ACT Fundamentals

Printer-friendly version

Between the first part of the reference book 'Experiential Approach to Change' and the second part there is a gap, if you have not received a Behavioral Training. I call this area the ACT Fundamentals, without which it is much harder to unlock the power of the Hexaflex.

Mainly the fundamentals involve basic Behavior Analyis skills, as well as understanding the Functional Contextual approach as distinct from the Mechanistic one. When I started learning ACT back in 1999 there was no support and definitely no easy way to learn these. So I taught myself slowly and painfully over a number of years. Creating the fundamentals approach is my way of trying to save you the time, and also of making it much simpler.

The fundamentals seem to be made up of 3 or 4 skills at the moment, and that should be enough. The idea of a fundamentals approach is that you learn to use the skills in situations that are increasingly complex and difficult. It is the same as the way I have learned to White Water kayak. You start in the swimming pool and work up to the waterfalls! The skills, however, remain the same.

The fundamentals seem to comprise:
1. identify a functional contextual analysis
2. formulating visually
3. using the 'yes' skill to build engagement
4. development of noticing discriminations

These skills complement the Hexaflex and create a bridge from the first part of the book to the second. The first skill is knowing how to think in the Functional Contextual way. For this I use the metaphor of taking a picture. When you are sitting with someone see if they are talking about a Story or a Picture. Noticing this is the entry point into the fundamentals.