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This month, we’ve been talking about love—one of, if not the most, powerful forces driving human behavior. In the world of psychotherapy we know that love can bring great joy, but it can also be the cause of immense pain and suffering. As the authors of ACT & RFT in Relationships point out early in their book, much of the research done in hopes of better understanding love has been focused on neurological phenomena. Today, we’re taking a look at some of this research.

Last week we launched the first post of our series examining the definition of love from a unique ACT perspective drawn from the authors of ACT & RFT in Relationships.  Today, we’re summarizing the two types of romantic love as defined in the 1970s by Elaine Hatfield and William Walster. We’ll also explore Ellen Berscheid’s more recent definition of attachment love; and Robert Sternberg’s triangular theory of love.

Editor's Note: This is the first in an installment about the definition of love from an ACT perpsective, drawn from the recently released ACT and RFT in Relationships: Helping Clients Deepen Intimacy and Maintain Healthy Commitments Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Relational Frame Theory.

Therapeutic interventions based on ACT are effective in both increasing worker resilience and enhancing innovation and performance. Circling back to our previous discussions of Relational Frame Theory, understanding how ACT interventions work is a crucial part of understanding the role of relational framing in this context. ACT interventions are designed to impact an individual’s psychological flexibility, that is, one’s ability to contact the present moment without avoidance, enabling persistence of change in behavior in pursuit of values or goals (Hayes, Luoma, Bond, Lillis, & Masuda, 2006).

Over the past few weeks, we’ve published a series of posts presenting an overview of Relational Frame Theory (RFT) in terms of history and theoretical foundations. We’ve aimed to provide a basis for understanding the necessity of a theory that can help us understand how language connects us to our environment.

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.

A couple of weeks ago we posted an introduction of arbitrarily applicable relational responding (AARR) within the context of relational frame theory from the chapter by Ian Stewart, PhD, and Bryan Roche, PhD, in Advances in RFT: Research and Application. Patterns of arbitrarily applicable relational responding are referred to as relational frames.

Last week, we took a brief look at the last sixty-plus years of research in language and experience that have provided the bedrock for current research and development of relational frame theory (RFT) and the link between language and stimulus equivalence.

Two weeks ago we published a question and answer session with the editors of Advances in Relational Frame Theory: Research and Application, Simon Dymond, PhD, and Bryan Roche, PhD. Their edited collection, which published in May of this year, provides a comprehensive overview of the foundations, nature, and implications of RFT, alongside the most up-to-date, cutting-edge research from leaders in RFT and the cognitive and behavioral sciences.

One of the key differences between cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is that ACT does not seek to change the content, frequency, or intensity of people’s unwanted thoughts, feelings and sensations


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