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Contextual Behavioural Science Laboratory

Contextual Behavioural Science Laboratory (CBS)

Co-coordinated by Louise McHugh, research conducted in the UCD CBS lab has begun to provide new insights into the development of understanding the self and others. The UCD CBS lab is internationally recognized for its translational research that bridges the gap between basic behavioural science and applied clinical work.

On going research projects in her CBS lab involve developing CBS interventions for smoking cessation, shame and chronic conditions. The long term research goal of the UCD CBS lab is to continue to develop the theoretical basis of CBS. CBS provides a transdiagnostic approach to clinical and educational psychology that ultimately could change international practice in human well-being and remedial learning.


Co-ordinator –Louise McHugh
Post doctoral researcher – Nigel Vahey

Research Assistant – Luke Mather, Clodagh Cogley
PhD students – Martin O’Connor, Varsha Eswara-Murthy, Joseph Lavelle, Alison Stapleton

MSc. Student – Juwayriyah Nayyar

Eramus+ Student – Eva Chiodetti

Recent research:
A recent Randomised Controlled Trial conducted by the UCD CBS lab in conjunction with St. Vincent's Hospital has been published in Gastroenterology titled: (opens in a new window)Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Reduces Psychological Stress in Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Treatment manual for this trial.

Values wheel

Here is a link to more details on the evidence for the values wheel and details on how to make a pen and paper version: (opens in a new window)https://osf.io/8b6

Instructions for the the Values Wheel [PDF]

Edited volume

The Self and Perspective Taking: Contributions and Applications from Modern Behavioral Science

Helping clients cope with problems of self is an important goal of modern psychotherapy. However, without ways of understanding or measuring the self and self-relevant behavior, it’s difficult for psychologists and researchers to determine if intervention has been effective.

From a modern contextual behavioral point of view, the self develops in tandem with the ability to take perspective on one’s own and other people’s behavior. This collection of articles by Steven Hayes, Kelly Wilson, Louise McHugh, Ian Stewart, and other leading researchers begins with a complete history of psychological approaches to understanding the self before presenting contemporary accounts that examine the self and perspective taking from behavioral, developmental, and cognitive perspectives. The articles in The Self and Perspective Taking also explore the role of the self as it relates to acceptance and commitment therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, and mindfulness processes. Featuring work from world-renowned psychologists, this resource will help clinicians augment self-understanding in clients, especially those with autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, and impaired perspective-taking abilities.

Upcoming Book(opens in a new window)
A Contextual Behavioral Guide to the Self: Theory and Practice
  - Due out March 2019

The CBS Youtube channel
This channel will be beneficial for anybody wanting to learn more about acceptance and commitment therapy(ACT), Relational Frame Theory(RFT) or Contextual Behavioural Science(CBS). It also is a centralised place to upload vidoes that members of the CBS lab and anybody conducting research in the area can use for their research (e.g. mindfulness exercises, perspective taking vidoe clips etc).


Follow the (opens in a new window)CBS Lab on Twitter

Video - A Contextual Behavioral Guide to the Self - author Louise McHugh

In(opens in a new window) this video Louise McHugh introduces her new book 'A Contextual Behavioral Guide to the Self'

The self plays an integral role in human motivation, cognition, and social identity. A Contextual Behavioral Guide to the Self translates this difficult—yet essential—therapeutic process into easy-to-apply steps and user-friendly language.

For many clients, it's incredibly difficult to shed preconceived notions of “who they really are,” and negative perceptions of the self can lead to feelings of low self-worth that stand in the way of treatment. Furthermore, every client who partakes in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) must identify a self as part of their treatment, and clinicians often report that observing the self, or “self as context,” is the most difficult of all six core ACT processes.

Problems with the self arise when clients orient themselves in the world and learn to relate to others, but these problems can vary considerably. For example, some clients may have deficits in developing a strong sense of self in the first place—particularly if they are diagnosed with autism spectrum conditions (ASC). Depressed clients or those with borderline personality disorder (BPD) may develop a skewed, negative sense of self, and those with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) may develop an inflated sense of self.
With this unique road map, you will learn to apply the complex theory of the self into everyday practice, and help all clients develop empathy, compassion, and flexible perspective taking—leading to better treatment outcomes and better lives for clients.

More details of this book at https://www.newharbinger.com/contextual-behavioral-guide-self

See also https://www.newharbinger.com/blog/conversation-regarding-“-self”-russ-harris-and-louise-mchugh

UCD School of Psychology

Newman Building, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.