ACT became fully public 40 years ago today … or at least I think so. I know it was 40 years ago this month because I have the entry in my vita: Hayes, S. C. (October 1982). Cognitive distancing and psychopathology. Presentation to Broughton Hospital, Morganton, NC.

But I also have a memory that the talk itself was mid-month and on a Friday.

A quick look at a 1982 calendar tells me that the mid-month Friday was October 15, 1982. 40 years ago today! Cognitive distancing” was a term for what we later called “deliteralization” and then still later “defusionbut the talk was on the entire model underlying what was then called “comprehensive distancing.”

I likely titled it as I did to maximize the connection to CBT (this stuff was “out there” and I could use the credibility). The “model” at that time was likely not much more than a year old … since my “night on the carpet” was in January 1981 or thereabouts, as best as I can figure out. I do not have the notes or overheads from the talk – this was shortly before computers and hard drives stored the details of our lives

(an unbacked up hard drive crash a handful of years later means my academic memory doesn’t get really solid until around 35 years ago).

But I know Rob Zettle’s dissertation (the first ACT RCT) was already underway when I gave the talk. He remembers treating two clients in Spring 1982 using that first protocol before leaving for his internship with Tim Beck at the Center for Cognitive Therapy in Philadelphia that summer so his dissertation would likely be a pretty good guide to what was covered (I think his manual is on the ACBS website if anyone is interested).


Happy Birthday ACT!

Prof. Steven Hayes

Source: ACBS ListServ