Relational Frame Theory views the self as verbal discrimination of one's own behavior using deictic framing. We coded interviews similar to those occurring in therapy sessions for occurrences of a conceptualized, experiential or observing sense of self as well as values-oriented or control-oriented self-rules. We then used the frequencies of these different forms of self-discrimination to predict wellbeing 6 and 12 months later. Participants were legal and medical professionals who completed a range of wellbeing measures as well as interviews exploring their emotional and epistemic responses to personal life events. Two self-discrimination behaviors, reflecting values-oriented self-rules and self-as-context, predicted wellbeing 6 and 12 months later. While exploratory, this study suggests that the ways people discriminate their own behavior in natural language is a reliable determinant of wellbeing over extended periods. This approach provides researchers and clinicians with an additional tool for understanding and working with identity and psychological flexibility.
|Journal||Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|