ACT is a psychological approach grounded in a clearly articulated science paradigm of Contextual Behavioural Science (CBS). CBS is a coherent, multi-levelled system of philosophical assumptions, scientific values, and methodological commitments, which drive theory and technology development. Contextual Behavioural Science has made great strides in helping humans through Acceptance and Commitment Therapy/Training (ACT) and Relational Frame Theory (RFT).
ACT is a psychological approach that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behaviour change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility means being able to do the things you care about, even when you have thoughts and feelings that create discomfort. When people become more psychologically flexible, they are able to connect with what they care about, and turn their energy to doing more of these things.
ACT has been listed as an evidenced based treatment by the US National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP). Click here for more information.
It is also listed as a supported psychological treatment by the American Psychological Association. Click here for more information.
For young people: Recently ACT studies have shown good outcomes with adolescents across a range of settings, including mental illnesses and health conditions. Louise Hayes, is a leader in ACT research with young people. Click here for her publications.
Relational Frame Theory (RFT) is the behavioural theory of human language and cognition. RFT research has shed light on the development of perspective taking, theory of mind and empathy, creating immediate applications in autism and child development. It has highlighted ways to teach and raise children that will increase IQ through expanding psychological flexibility, as opposed to tradition teaching or rote learning approaches. It has shown application in organisational psychology seeking to understand how teams function based on how they see their relationships of self and other. It fits with anthropological and evolutionary theories of cultural transmission and gives insight into how one can evolve culture itself.
Find out more about CBS, RFT, or ACT
Information on CBS, RFT and ACT can be found at the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science