Facilitating the development of self-as context through relational cues – Bartosz Kleszcz

Description: According to some research and some conceptualizations of flexibility, self-processes create the foundation of the psychological flexibility model. While in ACT there are many metaphors and exercises to get in contact with self as the driver of the bus or as the sky or as the observer next to a stream, in a natural development the “self” – the ability to connect the environment from a stable I-Here-Now perspective and the ability to shift those perspectives – can be understood as derived from empathic, caring and boundary-providing relationships. During this workshop we will explore such model, using knowledge from relational frame theory and relational density theory and techniques from a variety of psychotherapeutic orientations. Participants will also learn how to be proactive in creating a therapeutic relationship that facilitates separation and individuation, necessary for a healthy self-as-context.


1. Understanding Self-as-Context: Participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of the concept of self-as-context within the psychological flexibility model, learning how self-processes form its foundation.

2. Applying Relational Frame Theory and Relational Density Theory: Attendees will learn to integrate knowledge from relational frame theory and relational density theory to facilitate the development of self-as-context in their clients.

3. Enhancing Therapeutic Relationships: Clinicians will develop skills to create empathic, caring, and boundary-providing therapeutic relationships that support separation, individuation, and a healthy self-as-context.

Competencies Acquired:

1. Conceptual Understanding of Self-as-Context: Proficiency in understanding and explaining the concept of self-as-context and its importance in the psychological flexibility model.

2. Integration of Relational Theories: Ability to integrate relational frame theory and relational density theory into therapeutic practice to support clients’ development of self-as-context.

3. Therapeutic Relationship Building: Enhanced capability to establish therapeutic relationships that foster empathy, care, boundaries, and the development of a stable I-Here-Now perspective in clients.

Bibliographic Titles:

1. Hayes, S. C., Strosahl, K. D., & Wilson, K. G. (2016). *Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: The Process and Practice of Mindful Change* (2nd ed.). Guilford Press.

2. Törneke, N. (2010). *Learning RFT: An Introduction to Relational Frame Theory and Its Clinical Applications*. New Harbinger Publications.

3. Villatte, M., Villatte, J. L., & Hayes, S. C. (2015). *Mastering the Clinical Conversation: Language as Intervention*. Guilford Press.

4. Wilson, K. G., & Sandoz, E. K. (2008). *Mindfulness, Values, and the Therapeutic Relationship in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy*. In S. C. Hayes, M. C. Levin, & J. T. Vilatte (Eds.), *ACT in Practice: Case Conceptualization in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy*. New Harbinger Publications.

5. Atkins, P. W. B., & Styles, R. G. (2016). *Measuring Self and Rules in what People Say: Exploring whether Self-discrimination Predicts Long-term Wellbeing*. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 5(2), 99-109.