Scientific Ambition: The Relationship between Relational Frame Theory and Middle-Level Terms in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

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APA Citation: 

Barnes‐Holmes, Y., Hussey, I., McEnteggart, C., Barnes‐Holmes, D., & Foody, M. (2016). The Relationship between Relational Frame Theory and Middle‐Level Terms in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. The Wiley handbook of contextual behavioral science, 365-382.

Publication Topic: 
ACT: Conceptual
CBS: Conceptual
RFT: Conceptual
Publication Type: 
ACT, CBS, RFT, unified field theory

Most natural sciences aspire to a unified theory, such as Einstein's unified field theory that would specify how all space and time behave under changes in the parameters of the total field. This chapter presents a summary of the middle level terms that comprise the acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) hexaflex, as well as mention of a number of additional middle-level terms commonly used by ACT practitioners and researchers. It discusses how the contextual behavioral science (CBS) community can harness each of its elements to progress the science toward a unified theory. The chapter considers whether the recently proposed reticulating model can facilitate this agenda. It addresses the question of how successfully one can close the gap between relational frame theory (RFT) and ACT. The chapter considers future directions for basic research in the service of a unified theory for CBS. It argues strongly for the advancement of basic science.

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