Now fully-revised and updated, this second edition of ACT Made Simple includes new information and chapters on self-compassion, flexible perspective taking, working with trauma, and more.
Why is it so hard to be happy? Why is life so difficult? Why do humans suffer so much? And what can we realistically do about it? No matter how rewarding your job, as a mental health professional, you may sometimes feel helpless in the face of these questions. You are also well aware of the challenges and frustrations that can present during therapy.
If you’re looking for ways to optimize your client sessions, consider joining the many thousands of therapists and life coaches worldwide who are learning acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). With a focus on mindfulness, client values, and a commitment to change, ACT is proven-effective in treating depression, anxiety, stress, addictions, eating disorders, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder (BPD), and myriad other psychological issues. It’s also a revolutionary new way to view the human condition—packed full of exciting new tools, techniques, and strategies for promoting profound behavioral change.
A practical primer, ideal for ACT newcomers and experienced ACT professionals alike, ACT Made Simple offers clear explanations of the six ACT processes and a set of real-world tips and solutions for rapidly and effectively implementing them in your practice. This book gives you everything you need to start using ACT with your clients for impressive results. Inside, you’ll find: scripts, exercises, metaphors, and worksheets to use with your clients; a session-by-session guide to implementing ACT; transcripts from therapy sessions; guidance for creating your own therapeutic techniques and exercises; and practical tips to overcome “therapy roadblocks.”
This book aims to take the complex theory and practice of ACT and make it accessible and enjoyable for therapists and clients.
About the Author
Russ Harris is an internationally acclaimed acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) trainer and author of the best-selling ACT-based self-help book The Happiness Trap, which has sold over 600,000 copies and been published in thirty languages. He is widely renowned for his ability to teach ACT in a way that is simple, clear, and fun—yet extremely practical. Foreword writer Steven C. Hayes, PhD, is Foundation Professor of psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno, and the originator of ACT. He is author of dozens of books and scientific articles, including the successful ACT workbook Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life.
Table of Contents
Foreword: Your Choice Point vii
What's New in Version Two? ix
How to Use This Book xi
Part 1 What Is ACT?
1 The Human Challenge 2
2 Getting Hooked 19
3 "Mindfulness" and Other Dodgy Words 39
4 Get Your Geek On 44
Part 2 Getting Started
5 Setting Up for Success 52
6 What's the Problem? 61
7 Where Do I Start? 80
Part 3 The Nitty Gritty Stuff
8 Creative What?! 90
9 Drop the Struggle 101
10 Dropping Anchor 110
11 Notice That Thought 120
12 Deeper into Defusion 131
13 The Defusion Smorgasbord 140
14 Barriers to Defusion 156
15 Leaves, Streams, Clouds, and Sky 170
16 "Technique Overload" and Other Perils 178
17 Being Present 190
18 Hold Yourself Kindly 202
19 Know What Matters 212
20 What If Nothing Matters? 230
21 Do What It Takes 238
22 Fifty Shades of Acceptance 251
23 Emotions as Allies 270
24 What's Stopping You? 276
25 The Noticing Self 289
26 Flexible Exposure 303
27 Cognitive Flexibility 309
28 Shame, Anger, and Other "Problem" Emotions 314
29 Flexible Relationships 325
Part 4 Wrapping Up
30 I and Thou 336
31 A Quick Guide to Getting Unstuck 341
32 The ACT Therapist's Journey 348
Appendix A Resources 352
Appendix B Further Training 355
Appendix C Further Reading on ACT and RFT 357
Harris resides in in Melbourne, Australia.