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    Cognitive Defusion in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: What Are the Basic Processes of Change?

    Assaz, Daniel and Roche, Bryan and Kanter, Jonathan W. and Oshiro, Claudia K.B. (2018) Cognitive Defusion in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: What Are the Basic Processes of Change? The Psychological record, 68. pp. 405-418. ISSN 0033-2933

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    Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a contextual–behavioral approach to psychotherapy and other behavioral health concerns that has progressively attracted attention from both researchers and clinicians. ACT’s psychological flexibility model relies on middle-level terms that, despite being less precise than behavioral principles, are seen as being valuable for teaching and practicing ACT. One such term is cognitive defusion, which refers to the reduction of stimulus function transformation that occurs through verbal relations. In other words, defusion aims to minimize the influence of verbal relations, such as thoughts, on behavior, when doing so leads to adaptive behavior and valued living. Recently, some authors have stressed the importance of functionally defining middle-level terms, establishing clear links between the concept and basic behavioral processes. This article begins this endeavor by analyzing these links with respect to cognitive defusion. First, we briefly contextualize ACT’s theoretical roots. Second, we present cognitive defusion as a therapeutic intervention, reviewing its objectives, procedures, outcomes, and hypothesized processes as stated in the relevant literature. Third, the outlined process of change is critically examined, leading to a new conceptualization of cognitive defusion. Finally, the conceptual, clinical, and research implications of this new conceptualization are considered

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: acceptance and commitment therapy; cognitive defusion; process of change; middle-level terms; relational frame theory;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 13094
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Dr. Bryan Roche
    Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2020 15:17
    Journal or Publication Title: The Psychological record
    Publisher: Springer Verlag
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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