NSights Blog

A TEDx talk about the therapeutic road to acceptance and commitment

Psychology Professor Steven Hayes, in a gripping TEDx talk, explains the roots of his ground-breaking Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or "ACT", is a form of psychotherapy I helped develop that has made a worldwide impact, with more than a thousand studies and 150 books on it and its underlying model in dozens of languages, and nearly 8,000 professionals across the world in its professional society.

ACT targets a core process - psychological flexibility - that appears to be of use virtually everywhere a human mind goes.

My journey to create this approach did really not start with research, however -- it started in few key moments in the middle of the night 34 years ago when my own panic disorder was threatening to take away everything.

This TED talk tells about the science of ACT and psychological flexibility, but it uses the harrowing tale of my own struggle with panic disorder as the touchstone.

It was the hardest talk to give in my entire career, bar none. If you watch it, I think you will know why, but I hope it will also lift you up at the same time.


Steven C. Hayes is a Foundation Professor in the Department of Psychology.

Steven Hayes