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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: An Experiential Approach to Behavior Change Paperback – July 29, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-1572309555 ISBN-10: 1572309555 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: The Guilford Press; 1 edition (July 29, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572309555
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572309555
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #210,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"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."--David H. Barlow, PhD, ABPP

"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

"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

From the Back Cover

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 and his colleagues set out a clear plan to help those clients who, as they put it, feel unable to find their way out of life's ongoing traps. Their 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). --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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A challenging and thought-provoking book.
Dr Andrew Page
These transcripts enable the reader to see the ACT approach at work, particularly the use of metaphors and paradoxes to loosen the client from the grip of language.
bronx book nerd
It was recommended reading by a friend and very interesting.
Marion Johnston

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

116 of 119 people found the following review helpful By Dr Andrew Page on July 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Hayes and colleagues have made an excellent contribution with their book Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) by drawing together many years of theoretical work and practice into a very readable work. The first half of the book outlines the theoretical foundations of ACT. Many recent books in clinical psychology claim to offer a new psychotherapeutic technique or a new approach within a particular conceptual framework. In contrast, Hayes and colleagues present a new and comprehensive conceptual foundation for psychotherapy. They seek to challenge some of the cherished notions in mental health (e.g., that mental disorders always arise from abnormality) and critique some of the central ideas in many popular therapies (e.g., the idea in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy that mental health will be improved by changing the content of one's thoughts). Their argument identifies language and our use of it as both one of the key reasons for humanity's success and our inability to rid ourselves of many mental health issues. For a reflective practitioner or academic, the arguments presented will give the reader much food for thought.
The second half of the book outlines the practice of ACT and as such illustrates the fist part. This sections is excellent in that even thought it uses language to describe ACT, it attempts to use the principles of ACT upon the reader and gives the reader examples to work though at the end of each chapter. Thus, the reader cannot emerge at the end of the book without having been changed by reading the book.
The ability to critique current thinking in clinical psychology is not novel, but the ability to present an alternative is much more rare. Hayes and colleages have done so and have presented it in a way that will be accessible to practitioners and researchers from many different theoretical orientations. A challenging and thought-provoking book.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jason L on April 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
In my opinion, this is still the core ACT book to read. This book is just packed with a wealth of information, insights, and novel approaches to clinical problems. There is no other ACT book written to date that matches this one in its scope, overview, and coherence in terms of explaining the ACT model and linking it to the basic behavioral principles with underlie the approach. Even though I've had this book for almost a decade, I still refer to it's dogeared and underlined pages almost every week. If you are a therapist interested in ACT, this book should be in your hands.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Luana Morris on September 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
A really good overview and also in depth approach to a new therapy that could well be the next CBT - easy to read and with some very clear examples and analogies. I recommend it to anyone that has found that CBT has some gaps in regards to recurrance and behaviour change.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By bronx book nerd VINE VOICE on November 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
This was a challenging read for a layperson like me because the book is written for practitioners. There is a lot of jargon and technical terminology that is not easy to absorb. Most of this is concentrated in the section on the philosophical foundation of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Nevertheless, this is a critical chapter in understanding the basis for ACT, particularly the role that language plays in trapping individuals by fusing them with their thoughts (which are expressed verbally, even if internally). I will definitely need to re-read the book to get the full depth of meaning.

The remaining chapters are more accessible and include valuable therapy sesssions transcripts . These transcripts enable the reader to see the ACT approach at work, particularly the use of metaphors and paradoxes to loosen the client from the grip of language.

I have been applying the mental attitude suggested by ACT - detachment from language and thought, being a mindful observer - and it has been very helpful in reducing tension and self-criticism. I have also found myself questioning, at the most basic level, many of the "truisms" that I have come to accept without challenge. When you think about this, there are scores of these by which we judge ourselves, from simple sayings like "Cleanliness is next to godliness" to "Virtue is its own reward." These may or may not be true or accurate, but the point is that we accept them blindly, and judge ourselves in some way by doing so.

I recently reviewed The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living, which could be called an "ACT for Dummies" book.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Not Moses on October 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Did anyone else have as much difficulty as I did plowing through this thing?

I can surely see now why so many other successful books have been written on ACT since this one. Thirty five years into a reasonable grasp of gestaltism, experiential therapies, Buddhism, behavior modification, neurolinguistic programming, rational-emotive therapy, cognitivism, etc., I found this to be a very demanding read.

As demonstrated in a number of other books on this topic, ACT is just not =that= difficult to grasp. Harris's ACT Made Simple, for example, is (as the title suggests) a piece of cake by comparison. I've also read Hayes, Follette & Linehan's Mindfulness and Acceptance, which is far easier sledding, as well as Hayes and Smith's Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life.

Were the authors struggling with their =own= understanding of some of the concepts? Was their own sense of =metaphor= failing them? I dunno, but I'd have to say that while the fundaments are pretty much all here, the explanations of the fundaments are better, well, =explained= elsewhere.

That is =not= to say that this book should be dismissed out of hand. The chapter entitled "The Effective ACT Therapeutic Relationship" might be worth the $20.00 or so all by itself. In fact, one might be able to understand the psychophilosophy that dominates the first 1/3 to 1/2 of the book =better= by reading this penultimate chapter first.

Following added 10-19-2011:

After a further year of working with ACT and the other MBCTs, my current re-reading of =A&CT= makes a lot more sense. The first several chapters are, however, more deeply embedded in the language of cognitive science than I had been scholastically prepared for a year ago. Will they strike others that way?
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