Understanding the Self: Self-as-Context in ACT for OCD

Michelle-Woidneck2

Utah State University
Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health

Key Points

  1. Self-as-context in ACT teaches individuals to view themselves as observers of their internal experiences, separate from their thoughts and feelings.
  2. The concept of self-as-content, the opposite end of the continuum, involves identifying oneself with internal experiences, which Stacy initially does.
  3. Using metaphors like the sky and weather and practical exercises with objects helps clients understand and embody the observer self, distinguishing their true identity from their fleeting thoughts and feelings.
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The Process of Self-as-Context in ACT

In acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), 'self-as-context' is an essential process for individuals to recognize themselves as separate from their thoughts and feelings. This concept is visualized on a continuum, with self-as-context at one end, embodying the observer part of the self. This observer self can recognize that thoughts and feelings are experiences occurring within oneself, but they do not define one's identity.

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