DNA-V

Help those you care for adapt positively to change

The model that promotes resilience, mindfulness, and well-being.

What is DNA-V?

DNA-V is an evidence-based model that promotes psychological strength, and that values consistent living, vitality, and success. It is designed to help people cope with challenges, stress, and change. DNA-V can be thought of as a combination of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and positive psychology, and is underpinned by contextual behavioural science. The model is continually being updated as new evidence comes in.

Who are we?

We are a team of internationally renowned researchers, practitioners, and best-selling authors: Joseph Ciarrochi, Louise Hayes, and Ann Bailey.
louise hayes
Louise Hayes is a clinical psychologist, researcher, international trainer, and author.
joseph ciarrochi
Joseph Ciarrochi is professor at the Institute for Positive Psychology and Education.
ann bailey
Ann Bailey is a clinical psychologist who developed an award-winning anxiety clinic in NSW.

Our books

Our latest book based on the DNA-V model is Your Life, Your Way, for young people. Our titles include The Thriving Adolescent, and Get Out of Your Mind & Into Your Life for Teens. And for adults, The Weight Escape, and Mindfulness, Acceptance, and Positive Psychology.
mindfulness book
the weight escape book
your life your way book

How is the DNA-V model used?

A forerunner in psychological flexibility, DNA-V is being used around the world to help people live with meaning and passion. Medical professionals, therapists, teachers, counselors, coaches, and those they care for like its simplicity and easy-to-understand style. The model is theoretically robust, and carries depth right down to the level of human evolutionary adaptation.

Policy makers in fields such as education and workplace performance use the model, and it is being researched by academics in disciplines from evolutionary science to developmental psychology. Training in DNA-V and related models is available for your professional development.

What are the benefits of DNA-V?

The purpose of DNA-V is to help people develop flexible strength – the ability to persist in important things they care about, and to change behaviour that’s making their life worse. The model has been used to help young people learn the skills they need to be the best they can be. The model is being used with a variety of adult populations, including professional athletes, managers, parents, teachers, and other members of the public.

DNA-V, the contextual model of flourishing

D, N, and A stand for three types of behaviour that are embedded within our self and social contexts. Ideally, we use them to build values and vitality (V).

Discoverer (D) refers to trial-and-error behaviour that functions to expand and build skills, resources, and social networks.

Noticer (N) refers to behaviour that functions to increase the awareness of experience.

Advisor (A) refers to verbal behaviour that functions to save people from the need for trial-and-error learning so they can navigate efficiently and safely through the world.

The model guides a practitioner to develop people’s skilled use of D, N, and A, and improve their ability to flexibly shift behaviours, depending on what they value and what the situation permits and demands.

Foundations of the DNA-V model

ACT is a revolutionary mindfulness-based model, developed from cutting-edge research in behavioural psychology. It is designed to enrich lives and transform the way people handle difficult thoughts, feelings, and situations. Read more: Hayes, S. C., Strosahl, K., & Wilson, K. (2011). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: The Process and Practice of Mindful Change, 2nd Edn. New York, NY: The Guilford Press. » Google Scholar
Positive psychology is a research and intervention approach that focuses on promoting peak functioning and well-being. Read more: Hayes, L., & Ciarrochi, J. (2015). The Thriving Adolescent: Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Positive Psychology to Help Young People Manage Emotions, Achieve Goals, and Build Positive Relationships. Oakland, CA: Context Press. » Google Scholar 
Contextual behavioural science underlies the development of DNA-V. We use evolutionary principles, behavioural principles, and applied technologies such as ACT and RFT. It’s a scientific, pragmatic way of understanding behaviour, finding solutions to human problems, and promoting human growth and development. Read more: Hayes, S. C., Barnes-Holmes, D., & Wilson, K. G. (2012). Contextual behavioral science: Creating a science more adequate to the challenge of the human condition. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 1(1): 1-16. » Google Scholar