Healthy selfing: Theoretically optimal environments for the development of tacting and deictic relational responding
From a relational frame theory perspective, our sense of self is a by-product of language that arises from transformation of stimulus functions through relational framing of our own responding. In this way, selfing is an important action that allows us to clarify our needs, wants, and what matters to us. Tacting and deictic relational responding are two processes that are instrumental to the development of a healthy selfing repertoire. This paper provides an overview of tacting and deictic relational responding in accordance with relational frame theory in addition to features of an optimal environment for shaping these processes. In terms of tacting, it is important to consider learning environment sensitivity, consequence availability, the individual’s experience, and to facilitate rich discussions of private events. In terms of deictic relational responding, it is important to provide frequent interactions that contain multiple exemplars of distinctions between self and others in addition to rich discussions of private events while also tailoring to the individual when drawing from training protocols. We conclude with a brief overview of the current evidence base regarding the identified features.