Cognitive Fusion

From The SpiritWiki

Cognitive Fusion (or just Fusion) is a term used in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to indicate forms of PSS Infection that impact and distort the the cognitive process.[1]


Harris identifies six categories of fusion, fusion with the past (rumination, regret, blame and resentment over past actions), fusion with the future (worrying, catastrophizing, predicting the worst, anticipating failure/rejection/hurt/loss, fusion with self-concent (identifying with labels, negative or overly positive self judgment), fusion with reasons (giving yourself rational reasons for avoidance), fusion with rules (using rules to avoid pain, avoid guilt and shame), and fusion with judgments. In LP terms, all these forms of fusion refer to cognitive distortions caused by a PSS Infection.

Harris's ACT does not appear to explore causation, instead simply assuming that fusion is "natural" and inevitable. I do not agree it is natural. Fusion is an adaptation to the damage caused by Toxic Socialization. Fusion is an inflammatory defense mechanism gone chronic.

Forms of Fusion

Here is a preliminary causal rubric.

Pain Fusion is the mind's way to avoid pain and suffering by avoiding the actions and situations that cause pain and suffering.

Guilt and Shame Fusion is fusion connected with guilt and shame. Fusion with the past (rumination, regret) may have started out as the RMCs attempt to steer an oblivious PU towards greater alignment by getting the PU to acknowledge and atone.

Self-destructive fusion is fusion associated with damage to the Bodily Ego and its sense of "I", will, and perspective (I'm a loser, I am sick, I am superior, I can't do anything)

When seeking to avoid, the bodily ego has many strategies.


  1. Harris, Russ. Act Made Simple: A Quick-Start Guide to the ACT Basics and Beyond. New Harbinger Publications, 2019.