Relational frame theory (RFT), experiential avoidance (EA), and emotion regulation (ER) are psychological frameworks that can inform useful conceptualizations describing the experience, perpetuation, and maintenance of obsessive and compulsive symptomology in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). RFT-based processes of language and cognition, including bi-directional stimulus relations, arbitrarily applicable derived relational responding (AADRR), and relational framing facilitate evaluative and higher-order conditioning; together, these forms of conditioning can account for the experience and perpetuation of obsessions. EA, which is a behavioral process addressed by acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), can contribute to the maintenance of compulsive responding through negative reinforcement. Further, EA is a problematic method of ER that contributes to the transformation of distress into the suffering individuals diagnosed with problems, such as OCD, may experience. Finally, metaphors can function as effective tools for
clinicians to use with clients during treatment modalities such as exposure-and- response prevention therapy (ERP) for OCD in the service of fostering acceptance.
Further study of the clinical applications of metaphors may be beneficial for the treatment of OCD and other psychological problems.
"Analyzing Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Using Relational Frame Theory, Experiential Avoidance, and Emotion Regulation,"
Kean Quest: Vol. 2
, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.kean.edu/keanquest/vol2/iss1/2