Organization:Association for Contextual Behavioral Science

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Association for Contextual Behavioral Science
ACBS with tagline cropped.jpg
Logo of ACBS
HeadquartersUnited States
approx. 7,800 international members
2017 President
Giovambattista Presti, M.D., Ph.D.

The Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS) is a worldwide nonprofit professional membership organization associated with acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and relational frame theory (RFT) among other topics.[1] The term "contextual behavioral science" refers to the application of functional contextualism to human behavior, including contextual forms of applied behavior analysis, cognitive behavioral therapy, and evolution science.[2] In the applied area Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is perhaps the best known wing of contextual behavioral science, and is an emphasis of ACBS, along with other types of contextual CBT, and efforts in education, organizational behavior, and other areas. ACT is considered an empirically validated treatment by the American Psychological Association, with the status of "Modest Research Support" in depression and "Strong Research Support" in chronic pain, with several others specific areas such as psychosis and work site stress currently under review.[3] ACT is also listed as evidence-based by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the United States federal government which has examined randomized trials for ACT in the areas of psychosis, work site stress, and obsessive compulsive disorder, including depression outcomes.[4] In the basic area, Relational Frame Theory is a research program in language and cognition that is considered part of contextual behavioral science, and is a focus of ACBS.[5] Unlike the better known behavioral approach proposed by B.F. Skinner in his book Verbal Behavior, experimental RFT research has emerged in a number of areas traditionally thought to be beyond behavioral perspectives, such as grammar, metaphor, perspective taking, implicit cognition and reasoning.[6][7][8]


Established in 2005, ACBS has about 7,800 members.[9] Slightly more than one half are outside of the United States. There are 44 ACBS chapters[10] covering many areas of the world including Italy,[11] Japan,[12] Belgium, the Netherlands,[13] Spain, Australia/New Zealand,[14] the Balkans, France,[15] the United Kingdom and Turkey. Chapters exist in the United States and Canada as well, including the mid-Atlantic, New England, Colorado, Washington, Ontario (CA) and several other areas. There are also 28 Special Interest Groups covering a wide range of basic and applied areas such as children and adolescents, developing nations, veteran's affairs, ACT for the Public, social work, stigma, and many other areas.


  • ACBS sponsors an annual conference, the World Conference on Contextual Behavioral Science. The 2017 (15th annual) meeting was held June 20–25, 2017, in Seville, Spain. The 2018 meeting will be held July 24-29, 2018, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The 2019 meeting will be held 25-30 June, 2019, in Dublin, Ireland.
  • In 2012 Elsevier began publishing the official journal of ACBS, the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science..[16][17]
  • Other activities:
    • A scholarship program that sponsors participants from the developing world to attend the World Conferences.
    • Listservs for professionals and the public, as well as several list serves for specific language communities. Most chapters and SIGs maintain list serves as well. The largest listserv is on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and is for professionals who are ACBS members (see link below) with the second largest listserv focusing on Relational Frame Theory. (The ACT listserv for professionals spawned its own reference books of popular questions/topics called Talking ACT published by New Harbinger Publications and Context Press.[18]) There is also a free listserv for members of the public who are reading ACT self-help books (see link below).
    • A small grant program for projects in contextual behavioral science.
    • The ACBS site also hosts a podcast series available from iTunes called ACT in Context.[19]

The association's website contains resources such as therapist tools, workshops, and assessment materials,[20] and provides information on recent books on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).[21]

See also


  1. James D. Herbert; Evan M. Forman (Nov 2010). Acceptance and Mindfulness in Cognitive Behavior Therapy. John Wiley & Sons. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  2. "Maynooth University Department of Psychology".,1,. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  3. "APA website on empirical treatments". Archived from the original on 2010-10-05. Retrieved 2009-09-01. 
  4. "SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices". Archived from the original on 2011-08-23. Retrieved 2011-09-01. 
  5. Blackledge, J.T. (2003). An Introduction to Relational Frame Theory: Basics and Applications . The Behavior Analyst Today, 3, 421–34.
  6. Barnes-Holmes, Y.; Barnes-Holmes, D. & McHugh, L. (2004). Teaching Derived Relational Responding to Young Children . JEIBI, 1, 4–16.
  7. Cullinan, V. & Vitale, A. (2008). The contribution of Relational Frame Theory to the development of interventions for impairments of language and cognition . Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Applied Behavior Analysis, 2(4)–3(1), 122–135.
  8. "Maynooth University Department of Psychology". Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  9. "ACBS - Association for Contextual Behavioral Science". Retrieved 11 September 2017. 
  10. "ACBS - Association for Contextual Behavioral Science". Retrieved 14 September 2017. 
  11. "". Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  12. "ACT Japan - The Japanese Association for Contextual Behavioral Science". Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  13. "ACBS BeNe - Nederlandstalige Chapter". Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  14. "ANZ ACBS Annual Conference 2014 - ANZ ACBS". Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  15. Schoendorff, Benjamin. "AFSCC". Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  16. "The Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science (JCBS)". Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  17. "Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science - 2212-1447 - Elsevier". Elsevier. Retrieved 11 September 2016. 
  18. Talking ACT
  20. Albert R. Roberts; Julia M. Watkins (2009). Social workers' desk reference. Oxford University Press 2009. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  21. Bruce Hyman; Bruce M. Hyman; Troy DuFrene (1 Jun 2008). Coping with OCD. New Harbinger Publications. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 

External links for Contextual Behavioral Science was the original source. Read more.