Psychological Flexibility is (also) a Triangle

What is psychological flexibility?

  1. How much someone is able to adapt to fluctuating situational demands;
  2. Reconfigure their mental resources;
  3. Shift their perspective, and;
  4. Balance competing desires, needs, and life domains.

The triangle

  • Have acceptance. This is often misunderstood as being passive or giving up, but in the model, acceptance is defined as “an action of taking or receiving what is offered” with willingness and making choices.
  • Defusion: the ability to identify the content of your inner experience and separate it from yourself (opposite of fusion).
  • Contact with the present moment, or nonjudgmental awareness of inside and outside experience in the present moment, even when it’s uncomfortable.
  • Self as context: Being able to tap into the “observer self” who can see the changing content of the thoughts, feelings, sensations, roles, and identities contained inside of you.
  • Defined as your awareness of values. Values clarify what’s important to you, and they act like a compass direction instead of a concrete goal.
  • Committed action: Taking concrete steps or actions towards particular goals that are guided by your values and carrying through even when the experience is unpleasant.


  • Relationship satisfaction.
  • Sexual satisfaction.
  • Social support.
  • Conflict.
  • Attachment anxiety and avoidance.

Application to non-monogamy

  • Rules vs. agreements, actions, or compromises that support our shared and individual values.
  • Handling inevitable ups and downs and change, and remembering that it is inevitable that someone will make a mistake and figuring out how to weather it.
  • Bringing ourselves to the present in order to support a partner going through a tough time.
  • Handling unexpected negative emotions such as jealousy, envy, sadness, anger, loneliness, or certain PTSD triggers.



We offer new ideas and advice for multiple forms of #love: everything from #conciousmonogamy to #ethical #Polyamory and radical #relationshipanarchy.

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We offer new ideas and advice for multiple forms of #love: everything from #conciousmonogamy to #ethical #Polyamory and radical #relationshipanarchy.