Association for Contextual Behavioral Science
HeadquartersUnited States
approx. 9,000 international members
2023 President
Andrew Gloster, 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, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, mixed anxiety disorders, and psychosis, and "Strong Research Support" in chronic pain.[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]


Established in 2005, ACBS has about 9,000 members.[8] Slightly more than one half are outside of the United States. There are 45 ACBS chapters[9] covering many areas of the world including Italy,[10] Japan,[11] Belgium, the Netherlands,[12] Brazil, Australia/New Zealand,[13] France,[14] the United Kingdom, Türkiye, Malaysia, and more. Chapters exist in the United States and Canada as well, including the mid-Atlantic, New England, Washington, Ontario, and several other areas. There are also over 40 Special Interest Groups covering a wide range of basic and applied areas such as children and adolescents, veteran's affairs, ACT for Health, social work, and many other areas.


The association's website contains resources such as therapist tools, workshops, metaphors, protocols, and assessment materials,[20] and provides information on recent books on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), Relational Frame Theory (RFT), and Contextual Behavioral Science (CBS).[21]

See also


  1. ^ James D. Herbert; Evan M. Forman (Nov 2010). Acceptance and Mindfulness in Cognitive Behavior Therapy. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9780470912485. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  2. ^ Hayes, Steven C.; Barnes-Holmes, Dermot; Wilson, Kelly G. (14 February 2022). "Contextual Behavioral Science". Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science. 1 (1–2): 1–16. doi:10.1016/j.jcbs.2012.09.004.
  3. ^ "APA website on empirical treatments". Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  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". 14 February 2022. The Behavior Analyst Today, 3, 421–34.
  6. ^ Barnes-Holmes, Y.; Barnes-Holmes, D. & McHugh, L. (2004). "Teaching Derived Relational Responding to Young Children". 14 February 2022. 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". 14 February 2022. Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Applied Behavior Analysis, 2(4)–3(1), 122–135.
  8. ^ "ACBS – Association for Contextual Behavioral Science". Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  9. ^ "ACBS – Association for Contextual Behavioral Science". Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  10. ^ "". Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  11. ^ "The Japanese Association for Contextual Behavioral Science". Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  12. ^ "ACBS BeNe – Nederlandstalige Chapter". Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  13. ^ "ANZ ACBS Annual Conference 2014 – ANZ ACBS". Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  14. ^ Schoendorff, Benjamin. "AFSCC". Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  15. ^ "The Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science (JCBS)". Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  16. ^ "Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science – Elsevier". Elsevier. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  17. ^ "Current Impact Factor". Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  18. ^ "ACT for the Public listserv". Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  19. ^ Talking ACT
  20. ^ Albert R. Roberts; Julia M. Watkins (2009). Social workers' desk reference. Oxford University Press 2009. ISBN 9780195369373.
  21. ^ Bruce Hyman; Bruce M. Hyman; Troy DuFrene (1 Jun 2008). Coping with OCD. New Harbinger Publications. ISBN 9781608820511. Retrieved 14 February 2022.