International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 13 Num. 3 - October 2013


An Empirical Investigation of Hierarchical versus Distinction Relations in a Self-based ACT Exercise

Volume 13 Num. 3 - October 2013 - Pages 373-385


Mair?ad Foody , Yvonne Barnes-Holmes , Dermot Barnes-Holmes , Carmen Luciano ,


Since its inception, ACT has placed a significant emphasis on the use of self-based techniques, and the self was defined initially through the three selves (i.e., self as content, self as process, and self as context). In addition, RFT provided a more technical account of self in terms of the deictic relational frames. However, the overlap between ACT?s mid-level terms (e.g., self as context) and RFT?s derived relations has been the subject of limited empirical scrutiny. The current study investigated the relative utility of manipulating distinction deictic versus hierarchical deictic relations in a self as context exercise designed to reduce experimentally induced emotional distress. The findings demonstrated superiority of the intervention that focused on hierarchical, rather than distinction, deictic relations in terms of reducing distress. The implications of the data for the potential overlap between ACT and RFT are discussed.

Key words:

ACT, RFT, mid-level terms

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