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Appendix: An introduction to the Matrix

Lee-Baggley, D. (2023 October 3). The ACT Matrix and you [Video]. Healthcare Salute • Hommage aux professionnel•le•s de la santé. The ACT Matrix and you – YouTube

One of the tools we are using in these modules is called the Matrix. This is an evidence-based approach that can help you look at situations in a new way and encourage more flexible coping responses.1

The Matrix’s horizontal axis represents directions:

  • Movement to the right represents movement Toward who or what matters to you: people, your own vision of yourself, how you want to contribute to or care about others; a more meaningful and purposeful life.
  • Movement to the left represents movement Away from who or what matters to you.

The vertical axis represents reality:

  • The Internal (“Inside Noticing”) or lower end of the axis represents your inner experiences: thoughts, feelings, sensations, and urges.
  • The External (“Outside Noticing”) or upper end of the axis represents what’s around you: both the things you notice with your five senses and what others see you do. It’s what you can hear, see, touch, taste, and smell, as well as your actions.

Read on to learn more about how you can use this tool to focus on behaviours that move you closer to what really matters — a fulfilled, meaningful life.

  1. Polk, K., Schoendorff, B., Webster, M., & Olaz, F., (2016). The Essential Guide to the ACT Matrix. New Harbinger Publications: Oakland, CA.

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