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  • Elizabeth Harvey

Leaves On a Stream Visualization Exercise

Cognitive defusion is a technique that allows us to separate ourselves from our thoughts. To know that we have the power to observe our thoughts. We can notice them enter our awareness, acknowledge them, and then allow them to leave our awareness. This can help with getting unstuck from patterns of thought that are causing suffering, such as recurring anxious or negative thoughts.


This guided visualization is called Leaves on a Stream. Get comfortable, close your eyes if you want to, and give it a listen.


Leaves on a Stream is an exercise from acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), a mindfulness-based approach that helps with recognizing the suffering caused by attempting to suppress, control, and deny emotional experiences. ACT acknowledges that human experiences of suffering and discomfort are normal, and we can live healthier, more meaningful lives by embracing the full spectrum of human experiences.


This recording has no music, for those who find music distracting. See my YouTube channel for another version of this visualization with music (binaural beats) included.


🌱The content in this video is for educational purposes only and does not constitute a provider-patient relationship. It is not a substitute for personal therapy or medical advice.


Source for Leaves on a Stream cognitive defusion exercise:

Harris, R. (2009). ACT with love: Stop struggling, reconcile differences, and strengthen your relationship with acceptance and commitment therapy. New Harbinger Publications.






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