A Framework for Addressing Psychological Inflexibility Among Act Therapists-In-Training.


David A. Yood

Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Capstone

Degree Name



Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

John McNeill

First Committee Member

Peter Buirski

Second Committee Member

Chad Emrick


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy; Training Manual; Behavior/CBT; Psychological flexibility; Psychotherapeutic processes


Novice therapists training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) may encounter challenges in therapy in which their own personal history functions as a barrier to flexible modes of therapeutic engagement with the therapist. From the ACT perspective, counter-therapeutic interpersonal responses may be examined relative to six behavioral sub-processes. It is suggested that the most vulnerable moments for the therapist will involve those in which certain contextual features of therapy pull historical awareness of a painful personal past into relation with the psychological present. This paper hypothesizes that utilizing approaches based in ACT will assist therapists in overcoming these challenges and will illustrate how to approach case formulation and intervention with therapists in training from a functional contextualistic perspective. To begin, the philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of ACT will be outlined in sufficient depth to intellectually ground the model and its therapeutic project. This conceptual foundation will then be brought to applied focus using hypothetical case material, followed by ACT interventions designed to increase clinical flexibility in the given therapeutic scenario. Future research that systematically examines the effectiveness of such methods among therapists is encouraged.


Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


38 pages

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