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

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By (author) Russ Harris

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  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
  • Format: Paperback | 176 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 13mm | 68g
  • Publication date: 19 September 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Oakland, CA
  • ISBN 10: 1608828050
  • ISBN 13: 9781608828050
  • Sales rank: 15,081

Product description

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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Author information

Russ Harris is a medical practitioner, psychotherapist, and executive coach. He is the author of ACT Made Simple, ACT with Love, and The Happiness Trap. He is also a prominent figure in the mental health community, and specializes in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). He lives and practices in Melbourne, Australia.

Review quote

"Russ Harris has a well-deserved, worldwide reputation for creating clarity where there is confusion, and simplicity where there is unnecessary complexity. When we are 'stuck' in clinical work, reducing confusion and complexity helps us see a pathway forward. There is wisdom on almost every page of this book. I learned a lot reading it and if you do ACT work, you will too. Highly recommended."--Steven C. Hayes, PhD, cofounder of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)"In my experience, therapists and students learning ACT often master the model long before they master application of the model to promote behavior change. Even the most talented therapists can find themselves struggling to apply the ACT model in a way that moves their work forward. In "Getting Unstuck in ACT", Russ Harris applies his extensive experience as a therapist and ACT trainer not only to clearly identify a number of difficulties therapists run into when doing ACT, but also to offer specific activities to bring flexibility to these difficult moments. The text includes a number of session excerpts demonstrating both effective and ineffective therapist interventions, along with specific steps to take in different kinds of stuck moments. It will be invaluable to ACT therapists looking to do more meaningful work, even at the most difficult points in therapy."--Emily K. Sandoz, PhD, assistant professor of psychology, University of Louisiana at Lafayette