This study aims to investigate a functional analytic model of self-forgiveness based on Relational Frame Theory (RFT) in which self-forgiveness is conceptualized as a repertoire of perspective-taking (deictic) relations in which a person is trained to take perspective on past failures. The current study will involve an RFT-based intervention targeting adult-level perspective-taking skills and directed at taking perspective on perceived real life personal failures. In the current study, 48 adults will be randomly assigned to one of three groups, a no treatment control group, an active group receiving mindfulness instructions (to pay attention in their thoughts without interfering) and an experimental group receiving RFT-based perspective-taking training. Participants will be assessed both pre- and post-intervention using measures of self-forgiveness and psychological health. Regarding the assessment of self-forgiveness, an empirically established RFT-based methodology (the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure, IRAP) will be used in addition to conventional self-report ("explicit") measures. Mixed group design statistics will be used to compare the effects of the interventions both within and across groups to examine the efficacy of the RFT-based model of self-forgiveness. It is expected that there will be positive changes from pre- to post-intervention for both the perspective-taking and mindfulness groups in comparison with the control group. It is also possible that there may be differences between the perspective-taking and mindfulness groups. This will be the first study to examine the effects of a functional analytically defined perspective taking intervention on multiple indices of psychological health, and as such it is hoped to obtain RFT-level insights that may lead to refinement of current self-forgiveness based approaches.
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