The handouts are in the first section.  The presentation is here 


Click above for ppt slides 

By the end of this lesson, participants will be able to 

1.  Define what acceptance and commitment therapy is

2. Define what psychological inflexibiliy is

3.  Describe the different elements of the ACT model

4.  Define Cognitive fusion as it relates to a nutrition problem. 

some of this info is in the presentation- some is new- make sure you click in the hyperlinks



ACT is an orientation to psychotherapy that is based on functional contextualism as a philosophy and RFT as a theory. As such, it is not a specific set of techniques. ACT protocols target the processes of language that are hypothesized to be involved in psychopathology and its amelioration, such as:

  • Cognitive Fusion — the domination of stimulus functions based on literal language even when that process is harmful,
  • Experiential Avoidance — the phenomenon that occurs when a person is unwilling to remain in contact with particular private experiences and takes steps to alter the form or frequency of these events and the contexts that occasion them, even when doing so causes psychological harm
  • The domination of a conceptualized Self over the “self as context” that emerges from perspective taking and deictic relational frames
  • Lack of values, confusion of goals with values, and other values problems that can underly the failure to build broad and flexible repertoires
  • Inability to build larger unit of behavior through commitment to behavior that moves in the direction of chosen values and other such processes. 

Technologically, ACT uses both traditional behavior therapy techniques (defined broadly to include everything from cognitive therapy to behavior analysis), as well as others that are more recent or that have largely emerged from outside the behavior tradition, such as cognitive defusion, acceptance, mindfulness, values, and commitment methods.

ACT teaches clients and therapists alike how to alter the way difficult private experiences function mentally rather than having to eliminate them from occurring at all.  This means we do not have to “change” the way we think– we can “accept” it and realize it may “be different” from the way we want to think or “our values” and “diffuse the thoughts”.  


This empowering message has been shown to help clients cope with a wide variety of clinical problems, including depression, anxiety, stress, substance abuse, and even psychotic symptoms. The benefits are as important for the clinician as they are for clients. ACT has been shown empirically to quickly alleviate therapist burn-out. In addition, we are learning that these same processes help us understand and change a variety of other behavioral problems, including such areas as human prejudice, work performance, or the inability to learn new things


1. Values – ACT toolbox 1. Values Assessment HWHere are some worksheets you can use with your clients.  

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