This compelling book provides psychotherapists with evidence-based strategies for harnessing the power of language to free clients from life-constricting patterns and promote psychological flourishing. Grounded in relational frame theory (RFT), the volume shares innovative ways to enhance assessment and intervention using specific kinds of clinical conversations. Techniques are demonstrated for activating and shaping behavior change, building a flexible sense of self, fostering meaning and motivation, creating powerful experiential metaphors, and strengthening the therapeutic relationship. User-friendly features include more than 80 clinical vignettes with commentary by the authors, plus a "Quick Guide to Using RFT in Psychotherapy" filled with sample phrases and questions to ask.
“Beautifully written, this book imparts a deep understanding of language's relationship to psychopathology and its effective use in psychotherapy. The theoretical presentation is exceptionally rich and the many examples of clinical application are particularly informative. Chapters address the fundamental tasks of therapy, from conducting functional assessments to building the client's sense of self, fostering meaning and motivation, and enriching the therapeutic relationship. A 'must read' for psychotherapists and students.”
—Michelle G. Craske, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles
“A fascinating, very accessible account of RFT and its application to psychotherapy practice. The book offers a gorgeous balance of conceptual thinking and practical applications. It is a mind-expanding resource for psychotherapists of all orientations and levels of experience.”
—Jacqueline B. Persons, PhD, Director, Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Science Center, Oakland, California
“Inspiring. Important. This book challenges every psychotherapist to pause and look again at the most basic tool of our trade—language—and the enterprise of meaning making. Its broad scope offers the promise of connection across models and perspectives as well as better ways to lead our clients into transforming moments in therapy.”
—Susan M. Johnson, EdD, School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Table of Contents:
1. The Power of Language
2. Language and Psychopathology
3. Symbolic Tools of Change
4. Psychological Assessment
5. Activating and Shaping Behavior Change
6. Building a Flexible Sense of Self
7. Fostering Meaning and Motivation
8. Building and Delivering Experiential Metaphors
9. Training Experiential Skills through Formal Practice
10. Empowering the Therapeutic Relationship
Quick Guide to Using RFT in Psychotherapy
Practical Definitions of Terms Used in This Book
About the Authors:
Matthieu Villatte, PhD, is a Research Scientist and Clinical Trainer at the Evidence-Based Practice Institute in Seattle. He has conducted workshops on the clinical applications of relational frame theory (RFT) and contextual behavioral science in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe. He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science. His work currently focuses on the dissemination of evidence-based practices, and he has published articles and book chapters on RFT, contextual behavioral science, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Jennifer Villatte, PhD, is a clinical psychologist committed to advancing health equity through contextual behavioral science. She is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and a core faculty member in the Behavioral Science and Technology Center at the University of Washington. Her approach to health promotion is holistic and person-centered, with an emphasis on efficiently targeting core drivers of behavior change and a goal of living well. She is also a leader in team science, partnering with innovators in technology, human-centered design, and data science to bring evidence-based health practices to scale and to optimize behavioral interventions that enhance individual and community well-being.
Steven C. Hayes, PhD is Nevada Foundation Professor and Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. He has been president of multiple scientific and professional societies, including the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) and the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. His work has been recognized by the Impact of Science on Application Award from the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the ABCT, among other awards. The author of more than 540 scientific articles, he has focused his career on understanding human language and cognition and applying this understanding to the alleviation of human suffering and the promotion of human welfare. His numerous books included Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Second Edition, and Mindfulness and Acceptance: Expanding the Cognitive-Behavioral Tradition.