Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Symposium #525
International Symposium - RFT Analysis of Therapeutic Techniques: Defusion and Metaphors
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Stevens 5
Area: VRB/CBM; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Olga Gutierrez Martinez (Universidad de Granada)
Discussant: Ian T. Stewart (National University of Ireland, Galway)
Abstract: The present symposium aims to analyze the basic relations involved in two therapeutic methods commonly used in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): cognitive defusion and metaphors. There exists large evidence on the superiority of methods like these, focused in altering the arbitrary relation between thoughts and actions, over methods more focused in altering the content of “problematic” thoughts. Part of this superiority has to do with one of the main Relational Frame Theory assumptions: relational networks can be only altered by addition, never by subtraction. The first study shows empirical evidence on this regard. The second paper addresses the experimental analysis of deictic and hierarchical framing, as the relational behavior at the basis of the use of defusion and mindfulness techniques. In the third presentation, the authors present an experimental analysis of the conditions that should be fulfilled for the metaphors to maximize their intended effect of changing psychological functions.
Relational Network Complexity and Defusion.
PATRICIA BACH (Illinois Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Relational networks cannot be changed by subtraction, only by addition. It has been suggested that expanding relational networks may facilitate cognitive fusion. To explore the impact of a larger versus a smaller relational network on performance on an implicit attitude task subjects were trained to relate two novel stimuli to either one or several descriptors. Subjects then completed an implicit attitude test using the novel stimuli and performance and response latencies were compared across number of relations to the novel stimuli. The results will be discussed in terms of their implications for education and psychotherapy.
Hierarchy and Deictic Framing as Basis Process during Defusion Practices.
CARMEN LUCIANO SORIANO (University of Almerí­a, Spain), Sonsoles Valdivia-Salas (University of Almerí­a, Spain), Francisco Jose Ruiz-Jimenez (University of Almerí­a, Spain), Michael J. Dougher (University of New Mexico), Miguel Rodriguez-Valverde (Universidad de Jaen, Spain), Dermot Barnes-Holmes (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), Yvonne Barnes-Holmes (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)
Abstract: Defusion practices are one of the most relevant and necessary components of the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. As well, defusion seems to be the process involved in meditation or mindfulness experiences. The present experiment works through two relational frames that have been conceptualized as critical in defusion practices. Two experimental and one control conditions will show the impact of establishing hierarchical and deictic framing in relation to the participants’ private events on the performance in highly demanding tasks.
Experimental Analysis of the Use of Metaphors in Clinical Settings.
FRANCISCO JOSE RUIZ-JIMENEZ (University of Almería, Spain), Carmen Luciano Soriano (University of Almería, Spain), Sonsoles Valdivia-Salas (University of Almería, Spain)
Abstract: This paper presents a Relational Frame Theory account of the use of metaphors as effective clinical methods. A number of therapies have shown increased interest in the use of metaphors (e.g. ACT, DBT, MBCT), which have been successfully applied as part of the treatment of several psychological disorders. However, the conditions under which metaphors are useful and have a real impact on psychological functions have not been studied systematically, thus are not well understood. The empirical study here presented attempts to provide a preliminary account of this issue, indicating some of the conditions under which metaphors can be more effectively used for the treatment of psychological disorders.



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