The ACT Matrix (yes, it's a very cool sounding name) is one of the most helpful tools I use in therapy. The original version of the ACT Matrix was developed by Kevin Polk, Mark Webster, and Jerold Hambright. It's an amazing tool to use as a sort of compass for what we call "psychological flexibility." To simplify what this fancy term means: to be more in the present while also engaging in behaviors that are in line with the kind of person we want to be/the kind of life we want to have.
I decided to include it on my website so I can review it in my counseling sessions through screen share. I included two images. This first is a basic layout of the matrix. In the center, we have the "noticing self" which is the part of you that, you guessed it, notices. The horizontal lines represent toward moves (i.e. things that are "towards" what is important to you) and away moves (i.e. things that take you "away"/are not in line with what is important to you). The vertical line represents our inner and outer worlds. Inner meaning things we think, sense, feel and outer being things we see, hear, touch, taste, and smell.
In the 2nd image, I define what each quadrant represents. Starting with the bottom right (the inner "towards"). This represents your values. Who or what is important to you? Next, bottom left (the inner "away"). This represents the things that "hook" or pull us away from what is important (quadrant #1). Above this we have quadrant #3 (the outer "away"). These are the behaviors you do to move away from those unwanted thoughts and feelings (listed in quadrant #2). Lastly, we have the top right, quadrant #4 (the outer "towards"). This is called valued action. These are the things you can/could do to move towards who/what is important to you (quadrant #1).
I provided a basic sample at the bottom to give an idea of how one might categorize things using the matrix.
This can all seem overwhelming and confusing at first (I know it was for me) but this really is a fantastic tool.
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
This is a place where I will share stories, ideas, coping strategies, and anything else I may find important to get out there.