Relational Frame Theory (RFT) made simple

A practical and easy to understand introduction to relational frame theory

Access is for 12 months after purchase
3 hours (3 CE credits)
Introductory level
Experienced practitioners and clinicians

Course Description

Relational frame theory is arguably one of the most exciting and interesting psychological theories to emerge in the last 20 years. As a behavioural account of human language, it helps understand the incredible generativity, complexity and creativity that goes along with cognition. It gives us an insight into the all-important concept of the Self, how this emerges in our early development and how we develop unhelpful attachments in later life. It helps us craft and develop impactful metaphors to build lasting change. It gives us insights into intelligence and ways to promote and build cognitive abilities. It allows us to bring precision to our understanding of the range of thorny issues humans encounter so that we can craft interventions that are impactful.

Having said all that, RFT also happens to be a theory that can leave you weeping quietly in frustration as you fight through the at impenetrable forest of complex jargon and theory. Most practitioners would say they are very curious about RFT are want to learn more, but find the dense theory hard going. Which for most of us, can be off-putting.

Wouldn’t it be great learn about RFT in a straight-forward, simple way? A way that was practical and helped you expand your toolkit? Maybe even fun? Well, you’ve come to the right place. In this workshop series, Dr Joe Oliver will breakdown RFT into a series of easy-to-understand learning modules that not only makes sense, but will enhance the precision and impact of your work as a practitioner.

He will use lots of examples, exercises and a live demonstration to bring the theory alive and give you a real sense of the usefulness of relation frame theory. Just like learning to read sheet music, you don’t have to know to play an instruments, but it opens up a whole new world if you do.

Feedback on this workshop
 “This was one of the best presentations of RFT I’ve attended. It’s not easy to explain such complex issues so elegantly and engagingly. I have learned about RFT and also the art of teaching.”
Alireza Jamalu, Ph.D. Candidate of clinical psychology
“Joe took a complex topic and broke it down into manageable, digestible pieces very effectively. The sense of humour and lightness makes for an engaging learning experience. I am looking forward to incorporating an understanding of RFT into my practice.”
Kelsey, CBT therapist
“I thoroughly enjoyed this course. I would recommend it to anyone who is developing their practice with ACT – Joe is a very clear, friendly and humorous in his approach towards the rather complex material involved. I have never really had much insight into RFT but I’m certainly interested in learning more on it after this! Thanks guys!”
Zoha Aamir – Trainee therapist/student 
Module overview

Introduction: Introduction to the workshop [5 mins]

  • Introduction to the module series and overview of each module.

You can view the introduction for free here:

Module 1: Introduction & Background to RFT [25 mins]

  • Do we need to learn RFT?
  • Introduction to RFT
  • Brief history lesson of behaviourism
  • Co-operation and evolution
  • The symbolic species

Module 2: A developmental perspective and learning to learn [26 mins]

  • Different types of learning
  • Child development and learning
  • The problem with learning by consequence
  • Learning about the symbolic world
  • Learning with symbols

Module 3: Overview of relational responding [38 mins]

  • Derived relational responding – what is it?
  • Relational frames – the basic components
  • An introduction to mutual and combinatorial entailment
  • Moving to more complex relational framing
  • Types of relational frames
  • Transformation of stimulus function – what is it and how do we use it?

Module 4: Using RFT in practice [54 mins]

  • Using relational frames as tools
  • RFT and the ACT Matrix – an overview
  • Co-ordination framing – what is it and how do we use it?
  • Distinction framing- what is it and how do we use it?
  • Opposition framing – what is it and how do we use it?
  • Hierarchical and deictic framing – what is it and how do we use it?
  • A live demonstration where Joe demos using different relation frames in a session

Module 5: Widening out RFT [38 mins]

  • Key points for using RFT in client sessions
  • Developments in RFT – the MDML/ HDML model
  • RFT and problematic self narratives
  • RFT and metaphors
  • Next steps in your RFT journey

If you have disability and require adjustments or accommodation, please email us at to discuss your needs and we will do our best to help you.

After this workshop, you will be able to:

  • Explain the key principles of Relational Frame Theory and what it means for language and cognition
  • Describe a Relational Frame Theory account of the transformative effects of language and its relationship to human behaviour
  • Use tools such as the ACT Matrix, together with an understanding of relational framing to create powerful functional analyses
  • Describe how Relational Frame Theory can be used to shape  interventions that are impactful and efficient

APA psychologists: This program is sponsored by Contextual Consulting and is approved for 3 CE credits for psychologists. 

Behaviour analysts: This workshop is available for 3 BACB Learning CEUs. Contextual Consulting is an approved BACB ACE Provider # OP-20-3415.

Nationally certified counselors: This workshop is available for 3 credit hours. Contextual Consulting Ltd. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 7578. 

To find out more, including attendance requirements and how to access your certificate, go to our continuing education information page.

Relational Frame Theory (RFT) made simple
$55.00 (+ VAT if applicable).
Student price US$30.00   Select:

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