The Psychological Record

, Volume 68, Issue 1, pp 119–121 | Cite as

Reflecting on RFT and the Reticulating Strategy: a Response to Villatte, Villatte, and Hayes

  • Yvonne Barnes-Holmes
  • Deirdre Kavanagh
  • Dermot Barnes-Holmes
  • Martin Finn
  • Colin Harte
  • Aileen Leech
  • Ciara McEnteggart
Book Review

In the current article, we respond to the reply from Villatte, Villatte, and Hayes (in press) to our review (Barnes-Holmes, Kavanagh et al., in press) of their text, Mastering the clinical conversation: Language as intervention (MCC). We were certainly delighted that the authors chose to comment on our review and we warmly welcome the open dialog in the context of peer review.

RFT as a Basic Theory of Human Language and Cognition Is a Work-in-Progress

First and foremost, we would like to express reassurance that the authors had reflected seriously at an early stage on “the tendency of published texts to be reified as canon even while their ideas stagnate and evidence and theory become outdated” (p. 2). Indeed, it is perhaps a little ironic that we too have, in numerous contexts, voiced concerns that RFT, as a basic theory of language and cognition, could be seen as stagnating.1 This view was expressed quite forcefully in the RFT section of the Handbook of contextual behavioral science...



This book review was prepared with the funding from the FWO Type I Odysseus Programme at Gent University, Belgium, awarded to Dermot Barnes-Holmes.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


  1. Barnes-Holmes, D., Barnes-Holmes, Y., Hussey, I., & Luciano, C. (2016). Relational frame theory: Finding its historical and philosophical roots and reflecting upon its future development: An introduction to part II. In R. Zettle, S. Hayes, D. Barnes-Holmes, & A. Biglan (Eds.), The handbook of contextual behavioral science. West Sussex: Wiley Blackwell.Google Scholar
  2. Barnes-Holmes, D., Barnes-Holmes, Y., Luciano. C., & McEnteggart, C. (2017). From the IRAP and REC model to a multi-dimensional multi-level framework for analyzing the dynamics of arbitrarily applicable relational responding. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science 66(4), 434–445.
  3. Barnes-Holmes, D., Finn, M., McEnteggart, C., & Barnes-Holmes, Y. (in press). Derived stimulus relations and their role in a behavior-analytic account of human language and cognition. Perspectives in behavioral science (formerly the behavior analyst), Special Issue on Derived Relations. Google Scholar
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  5. Barnes-Holmes, Y., Kavanagh, D., Barnes-Holmes, D., Finn, M., Harte, C., …, & McEnteggart, C. (in press). Review: Mastering the clinical conversation: Language as intervention. In M. Villatte, J. L. Villatte, & S. C. Hayes (Eds.), The Psychological Record. New York, NY: Guilford Press.
  6. Harte, C., Barnes-Holmes, Y., Barnes-Holmes, D., & McEnteggart, C. (2017). Persistent rule-following in the face of reversed reinforcement contingencies: The differential impact of direct versus derived rules. Behavior Modification, 41(6), 743–763.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Hayes, S. C., Barnes-Holmes, D., & Roche, B. (2001). Relational frame theory: A post-Skinnerian account of human language and cognition. New York: Kluwer Academic.Google Scholar
  8. O'Connor, M., Farrell, L., Munnelly, A., & McHugh, L. (2017). Citation analysis of relational frame theory: 2009-2016. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 6, 152–158. Scholar
  9. Villatte, M., Villatte, J. L., & Hayes, S. C. (in press). A reticulated and progressive strategy for developing clinical applications of RFT. The Psychological Record.

Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Experimental Clinical and Health PsychologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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