RMIT University, Counselling Service: 6 A.C.T. Conversations

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Introduction SectionAudio Section

Action and experience versus thought and emotion

Action and experience versus thought and emotion

Welcome to Chapter 2 of 6 ACT Conversations an audio program from RMIT University Counselling Service designed to help you live a balanced and fulfilling life while completing your program of study.

The program uses concepts from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or ACT for short. But it is not meant to take the place of counselling, psychotherapy or mental health treatment. Although you can listen to the program in any sequence you wish, you should listen to the disclaimer and about this program files before starting.

This session, Experience versus Thought, continues logically from where we finished in Chapter 1, Language Creates Conflict. Of course, you don't have to listen to that session to get some benefits from this one. However if you find you are struggling to make sense of the exercises or especially why I am asking you to do some of the exercises, you may find it helpful to listen to or revise that section.

In this session we will introduce you to an alternative to trying to gain control of your thoughts and feelings. For the sake of consistency we'll call this alternative approach defusion, but the process is recognised by other names. Before I encountered ACT I would have called it inclusion. Dr Russ Harris refers to it in his book The Happiness Trap as expansion. Rather than provide a lot of theoretical description of it though, this session will mostly ask you to practise specific defusion exercises. That way you'll learn what defusion is and how you might use it through first-hand experience.