 1-19.

Sandoz, E. K., Gould, E. R., & DuFrene, T. (2021). Ongoing, Explicit, and Direct Functional Assessment is a Necessary Component of ACT as Behavior Analysis: A Response to Tarbox et al. (2020). Behavior Analysis in Practice.

Stapleton, A., & McHugh, L. (2021). Healthy selfing: Theoretically optimal environments for the development of tacting and deictic relational responding. Perspectivas em Análise do Comportamento.

Zapparoli, H. R., Marin, R., & Harte, C. (2021). Rule-governed behavior: An ongoing RFT-based operant analysis. Perspectivas em Análise do Comportamento.

We understand, sometimes things come up!

Praxis will offer a full refund to registrants of both live and live-online trainings who cancel their registration up to 14 days before the course or workshop start date, minus an administrative processing fee of $30 for a 2-day workshop or online course, and a $50 fee for a 4-day workshop. If cancelled within 14 days, no refund will be issued, however, a credit for the same amount will be applied toward another learning product, which expires within 1 year. Please email us at to cancel a registration.