Humans are the only animals that can use language processes to create abstract, symbolic thoughts. This is both a blessing and a curse. Although symbolic processes have many benefits to humans, they can also lead us to great suffering. We worry about the future, fret over the past, get stuck in rigid rules, and create problems for ourselves that exist only in our minds. In this episode, cross-posted from the podcast Psychologists Off The Clock,
Dr. Debbie Sorensen talks to Dr. Matthieu Villatte
, an expert on a theory of language and cognition called Relational Frame Theory, about how language processes can contribute to human suffering. Dr. Villatte describes how these same language processes can be harnessed to help people build motivation find meaning in their lives.
Dr. Matthieu Villatte PhD is an Assistant Professor at Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. He is the author of numerous books and chapters on mindfulness, acceptance, experiential therapies, and contextual behavioral science, including Mastering the Clinical Conversation: Language as Intervention
(Guilford Press, 2015), co-authored by Jennifer Villatte and Steven Hayes. As a peer-reviewed trainer in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy recognized by the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS), he has facilitated over one hundred clinical trainings around the world as well as dozens of online trainings.
Debbie Sorensen, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist practicing in Denver, Colorado and a co-host of the podcast Psychologists Off The Clock.