Document Type


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Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science


Elsevier BV

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The practice of generating and interpreting stories can be examined through a behavioral lens and has many potential implications for clinical practice. However, storytelling has for the most part yet to be integrated into the field of contextual behavioral science (CBS). A bedrock of human culture, storytelling has influenced both individual behavior and intergroup cooperation for millennia. Basic principles of relational frame theory, such as those pertaining to coherence, perspective-taking, and the transformation of stimulus function, may help to reveal how stories derive their psychological impact. In turn, understanding storytelling from a CBS perspective can facilitate the broader integration of narrative methods into clinical interventions, which may help in expanding the reach and impact of individual, group, and self-help interventions. Suggestions for integrating storytelling into practice are provided as are future directions for studying the behavioral mechanisms of storytelling.

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