In acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), it is acknowledged that overidentification with literal language leads to psychological inflexibility, which is at the core of human suffering. To address some of the tricks that language often plays on people, therapists need to use language in an experiential way, and this is the path chosen by ACT and other third-wave therapies.
For the last couple of weeks we’ve been talking about some of the ways language can play tricks on us and cause suffering, as well as how, alternately, it can be used to our benefit in therapeutic settings. And last week, we discussed mindfulness as one technique that allows the therapist to use language in an experiential way.
It is widely accepted that language plays tricks on people, both those who suffer from psychological difficulties and people in general. Therapists are called to reconnect clients to those elements of these experiences which may hold value and use in the therapeutic process. In their chapter in The Big Book of ACT Metaphors, Matthieu Villatte, Jennifer L.
Whether you are a novice or advanced practitioner in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), you know that metaphors and exercises play a crucial role in its successful delivery. These powerful tools go far in helping clients connect with their values, and give them the motivation needed to make a real, conscious commitment to change.
Over the last several weeks we’ve been blogging about relational frame theory (RFT), an approach to understanding the link between human language and behavior. In our RFT 101 series, we've gone over the history, background, and theoretical foundations.