Customer Reviews: Mindfulness for Two: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Approach to Mindfulness in Psychotherapy
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on April 27, 2009
I received an advanced copy of Mindfulness for Two, and it was a pleasure to read. I think it addresses the process of the therapist more deeply than any ACT book before it, and perhaps better than any clinical book I've read. I was really moved by the first chapter, "Coming Face to Face with the Human Condition," which acknowledges the ubiquity of human suffering and encourages the reader to embrace it, rather than reject it, in the service of being more closely connected to our therapy clients. There I was choking up while reading it on the elliptical machine at the gym. Not my favorite place for tears!

More than anything it's gotten me to pay attention to two things: the moment to moment processes of my clients in session (the pitch, tone, and pace, as Wilson says) and my own moment to moment processes. I think I've always been very good at recognizing and making good use of what my psychodynamic training called "countertransference" (which for me is defined broadly as any of my reactions in therapy), but Wilson has added a great new set of tools and conceptualizations for being right there with it and listening to it without necessarily responding. I have found myself more free in sessions to notice my immediate urges to act or not act, my own fusion, my own values, etc. At the same time, I've been far more acutely aware of my clients' facial expressions, tone of voice, etc., and I've been able to bring that noticing right into my work in the present moment with people. More and more I'm stopping and saying, "What just went on there?" I'm also more grounded in what it means to be "under
aversive control" (a behavioral conception of when fear is running the show), not just intellectually, but also experientially. I can feel it in sessions as aversive control shows up, both for myself and for clients. Totally cool.

In session, I've begun to notice things like the conceptualized self (in particular) that have escaped me in the past doing ACT work. I think I'm much more aware of the fine details of fusion, avoidance, conceptualized self, etc., in the moment to moment.

It is a great resource. I would highly recommend it to any one interested in ACT or better understanding the therapeutic relationship.
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on June 27, 2009
This is a comment from the heart. We are all trained to be excellent problem solvers, and it is so easy to see our clients as problems to be solved. From that perspective, we get into all kinds of moves, like simple or complex. How do you like it when someone views you life as "simple" (e.g., your problem is like 2+2=4) -- is that really true? Is it more true that your life is complex and in that complexity you are more like your client -- not a problem to be solved or fixed, but something to behold -- a beautiful sunrise. What would that be like for you? For me, this book has fundamentally changed how I view and do psychotherapy. Thank you Kelly and Troy -- one humbled human being to another. United by the same soup. Many sunsets to admire. Thank you in appreciation. -john
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on September 21, 2009
I've read alot of ACT books, and even written one, and I can say that this is a must have book for anybody interested in ACT, and anybody interested in how modern behavioral psychology can be applied to complex human problems.

The strength of the book is its clear grounding in basic behavioral principles that have received substantial scientific support in controlled laboratory studies. The chapter entitled " A clinican's guide to stimulus control" is particularly accessible and useful. It is amazing that the most complex of human behavior--e.g., rumination, worry, dysfunctional thinking, valuing, being present---can be understood in terms of basic behavioral principles, and can be influenced by basic behavioral interventions.

The book is filled with useful worksheets and concrete advice on how to promote mindfulness and valued living. I thought the chapter on experiential case conceptualization was particularly well-written, and brings together everything in the book in a way that is both concise and highly usable.

The book focuses not only on "treating the client", but on what you the therapist bring to the table, and how your relationship with the client influences outcome. I think the book shows the way to have compassionate, mindful relationships with others. By this, I mean the book is fundementally about improving relationships and the human condition.

Dr. Wilson is an academic, but I also know him to be the world-class practitioner and trainer. His workshops are popular and influential. I think this book puts down in writing what is best about those workshops. I highly recommend it.
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on September 11, 2009
This is simply a wonderful book. One of the best resources for clinicians who want to apply mindfulness practices with their clients - or themselves. It is written in such an engaging and entertaining style that it's easy to forget the topic is psychotherapy. I have never read a book with behavioral terms like stimulus control that I wanted to linger over - but this book does just that. It makes one want to linger!! Scientific principles are alive here.

If you are looking for a book that can improve your clinical skills this is the one. Includes a DVD and scripted exercises that are so well written I have been able to transfer the skills to the clinic. We have started our own study group and this book was chosen by members as the best one to base our skill development lessons on. If you want to be a better therapist this book is for you.

It has touched on the humanity in me and encourages therapists to work from their heart and mind. I am truly grateful to Kelly and Troy.
Louise Hayes, Ph.D
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on July 5, 2009
I have just finished reading this book and really loved it. Thanks Kelly and Troy - I believe it is a valuable resource for any clinician. Having read a lot about ACT and also other books on mindfulness I was surprised how much I learnt that was invaluable. This is the first book that I have come across that really looks closely at the benefits of mindfulness for the therapist - and spells out some of the therapeutic pitfalls we potentially face so clearly. I'm sure i will continue to reflect on this book and that it will influence my ongoing development as a therapist enormously. Thanks again for taking the time to write this!
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on October 15, 2010
Dr. Wilson has accomplished something of historical importance with this book. That may sound hyperbolic, but it isn't. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy has emerged as a model of change processes in psychotherapy, a conception of human well-being, and as an evidence-based therapy in recent years. The roots of ACT are deep in the behavioral tradition, as well as in the ancient practice of cultivating mindful awareness. "Mindfulness For Two" is the first ACT textbook to fully explain and illustrate how mindfulness, acceptance, and other essential ACT processes can be brought to life in the consultation room by both therapist and client. This book is mandatory reading for all of the students and therapists I supervise, whether they are practicing ACT or other variations of CBT. The video examples and plain language, warm and engaged style brings ACT processes and mindful therapist micro-skills to life in a way rarely seen. The book is truly of historical importance and is destined to be a classic. Whether that sounds like hyperbole or not, if I were a betting man, I'd place my money on this book being around for a very long time as a central text in the ACT tradition.

Dennis Tirch PhD
Associate Director
American Institute for Cognitive Therapy
Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor
Weill Cornell Medical College
Academy of Cognitive Therapy
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on April 19, 2015
I am so thankful I found this book when I started working as a therapist! I go back again and again when I feel disconnected, doubtful, lost or discontented. It remains on my bedside table and every time I re-read I find a renewed sense of commitment and purpose in showing up as a therapist. And it will show me a new path, a different strategy we could try. Many books and ACT resources have informed my practice; but this book remains the single most meaningful and helpful.
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on July 26, 2013
Kelly Wilson's MF2 is a unique and extremely valuable addition to every psychotherapist's library. Even if you're not a "mindfulness" or ACT clinician, you can benefit from this book. The narrative is very accessible and the discussion and exercises are immediately applicable to one's work with clients. The best thing about this book is that it grounds you on the here and now of the therapy relationship and helps you slow down and truly connect with the client's experience. Most of us as clinicians tend to rush at times toward leveraging change and in the process miss the client's needs and wants. I think Wilson's book is extremely helpful for newer therapists in terms of learning how to develop timing in one's interventions. The more you're engaging the client with mindful awareness of the relationship in the therapy room, the more you will know the "whens" of the work. I really appreciate books like this -- grounded in science and yet engaging and realistic in terms of the rubber meeting the road in treatment.

Mitch Abblett, Ph.D. -- Author of The Heat of the Moment in Treatment: Mindful Management of Difficult Clients (Norton Professional Books)
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on August 19, 2010
While Dr. Wilson is a behaviorist and an ACT clinician, this book will be helpful for therapists of any theoretical stripe. It is an ideal guide for observing oneself as a clinician, staying present with the client, and effectively responding to transference, clinically relevant behaviors - whatever you wish to label the inevitable interplay between therapist and client.

As always, Kelly Wilson brings his humanity to his work. He leads by example, always willing to use his own experience - warts and all - as the rich data source that it is. I'm sure we have all felt ineffective with clients who are having trouble moving forward. Kelly Wilson deals in typical direct fashion with thoughts such as "I don't have any idea what to do. I feel completely hopeless," and even our less charitable thoughts, such as "This person is boring," or "Will this hour never end?"

Above all, this is a book of practical skills for improving our presence in the room. Dr. Wilson knows what therapists go through and offers expert help with the subtler problems we can face in practice: defensiveness, self-doubt, imposing our agenda on the client, and so on. Just as important, the book is written in a way that helps the reader identify behaviors of which he or she may be unaware.

Just one warning about this book: it will only be useful if you are willing to take an honest look at yourself in the room with the client. As long as you are willing to do that, this book holds the potential to greatly increase your effectiveness as a clinician.
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on May 4, 2015
I'm reading this book as a member of an ACT peer supervision group. It's a really good read. I'm only 1 chapter in, so far, but I look forward to continuing to read. It helps me to see how I can bring more mindfulness in my sessions.
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