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date: 17 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a model grounded in the philosophy of functional contextualism and underpinned by relational frame theory, a theory of verbal behavior. The model explicitly addresses the incongruence between Western assumptions that happiness is a normal and expected state, and the epidemiological data, which show that suffering is ubiquitous. ACT proposes an alternative to the disease model of suffering. As an intervention it aims to increase psychological flexibility, which is the ability to contact life more fully and to persist in behaviors that serve our deepest values. This review describes the ACT approach to psychopathology, the ACT model of psychological flexibility, and briefly attends to the philosophy and theory underlying this approach. A short summary of outcome research is also provided, showing that ACT has been successfully tested in clinical, educational, health and organizational settings.

Keywords: ACT, acceptance and commitment therapy, relational frame theory, functional contextualism, psychological flexibility, acceptance, values, behavior change

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