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Getting Unstuck in ACT: A Clinician's Guide to Overcoming Common Obstacles in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Getting Unstuck in ACT: A Clinician's Guide to Overcoming Common Obstacles in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

by Russ Harris


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Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a powerful, evidence-based treatment for clients struggling with depression, anxiety, addiction, eating disorders, and a host of other mental health conditions. It is based in the belief that the road to lasting happiness and well-being begins with accepting our thoughts, rather than trying to change them. However, ACT can present certain roadblocks during treatment. As a mental health professional, you may adopt basic principles of ACT easily, but it generally takes at least two or three years of hard work and ongoing study to become truly fluid in the model. During that time, you will probably find yourself "stuck" at some point, and so will your clients.

In Getting Unstuck in ACT, psychotherapist and bestselling author of ACT Made Simple, Russ Harris, provides solutions for overcoming the most common roadblocks in ACT. In the book, you will learn how to deal with reluctant or unmotivated clients, as well as how to get past certain theoretical aspects of ACT that some clients may find confusing. This book will help clients deal with sticky dilemmas and unsolvable problems, and will help simplify key ACT concepts to help you break down psychological barriers.

Other common problems with ACT that the book addresses are inconsistencies and sending mixed messages, talking and explaining ACT instead of doing it, being too eager to treat a client, being a "Mr. Nice Guy or Ms. Nice Girl," or putting too much focus on one process while neglecting others. The chapters of the book are based in real life scenarios that take place between therapist and client, and the author provides feedback by analyzing mistakes in what was said and where improvements could be made.

As more and more mental health professionals incorporate ACT into their practice, it is increasingly necessary to have a guide that offers them effective solutions to common ACT roadblocks. For that reason, this book is a must-have for any ACT therapist.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608828050
Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
Publication date: 07/01/2013
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 749,981
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Russ Harris is a medical practitioner, psychotherapist, and best-selling author of The Happiness Trap—which has now been translated into thirty languages and sold more than one million copies. Russ is one of the world’s leading authorities on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and has trained over 50,000 health practitioners in the approach. In 2015, he wrote an ACT protocol for the World Health Organization (WHO) to use in refugee camps—and their research shows this brief intervention leads to significant improvements in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction Are You Stuck? 1

Part 1 Getting Ourselves Unstuck

1 Know Thyself 7

2 Where Are You Going? 17

3 Flexibility and Reinforcement 29

4 Triggers and Payoffs 41

Part 2 Getting Our Clients Unstuck

5 The Reluctant Client 57

6 Help Clients Stay on Track 63

7 Values Traps 81

8 Polite Interruptions 101

9 "I Just Want to Get Rid of It!" 115

10 Sticky Thoughts 129

11 Stuck on Self 143

12 Motivate the Unmotivated 155

13 Difficult Dilemmas 163

14 Hold Ourselves Kindly 171

Resources 177

References 179


Russ Harris lives in Melbourne, Australia.

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