Conversation 2: Action & Experience versus Thought & Emotion

Practising Defusion

Person with a cup talking to another person
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Most people find some of the following benefits when they practise defusion:

  • Troubling or compelling thoughts become less troubling or compelling, or less believable or important
  • Difficult feelings seem to be easier to accept or seem to occur less often. Or sometimes they occur even more often, but seem less intense or have a weaker connection to the self.
  • In situations where the person previously felt they had no alternatives for how they responded, they often experience a sense of choice or freedom and can actually take different actions.

Hopefully you’ve practised these defusion exercises as we’ve gone through this conversation. If you have, there are some other defusion exercises you can downoad and try out in this handout. If you haven’t, take a moment now to see what comes up – what thought or feeling – as soon as I suggest that you need to do these exercises. That may be the very thing you need to defuse from. But if you feel reluctant to even face that thought or feeling and would rather continue struggling to avoid it or control it, then it could be time to look at willingness and acceptance. And that’s what we’ll do in Converation 3 of Six ACT Conversations, Acceptance & Willingness.



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