Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: An Experiential Approach to Behavior Change

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: An Experiential Approach to Behavior Change

by Steven C. Hayes, Kirk D. Strosahl, Kelly G. Wilson
     
 


The prevailing view among therapists as well as clients is that a more vital life can be attained by overcoming negative thoughts and feelings. Yet despite efforts to achieve this goal, many individuals continue to suffer with behavior disorders, adjustment difficulties, and low life satisfaction. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a unique…  See more details below

Overview


The prevailing view among therapists as well as clients is that a more vital life can be attained by overcoming negative thoughts and feelings. Yet despite efforts to achieve this goal, many individuals continue to suffer with behavior disorders, adjustment difficulties, and low life satisfaction. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a unique psychotherapeutic approach that addresses this issue by altering the very ground on which rational change strategies rest. Within a coherent theoretical and philosophical framework, ACT illuminates the ways clients understand and perpetuate their difficulties through language. The book shows how interventions based on metaphor, paradox, and experiential exercises can enable clients to break free of language traps and make contact with thoughts, feelings, memories, and physical sensations that have been feared and avoided. Detailed guidelines are presented for helping clients recontextualize and accept these private events, develop greater clarity about personal values, and commit to needed behavior change. Providing in one volume a scientifically sound theory of psychopathology and a practical treatment model, and illustrated by a wealth of clinical examples, this is an important resource for practitioners and students in the full range of behavioral health care fields.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A significant and novel contribution....This book presents an innovative approach to helping clients accept their thoughts and feelings and overcome experiential avoidance. The authors delineate a solid clinical rationale and provide clear guidelines for ACT implementation. A real strength of this book is the chapters on each stage of treatment, which detail a wealth of strategies and interventions and include excellent exercises, therapist-client dialogues, and pointers for practice." --Leslie S. Greenberg, PhD, York University, Canada

"This book offers the clinician a theoretical, philosophical, and practical guide to a new and potentially powerful model of psychotherapy. Focusing on the context and process of change, Hayes sets out a clear plan to help those clients who, as he puts it, feel unable to find their way out of life's ongoing traps. His blueprint for change encourages a strategic and technical eclecticism and the building of a strong working alliance. The pragmatic and reasonable approach described in this book will be of great interest to therapists from any disciplinary background. It will also serve as an excellent text in graduate-level counseling and psychotherapy courses." --Arthur Freeman, EdD, ABPP, Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

"This book offers the clinician a theoretical, philosophical, and practical guide to a new and potentially powerful model of psychotherapy. Focusing on the context and process of change, Hayes sets out a clear plan to help those clients who, as he puts it, feel unable to find their way out of life's ongoing traps. His blueprint for change encourages a strategic and technical eclecticism and the building of a strong working alliance. The pragmatic and reasonable approach described in this book will be of great interest to therapists from any disciplinary background. It will also serve as an excellent text in graduate-level counseling and psychotherapy courses." --Arthur Freeman, EdD, ABPP, Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

"Once in a while, there is a unique contribution to psychotherapy. Even more rare is the grounding of that contribution in sound philosophy, on the one hand, and firm data, on the other. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy represents such an effort. In a truly creative leap forward, Hayes and his colleagues present a new approach to behavior change that is 'must' reading for everyone in the field of psychotherapy or behavior therapy, as well as students entering the profession. Challenging the assumptions and methods of cognitive therapy, this is among the most significant new approaches to behavior change of the past three decades." --David H. Barlow, PhD, Director, Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts

Booknews
Presents a unique psychotherapeutic approach that addresses the problems of psychological suffering by altering the very ground on which rational change strategies rests. Focuses on how clients understand and perpetuate their difficulties through language, and shows how interventions based on metaphor, paradox, and experiential exercise can enable clients to break free of language traps, overcome common behavioral problems, and enhance general life satisfaction. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781572304819
Publisher:
Guilford Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
08/01/1999
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.88(d)

Read an Excerpt

I. The Problem and the Approach. 1. The Dilemma of Human Suffering. 2. The Philosophical and Theoretical Foundations of ACT. 3. The ACT Model of Psychopathology and Human Suffering. II. Clinical Methods. 4. Creative Hopelessness: Challenging the Normal Change Agenda. 5. Control Is the Problem, Not the Solution. 6. Building Acceptance by Defusing Language. 7. Discovering Self, Defusing Self. 8. Valuing. 9. Willingness and Commitment: Putting ACT into Action. III. Using ACT. 10. The Effective ACT Therapeutic Relationship. 11. ACT in Context

Meet the Author


Steven C. Hayes, PhD, is Nevada Foundation Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada. An author of 15 books and more than 250 scientific articles, his interests cover basic research, applied research, methodology, and philosophy of science.

Kirk D. Strosahl, PhD, is Research and Training Director for the Mountainview Consulting Group, where he provides consultation and training on integrative primary care medicine, outcomes management in applied delivery systems, clinical management of the suicidal patient, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

Kelly G. Wilson, PhD, is Associate Director of the Center for Contextual Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. He has directed a National Institute on Drug Abuse grant since 1993, examining both Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and 12-Step facilitation treatment of substance abuse.

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