GLOSSARY: Psychological Flexibility

Psychological flexibility is the ability to be in the present moment with full awareness and openness to our experience, and to take action guided by our values. Put more simply, it’s the ability to “be present, open up, and do what matters.” Technically speaking, the primary aim of ACT is to increase psychological flexibility. The greater our ability to be fully conscious, to be open to our experience, and to act on our values, the greater our quality of life because we can respond far more effectively to the problems and challenges life inevitably brings. Furthermore, through engaging fully in our life and allowing our values to guide us, we develop a sense of meaning and purpose, and we experience a sense of vitality.

SOURCE: Harris, R. (2009). ACT made simple: An easy-to-read primer on acceptance and commitment therapy. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.


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