The Conceptualized Self in the Inflexahex Model: Case Conceptualization and Psychological Flexibility
- The conceptualized self is the verbal content that we use to define and describe ourselves.
- The self-as-content (the conceptualized self) isn’t bad or pathological. In fact, it can be helpful at times.
- Self-as-context exercises can help when the conceptualized self becomes problematic.
- And using the Inflexahex worksheet can assist with case conceptualization.
In this training for Acceptance and Commitment Therapy case conceptualization, we will look at the converse relationship between self as context and attachment to the conceptualized self.
A conceptualized self is useful. It allows us to participate in the social community and talk to people and to answer questions such as: What is your name? What do you do for a living? Are those your children playing on the football field? and so on. Being able to say, my name is DJ, helps me to integrate myself in a social group. And being able to say, I’m a board-certified behavior analyst, helps me get jobs that earn money and pay for my children’s football team membership. A conceptualized self is not problematic in and of itself.
Rather attachment to the conceptualized self can lead to psychological inflexibility. When one rigidly holds on to descriptions that no longer apply or that increase one’s suffering or that contribute to ineffective behavior, then one may be attached to the conceptualized self. And during case conceptualization, an ACT therapist looks out for these issues.