Relational Frame Theory 101

12 Jul 2018
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A few years back I came across the intriguing notion that language is responsible for rather a lot of our problems. In 487 words I'll be honest: it's not an area of expertise so this is just my dim understanding and I'd welcome any thoughts. I also suspect some might be thinking, "My wretched childhood/relationships/brain chemicals/genetics etc. are responsible — not language!" Some of those at least might be significant in how personal language rules developed.

No other animal does language to the extent we do. Furthermore, humans have a repertoire of self-destructive behaviour which is extensive. There may be a link. Language is more than just words. It's the entire symbolic system that allows thought to be created internally.

A lot of observable behaviour is rule-governed. You see this clearly with animals. Rats will press levers for food and learn to avoid pain. Rats are clever and they learn rules quickly. They assess situations too: is this situation like that other situation where the rule applied? (Maybe it's a trap?) We also learn fast, e.g. If I do this then he won't love me. Is this situation the same or different? Rule following is really quick: you judge the situation and you follow the rule. If it's different, you might slow down and evaluate or quickly apply another rule. If you can't tell then you will have to deal with uncertainty (which is uncomfortable).

The connecting thought is that language follows deep rules and therefore is part of our behaviour. These are not rules of grammar that we were taught in school. These are simple relationships between concepts which allow infinite combinations of ideas. Take the relationship of "opposition" for example. Say a child gets placed with a foster family because his mum is having problems with addiction. His real mum and foster mum are radically different in some obvious ways so the child frames the relationship between his mum and foster mum primarily in terms of opposition. Because he loves his real mum he rejects the kindness of the foster mum. He's applying the rule of opposition which frames how he behaves with them.

Language/ thinking is far from transparent and the relationships and categorisations which we think with are more like the operating system of a computer — you can't see it but it's how the machine works. Similarly, our operating systems drive a lot of our behaviours. Some operating systems are buggier than others! (Windows 95 anyone?)

The basic thought is that rule-following behaviour is quick and efficient but by definition it is inflexible. Inflexible behaviour/ thinking/ rumination drives a fair share of our problems.

I know this may be fairly esoteric, or seem like nonsense, (or poorly explained/understood!), but there are some nice studies on it and I thought I'd share this notion of a small number of relationships within our language that drive rule-based behaviour.

Oli

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Comments

Molly

July 12, 2018, 11:25 p.m.

Far too intense and complex for me Oli, maybe I will go back and read it on a 'good' day. My brain is not holding much right now. Hope others can relate x

Reply

Oli

July 13, 2018, 5:27 a.m.

Thank you Molly. It’s really just a taster, a mention that this stuff is out there. RFT has a solid research base — so it’s not like some flaky therapy — but it isn’t easy to understand, I’ll definitely agree with that!

The Gardener

July 13, 2018, 4:31 a.m.

Good morning Oli - also mind challenged. Are you talking along the lines of 'Games People Play' by Eric Berne? I am trying to escape from my 'limbo'. It is known here that my husband went into a care home last October, He has extreme deterioration, no communication at all. So, virtually, I have little I can do with him but pay the bills and not abandon him. So I read voraciously, Maugham (his 'Razor's Edge' was very deep on human relationships, I think), Evelyn Waugh (very funny, and having embraced the Catholic church very critical of it).

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Oli

July 13, 2018, 5:34 a.m.

Morning Gardener! Yes, challenging! (For me too!) It’s really about the idea that all that stuff we do, the stuff we do every day — that’s behaviour. Everything is behaviour. And what RFT adds to the mix is the notion that language is behaviour too. All behaviour makes sense — even if it’s not exactly optimal! And that can go for our private behaviour (our thoughts) too.

The librarian

July 13, 2018, 6:43 a.m.

Waugh is great, isn't he? Though I've always found Maugham rather nasty - 'Theatre' really upset me - but I'll keep trying because of the period he wrote in and how prolific he was in the theatre. I've read *about* him too - interesting character.

The Gardener

July 13, 2018, 7:16 a.m.

I am moving about 4,000 books across the road, therefore re-reading as I move. People like Neville Shute and Nicolas Monserrat (not in Waugh and Maugham lines) were very prophetic about future generations, and most observant. Galsworthy THE great social historian.

The librarian

July 13, 2018, 8:03 a.m.

Brilliant! Can I come and help you?? I haven't read any Glasworthy but would like to. I was trying to reduce my unread book collection and re-read what I have and use the library but then my local bookshop closed down and there were some irresistible bargains... Elizabeth Taylor (the writer, not the actress), Rose Macaulay, Molly Keane, Muriel Spark, Tessa Hadley...

The Gardener

July 13, 2018, 4:36 a.m.

Mr G and his brother were both proud of their 'lawyer' like conversation - they both 'talked down' to people and carefully avoided any emotional involvement, in fact, when rows/discussions really needed to be taken to a conclusion they would back into a book. A son is due today, just got his Doctorate - hoping he will back and help me to 're-build' my life - but he may become like his uncle, a renowned scientist, on me - when I am looking for affection, sympathy and back-up. We shall see. Rules are, of course, safe. Thanks Oli, at least writing this with China tea and not gin! xx

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Mary Wednesday

July 13, 2018, 5:11 a.m.

Your last line made me laugh, dear Gardener! Stick with tea in the mornings! How often we want a hug and affirmation and not mere logic! I hope your son will give you both affection and practical support. Maybe you could tell him right out, "I need affection and hugs from you." People are often scared of giving what they do not know will be welcomed or are not familiar or easy with giving.

The librarian

July 13, 2018, 6:39 a.m.

What good advice, Mary - I will try that, and I would like others to be like that with me.

Mary Wednesday

July 13, 2018, 5:17 a.m.

Oli! How wonderful to see a post by you! (If I have missed previous ones, please forgive me!) I know this well, as words are my thing. You can say the same thing in different words and the effect on the reader/listener will be quite different. We can say things to ourselves in different ways and reframe our experiences. People say to me,"Weren't you lonely,as a child?" To which my answer, these days, is "I was alone, yes. But you're never lonely when you have imagination!" Rephrasing the experience made it rich, rather than impoverished. I will think more on your words, Ok I. This is a deep and profound blog.

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Oli

July 13, 2018, 5:54 a.m.

Hello Mary, yes! RFT, as I understand it, explains how these mismatches of communication occur too. There are many implications which flow from the idea that language is behaviour. Our very sense of “self” may not form till we are able to make the distinction between “I/You” “Here/There” which we learn through multiple exposure as children. The unique skill we have as humans is that although we learn verbal behaviour through operant conditioning, we also learn to apply the rules contextually. If you teach a dog that “stick” is the wooden thing he loves to fetch then “stick” will only ever mean that to a dog. But humans can apply arbitrary rules — a toddler, or anyone with language, can pretend a rope is a stick. Well… we are rule-followers because rules are easier than evaluating. And just as our physical behaviour can be less-than-useful because of our learning history, so to can our thinking.

Duma

July 13, 2018, 6:04 a.m.

Hi Oli. I wrote a big response, But it glitched out of existence. lol I’ll try and have another go later. I’ve got to ger ready to see my psychiatrist today Hopefully getting my car keys back (along with some degree of autonomy). Interesting piece, I’ll do a little reading, and get back to you. Cheers, Duma.

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Oli

July 13, 2018, 6:11 a.m.

Hi Duma, the auto-logout is why I copy/ paste any longer posts. Hope the session goes well. I’d love to hear your thoughts and I’ll put together some links for further reading if this stuff interests you.

Duma

July 13, 2018, 10:21 p.m.

Thanks Oli. I find the way that language shapes and channels our thinking absolutely fascinating. It’s also, definitely, the reason I am so prone to neologisms. I find my vocabulary alway limiting - so I expand it. I would love to see those links, it sounds intriguing. Cheers, once again, Duma.

Duma

July 13, 2018, 10:24 p.m.

Btw - the psychiatrist passed the buck to my GP. This is because my neck is so stiff, that I probably couldn’t operate a automobile safely. I’ll hear on Tuesday.

Oli

July 13, 2018, 11:15 p.m.

Gentle stretches for the neck often help a lot; a stretch is never a strain. Persistence is key. // Here are some RFT links: Joseph Rhinewine -- I love this guy; he's so low tech but talks sense. https://youtu.be/gtulP4l_fnw Matt Villatte -- https://youtu.be/B5E__FC3oZs Foxylearning -- the course isn't free but it's like £10 or something. It's good. https://foxylearning.com/tutorials#

The librarian

July 13, 2018, 6:37 a.m.

This is interesting, Oli, though I'm not sure I fully understand it... at the moment! (I'm trying not to give up on things I don't understand) I often feel as if I am speaking a different language and struggle to communicate - especially in conflict. Do you have any further thoughts about rigidity/inflexibility? All the best.

Reply

Oli

July 13, 2018, 7:10 a.m.

Rigid and inflexible thinking accounts for a lot of misery as well as lot of saved time and energy. It’s useful when escaping a burning building to know “Fire Exit” is the way out. But if the exit is locked then following the rule of “fire exit” can keep us banging away at a locked door instead of checking if the window can open to safety.// Our learning histories are unique to us and perhaps we’ve learned that a person’s “anger behaviour” requires our “silence behaviour.” In the dog and stick example the stick is only ever a stick to a dog. But we are capable, through language of seeing “stick” in anything. Try it now: pick three things and see how they’re like a stick. My first three thoughts: cloud, father, computer. I can see the shapes of sticks in clouds; my father was unbending and rigid; my crappy computer should be thrown across the garden for the dog to fetch. If I were to keep thinking of those associations then I’d learn them. // Similarly we can see “anger” in anything. If the inflexible response is “silence” then many different contexts are capable of producing that behaviour. We do not update our rules very often. We can follow them inflexibly all our lives.

The librarian

July 13, 2018, 8:04 a.m.

Thank you, Oli - what helps with learning new rules or getting an non-Microsoft update?

Oli

July 13, 2018, 8:41 a.m.

Ironically, absolutely genuinely, I'm installing Zorin on another laptop right now. (Zorin is my favourite Linux OS because it's so easy if you're not a Linux geek; I'm not.) But to answer your question, RFT suggests that we don't delete old rules; we only ever add to them. And, as we all know, when we learn new behaviour it's vulnerable as soon as it hits an obstacle, and we switch back to old behaviour. E.g. new rules: "I will eat salad instead of chocolate." Obstacle: people upset me. Back to old rule of "eating choc dampens aversive stimuli" . // New behaviour needs to be positively reinforced... lots. // As it happens, I believe there are hacks we can make to the OS. But this is not bourne out in RFT research and this is what my area of interest is in down in Bournemouth. I don't know enough, and I don't have sufficient data yet so I won't embarrass myself by showing even more ignorance! But basically that's what I'm interested in.

Jul

July 13, 2018, 1:49 p.m.

Just to say Librarian, I know that feeling when trying to make myself heard and understood. It feels as if I am speaking a foreign language and also I find it almost impossible to get my message across. But maybe this is a tactic to put us off, employed by the person we are trying to communicate with? Maybe it's in their interests not to understand so sabotage what we are trying to say. I don't watch Love Island but there was an incident picked up by the press this year where one of the contestants was attempting to explain her hurt feelings to her boyfriend and kept repeating what she wanted to say but in different ways in an effort to make him understand. Her message was loud and clear to most of us watching, which ever way she put it, whichever words she used, the message was clear but her boyfriend failed or deliberately failed to understand what the poor girl was saying. It was uncomfortable viewing and brought back memories of similar "conversations" I've been involved in. Jul xx

Orangeblossom

July 13, 2018, 6:47 a.m.

Hi Oli, thanks for your very thoughtful & thought provoking blog. It encourages me to research the matter further.

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Oli

July 13, 2018, 7:59 a.m.

Thank you Orangeblossom -- I'm glad it sparked something. I reckon it's like something to keep an ear out for -- I'm sure we'll be hearing more about it as it escapes the RFT laboratories and makes its way into "the water" -- the way we understand the things we do. So when we get the very real problems of "why the **** did I do that? (again!)" then at least we'll have some understanding of some of the contextual drivers of our behaviour. :-)

Lex

July 13, 2018, 6:55 a.m.

I feel a wonderful door has been opened to a room I can't quite focus on yet... but I like it! Thanks, Oli!

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Oli

July 13, 2018, 7:54 a.m.

Hi Lex, I remember telling my gf about RFT when I first became aware of the research and she was very, “It sounds like BS! If they can’t write clearly then they’re not saying anything.” Now, she had a point about clarity: RFT research is by definition academic and written in the terminology of behaviourism. I’m not trained as a behavioural scientist so I struggle. But I do feel RFT is onto something useful. It’s this notion that we behave mostly according to learned rules. And the notion that the way verbal behaviour is learned (operant conditioning) means that we can have personal verbal/thinking rules which we follow in preference to updating according to experience. // Operant conditioning is worth understanding. For example, it drives my impulse to drink alcohol (see Mary’s blog yesterday). The sequence goes: (1) painful experience (either outside my skin or inside my head); (2) avoid painful experience by applying alcohol to dampen emotions; (3) experience relief from painful experience.// Behaving (drinking) reduced pain therefore I’m more likely to do it again. In operant conditioning terms it’s negative reinforcement. I do something (drink) to negatively affect (reduce) the aversive stimulus. // What if all our verbal behaviour followed this learning process? It’s stimulus and response but not just in Pavlovian terms of classical conditioning. But the implication is huge: we behave, the stuff we do and that includes being stuck, because we’re following learned rules.

The Gardener

July 13, 2018, 8:01 a.m.

The thought for today is most pertinent. Last week I nearly left Moodscope as I over-reacted to a suggestion that I wrote too much. If anything will get me going it's books - trying to get some sort of Book Club going here, anything mildly academic - absolute no-no, so I gabble here! Get to grips with above Oli later

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The Gardener

July 13, 2018, 8:24 a.m.

Oli, sorry to keep on - a son who should be on the way here now went through all the stages above - he's fine now, but I am actually worried at how he will react to the state of his Papa after a year between visits.

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Jul

July 13, 2018, 8:36 a.m.

Hi Oli. You referred to language in a comment recently and I thought how interesting. I think people on the autistic spectrum see language differently and react in a logical way rather than responding with preconceptions of what the words may mean. I am no medic and an expert on Autism can explain this much better. However when I read your blog, I also thought about the English football team. I've been reading about their psychological training. They stick to the rules and tactics explained to them during training and try not to think outside the box. I imagine their reliance on language other than the rules etc. is limited in order to succeed. Your words here sum it all up for me. "The basic thought is that rule-following behaviour is quick and efficient but by definition it is inflexible. Inflexible behaviour/ thinking/ rumination drives a fair share of our problems. " I also recall your comment once on rumination. It's helped me so much. I would love to be more concise in my personal use of language. I aim to get my message across in a less complicated way but it's a work in progress. I notice the French use less words than us to describe things. They get to the point quickly and their jokes are straightforward and less long winded than ours. Thank you Oli for this blog. It raises such important points. I'd like to read more on this subject. Go well. Jul ***

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Oli

July 13, 2018, 9:02 a.m.

Thank you Jul. As it happens a fair bit of the clinical application of RFT so far has been with people with autism. Because you're right: the way language works is through all these strange and arbitrary connections which we don't even think twice about because we LIVE in language. It takes the person with autism to show what we take for granted, and RFT looks at what's going on under the surface of language.

Oli

July 13, 2018, 9:10 a.m.

PS the relational framing of verbal behaviour is, theoretically, a universal process -- so it will apply to all human languaging, not just particular languages. For example, the framing of "I/You" which enables me to distinguish myself from you is a way we construct our sense of self (and lots more). And that applies to every human. But, (and I'm way outside of expertise here), I believe that sense of self and other can be affected in autism, and with it the sense of being able to take another person's perspective.

Valerie

July 13, 2018, 11:57 a.m.

Hi Jul, Many arguments with Mr.Spock have been caused by his denial of words said or heard. In the world of us N.T's (neurotypicals) this is often describes as "gaslighting".This refers to a wonderful old film with Ingrid Bergman,being made to think she is going mad by her dastardly hubby! A daily example.Me; "Would you like tea or coffee?" Spock; "Yes" Me; "Yes what? Which do you want?" Spock; "Coffee of course" I won't weary you.His reasoning is that "coffee" was the last thing said, so obviously that is what he is agreeing to.Had he wanted tea,he would have said No. Is it any wonder I am totally bonkers? xx

Jul

July 13, 2018, 12:48 p.m.

Oh my goodness Valerie. It's uncanny what you've just written. I can't type fast enough to let you know that when I ask my OH/ Dr Spock the same question, tea or coffee, he says "yes". I am just about to ask him, so I shall say Coffee or tea? When he answers yes, I shall get him Tea and not query it as I always do. I first came across that word gaslighting after an interview I'd seen where it happened. Can't for the life of me remember who was being interviewed. There's a wonderful book called The Little Ottleys by Ada Leverson. (Virago Classics). One of the main characters called Bruce is my OH down to a T. It's a must read by the sounds of it for you too. Let me know if you have trouble getting it. I often wonder if there is a website for men like my husband only,which gives advice about how to make your wife appear totally bonkers and as if she feels she is losing her mind. If it wasn't so frustrating, it might just be funny. And all the men reading this, please do not think this is a an anti male diatribe. It just is not. I'm not like that and don't think in those terms. Thank you Valerie. Big hugs. Jul ***

The librarian

July 13, 2018, 1:17 p.m.

The Little Ottleys is the serial on Radio 4 at 7.45pm at the moment - it's brilliant and I'm very keen to read it.

Jul

July 13, 2018, 1:39 p.m.

Oh great and what a coincidence!! I'm in France right now. Would love to hear the book serialised. I'm so glad you are enjoying it Librarian. Thank you very much for letting me know. Jul xx

Valerie

July 13, 2018, 1:57 p.m.

I will order that book Jul.I bet if your husband read it,he would never recognise himself in Bruce! Spock can't understand why I giggle at the autistic policewoman in The Bridge.***

Valerie

July 13, 2018, 10 a.m.

Hi Oli, I have had to read this a few times,and I am still not sure I fully understand.Humour me please with an "Idiot's Guide",using the story of the boy in foster care as an example.How does language work in that scenario to affect the boy's loyalties? Interested to see your comment on application to autism.Years with someone with Aspergers has shown me the profound damage and erosion of trust that is caused when two people speak a different "language!" By the way,as an ardent ant-vivisectionist I welcomed the news that lab rats are being replaced with lawyers.They are less intelligent than the rats,and there's absolutely no risk of the workers becoming attached to them.x

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Valerie

July 13, 2018, 10:09 a.m.

Should read Anti- vivisectionist! I do not spend time cutting up ants-that would be creepy!

Oli

July 13, 2018, 10:28 a.m.

Hi Valerie, this is my interpretation of the RFT study which described the case of the boy in foster care: Mum and Foster Mum are obviously two different people. Imagine you’re that boy and you’re thinking about these people and through exposure to them you pick up on their “oppositeness”. In fact you could have picked up on their “coordination” or sameness, but you noticed their differences. And this forms a judgement, an evaluation, a rule about what to do and how to behave. So rather than thinking, “my foster mum is being kind to me so I’ll behave as if my mum is being kind to me” the boy behaves: “my foster mum’s “kindness” behaviour must be [because of the rule-following] opposite-to-kindness. And my behaviour will reject her.” Yes, it’s bonkers from an outside perspective but from the boy’s perspective of “opposition” it makes sense. All behaviour makes sense somehow. And clinically the aim was to encourage the addition of new perspectives the boy could use for the generation of more flexible responses to his foster mum’s kindness. // Love the comment about lab rats! :-)

Oli

July 13, 2018, 10:41 a.m.

PS -- this might help too: "language" from an RFT point of view IS behaviour too. So a primary frame of "opposition" [basically the framing of "A is opposite to B"] then the behaviour follows. Most of our thinking is in words. When we have less than optimal rules in our thinking then we just get more of the same thinking. The "ah-ha!" moment comes from realising that we can see things a new way. // There are not that many relational frames which verbal behaviour uses. (I think about nine). But because of the way the rules can combine you get bazillions of possibilities for thinking.

Norman

July 13, 2018, 12:59 p.m.

Oli, that is so revealing. I am in a relationship with a new partner and having problems with her children. Her eldest (son) has taken to me and is becoming very critical of his father. The two younger ones (daughters) find fault with everything I say and do and take their father's word as gospel. Neither of these responses are helpful or desired. That concept of opposition has given me a good insight, and a basis for dealing with it. Many Thanks.

Jul

July 13, 2018, 1:52 p.m.

Hello Norman. Oli has helped me too..I understand how language can affect our well being. I am sorry you are having problems with the children but wish you well with your new relationship. All I can say is that taking on three children in this situation must be so difficult but from what I read it's very common. Are there websites to help? I am glad Oli has helped you. Jul ***

Valerie

July 13, 2018, 11:44 a.m.

Thanks Ollie,I am getting the general picture,although abstract thought is not my usual thing.I saw a Gestalt therapist,and was in a Gestalt group in the 80's.I think those teachings would fit well with RFT. The word "but" was greatly discouraged in some contexts.Example-" I love you,but I wish you did not drink so much".The "but" negates the "I love you" to the listener.We were to say "I love you AND I wish you did not drink so much"

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Lynzi

July 13, 2018, 2:01 p.m.

Wow! That was hard. I've never posted a comment before (fear based reasons) but this especially resonates, because l've not thought about it like that before. Thank you Oli for sharing and causing me to have to work out how to comment and face this particular fear. Namaste.

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Oli

July 13, 2018, 2:45 p.m.

Hi Lindsey, it was/is a new way of understanding behaviour for me too. It’s lovely to read your comment! :-) // If you’ve been reading for any length of time you’ll have noticed how the system logs you off after a few minutes and you can lose your reply (it happened to Duma above). I am copy/pasting this reply in from Word. So if it happens please don’t let it put you off. // The fear thing is interesting, I was saying yesterday that I do social anxiety quite well so I would avoid situations (and therefore escape the unpleasant feelings that go with fears of being judged and rejected). It’s negative reinforcement again: do behaviour A (stay at home) in order to turn down the discomfort that comes with B (social contact). It kinda works (but at the cost of living the kind of life I want — because I want to be able to do social contact). Likewise, writing this blog made me super-anxious because I feared (a) I am going to compress a complex area of study beyond all recognition and I know that I don’t understand it that well myself; (b) no one would get it or care. I was prepared for rejection but your reply, and the others have been affirming. Thank you! :-) // #FaceTheFear #CommittedAction

Ach UK

July 13, 2018, 6:53 p.m.

Hi Oli, That's a lovely thought-provoking blog you have up today. Lots n lots to think about in it. ? As an Elder ( person lol ) my brain is going to have to reread on a loop but I certainly "get" the idea of the difficulties in interpretation of words in meaningful conversation. It reminds me of Maladaptive Schemas . .? So can I put it like this: In the world of speech and language Correct Language Framing is necessary for interaction between two humans. Prerequisites for Framing include sufficient vocabulary in a language both participants understand and speak; with a dialect both can hear, assimilate and interpret. Interpretation of the words spoken will depend on the listener's previous experience of the words; used by him and to him, and his use of the words in scenarios he plays in his head. For any particular word a person has heard and assimilated the brain will allot it an initial meaning based on time and place and context. Over time words are inputted in different contexts and/or similar contexts and our brains build their own dictionary and thesaurus for each word which has a personal meaningfulness depending on the lives we have lived. It's amazing we ever manage to communicate at all with each other since we all have such differing experiences of life. The commonality of experiences such as newspapers, tv, schooling, the workplace and socialising for any group of people's will perhaps broaden our interpretation of words, but I can see how beyond the difficulties of general understanding of another humans sentences in the everyday world, if one has for some reason a differing internal understanding of a word or phrase than the people you are trying to communicate with . . . . Well perhaps Brexit is an example? I've found myself, more and more as I have got older and presumably my brain a bit rusty from mental mishaps, using a tactic of intervention when it dawns on me that I'm not understanding or grasping the point of what someone is saying to me. I used to just listen through and hope understanding would dawn - I think early conditioning that interrupting was bad manners and not wanting to appear thick or be found wanting was in play. But now I find it a relief to stop the someone in midflow and say something like " I'm sorry but I dont follow that, can you rephrase it" Sometimes we have to go through it several times and I find we will both be changing the words we are using till usually we get to a point satisfied we both understand. And often now I have found it very helpful to state I have a mental health problem and can't assimilate info like I used too. It's true, and let's them know that I'm not just time wasting or being pedantic. I hope you will write us a bit more on these new ideas. Thank you. XX Ach .

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Oli

July 13, 2018, 11:58 p.m.

Ach, thank you. There's something you said which really spoke to me: the way it's okay to stop someone and say, "I didn't follow that." I have used this myself many times. I've used it when someone says something that is painful for them and painful for me too. I am now confident enough to say the obvious: this hurts. So we pause. I invite the pause. And in the space we see what comes up. Then try and fit words to it.

Tutti Frutti

July 13, 2018, 8:08 p.m.

Hi Oli Sorry not to have replied earlier in the day and to have missed all the live discussion. I forgot to pick up my phone this morning and decided that I'd better not go back for it and miss the train! I thought from the title that this blog might be yours and I found it really interesting. What you have said kind of makes sense to me although obviously it is a big area and I would be interested to read more. Are there any books etc I can read? This way of looking at our behaviour certainly seems to sit alongside CBT and REBT which I find suit me as I like to use logic. Are there any therapies based on relational frame theory at the moment or is the research still much more exploratory? I am glad that you braved writing for us and seem to have generated lots of interest. Love TF x

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Oli

July 13, 2018, 11:29 p.m.

Hi TF, such a great question! Yes, there are therapies based on RFT. There are behavioural therapies which focus on autism and learning; and there is a behavioural therapies which focuses on anxiety and depression, and a lot, lot more. (I'm not sure how much evidence there is for bipolar though, as in: it's not my area of study so I don't know. But the evidence is really good for anxiety and depression.) It's called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or ACT, (pronounced "act") and it's one of the third wave of therapies. ACT has been a game-changer for me. There is a bloke called Russ Harris who is a good explainer and his book, "The Happiness Trap" I think is a good place to start. (My gf didn't like it but I think it's good!). "Acceptance and Commitment Therapy" 2nd Edn by Hayes, Strosahl, and Wilson is actually quite readable and I think is utterly brilliant. :-)

RC

July 14, 2018, 7:45 p.m.

Hi Oli Interesting blog and has set me thinking. Not too much though as I’m on hols with my husband and trying to chill out and give my brain a rest. Are you @ Uni in Bournemouth or studying in some capacity or have I got the wrong end of the stick? ( I often do!) Take care x

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Oli

July 14, 2018, 11:34 p.m.

Hi Lacey, have a lovely time on holiday! And yes, I'm part time at Bournemouth Uni dipping my toe into the water of post-grad work. :-)

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