Helping Athletes Defuse and Accept: Thoughts and Emotions Are Not the Enemies

Birrer, Daniel; Diment, Greg; Schmid, Olivier (2019). Helping Athletes Defuse and Accept: Thoughts and Emotions Are Not the Enemies In: Henriksen, Kristoffer; Hansen, Jakob; Hvid Larsen, Carsten (eds.) Mindfulness and Acceptance in Sport. New York: Taylor & Francis

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This chapter discusses the functionality inner experience processes and the related challenges. It describes the role of self-awareness and the two essential processes of defusion and acceptance in the service of valued-directed actions. The chapter highlights the application of defusion and acceptance through hands-on strategies, activities, and case study illustrations. Defusion is the ability to step back psychologically from thoughts and view them as mental processes rather than absolute truths. Defusion processes can be supported by techniques, including giving the reasoning mind a name, thanking the mind for working, expressing, and repeating an unpleasant thought out loud until only its sound remains and its meaning changes. Metaphors have often been proposed as impactful experiential illustrations of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy principles, including acceptance and defusion. Athletes might consider acceptance as weak and soft, but acceptance actually takes courage and perseverance.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


Swiss Federal Institute of Sports Magglingen SFISM > EHSM - Leistungssport > Sportpsychologie


Birrer, Daniel;
Diment, Greg;
Schmid, Olivier;
Henriksen, Kristoffer;
Hansen, Jakob and
Hvid Larsen, Carsten




Taylor & Francis




Service Account

Date Deposited:

12 Apr 2021 15:16

Last Modified:

02 Oct 2021 02:19

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Thought Emotion Sport


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