The hexagon: the six characteristics that promote psychological flexibility

ACT postulates six core processes that, together, promote psychological flexibility; as we discuss later, ACT, including when used in the workplace, attempts to enhance these processes. The hexagon (colloquially referred to as the hexaf- lex; see Figure 11.1) is a graphic representation of the six core psychological processes that constitute psychological flexibility (and we can influence those processes through various ACT techniques) (Hayes et al. 2006). The processes on the left of the hexaflex (acceptance and defusion) constitute the mindfulness processes, whilst those on the right (values and committed action) promote commitment to values-based action processes. The two at the center of the hexaflex (present moment and self as context) facilitate both types of processes. As we will discuss, though, and as the connecting lines amongst the processes suggest, this distinction between the mindfulness and values-based action processes is not so clear-cut, and one set can help to facilitate the other.

Values

For individuals, values refer to a direction of travel that people choose to take in their lives, and that give their lives meaning. People need to work constantly

ACT's psychological flexibility model

Fig. 11.1 ACT's psychological flexibility model.

Source: reprinted from Behaviour Research and Therapy, 44 (1), steven C. Hayes, Jason в. Luoma, frank W. Bond, Akihiko Masuda, and Jason Lillis, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Model, processes and outcomes, pp. 1-25, doi:10.1016/j.brat.2005.06.006 Copyright 2006, Elsevier. With permission from Elsevier.

toward their values, as they can never be forever (if ever) achieved, or sustained (Hayes et al. 2012). For example, a person has to work constantly on being a loving partner; it cannot be achieved in perpetuity without consistently taking action. Indeed, values drive people’s goals and day-to-day actions.

 
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