This paper looks at the concept of relational frame theory based on the tutorial developed by Dr Eric J. Fox, Ph.D, in his website. It will be based on the explanation of a hierarchical representation (given below) of Dr Fox’s views on this area.
According to Dr Fox, language can create both problems and solutions. Any situation, whether it is positive or negative, is directly related to the language and emotion used. It can be used to instruct, to give praise or heap insults. It can be used to judge people and it can be used to make laws. It can be used to educate people and can be used to dictate actions. Words used in a certain context can even result in violence and wars. On the other extreme, it has the ability to bring about peace among nations. These few examples of the power of language show how much it can influence a society and its individuals. It should be stated here that language studies can help in understanding human behavior and actions to a large extent. It can help psychologists to provide solutions to problems faced by individuals. Traditional theories on the field believe that words used in language have symbolism and generativity. Symbolism refers to the power of a word to signify other meanings or things even though a particular word has a specific meaning. For example the word fire may evoke different emotions in people. For one person fire can mean warmth, for another it can mean pain, and for a third person it can mean food. This power of the word can have diverse effects on people in the context they are used. A combination of words, in other words a sentence, has generativity. According to Dr Fox, “generativity means that we can create and understand an infinite number of meaningful sentences or utterances” (Fox, 2002).The sentence ‘An apple is a blue fruit that is found in the North Pole’ may be absurd and incorrect, but it has meaning. In