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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Eating Disorders: A Process-Focused Guide to Treating Anorexia and Bulimia (Professional) Hardcover – February 3, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


About the Author

Emily K. Sandoz, PhD, is assistant professor of psychology at University of Louisiana at Lafayette, LA. She is a therapist who specializes in treating clients using acceptance and commitment therapy. Sandoz is coauthor of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Eating Disorders and Mindfulness and Acceptance for Bulimia. She received her doctorate from the University of Mississippi, and she lives and works in Lafayette, LA.

Kelly G. Wilson, PhD, is professor of psychology at the University of Mississippi. He is a central figure in ACT, and was one of the authors of the landmark Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Wilson is among the most sought-after ACT trainers. His popular experiential workshops touch thousands of clinicians and students each year. Find out more at www.onelifellc.com.

Troy DuFrene is a writer in the San Francisco Bay Area who specializes in psychology. He is coauthor of Coping with OCD; Mindfulness for Two; Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong; Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Eating Disorders; and Mindfulness and Acceptance for Bulimia.

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Product Details

  • Series: Professional
  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; 1 edition (February 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572247339
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572247338
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,286,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Working with eating-related problems is extremely tricky. Folks who struggle with eating are often very self-critical and feel stigmatized by society. They often do not want your help. They are invalidated by insensitive therapist remarks.

What's great about this book is that it is compassionate and client-centered. it shows you how to stay mindfully present with the client and how to understand the situation that gave rise to their problematic pattern of eating. It also allows you to focus on the clients values, rather than on having to enforce values from outside ("You must eat").

The book gives an excellent grounding in basic behavioral theory. It is process oriented, which means it teaches you what processes to target, rather than requiring you to do particular techniques. Not every technique is going to be appropriate to every client. The great thing about a process focus is that you can use techniques or flexibly invent your own, depending on what the client needs. For example, there are probably a thousand ways to help clients become more mindful and flexible with their body image. This book shows you how.

I love that the book has a sample protocol to show you how ACT might look with your client. I also found the additional resources at the end of the book to be most helpful. These include client questionnaires and handouts, and therapist tools

This is a must-buy for anybody who wants to use ACT, mindfulness, or intuitive eating principles with their clients.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book for therapists who treat people with anorexia and bulimia, and I would add that it can also be helpful for treating binge eating disorder. It will be most helpful if you already have some fairly solid knowledge of eating disorders, as well as some guidelines about the appropriate level of care (residential, intensive outpatient, outpatient). Because a person who is malnourished or has other medical complications may not be cognitively ready to do the mental processing involved in ACT, I would caution not to use ACT until a client is re-fed. However, I would highly recommend this book for any clinician!

If you've used DBT in treating eating disorders, but haven't seen the best outcomes, try ACT! It has some similar elements, including mindfulness, but it adds much more in terms of examining values and adding value to life. There are other books about ACT for other diagnoses, but I like the way this one is organized and written.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Yes, there are some typos in the book, and that's really too bad (but not conducive to misunderstanding, IMO), which is why I don't give it the 5 stars this gem deserves.
However, and much more importantly, I find, it also presents a badly needed alternative to DSM classification, and one that I have found clinically hig relevant - as well as respectful for the client.
And... there's so much dedication and compassion oozing out from the pages, mixed with high quality theorizing.
It may take some slow reading and "chewing" for those not familiar with the ACT model, but then readers will find this rich and wholesome "food for thought" and for feeling and action.
Those working with this stigmatized group will appreciate how important all this is, and feel challenged maybe and surely inspired.
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By Deb on October 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
While traditional eating disorder therapy approaches focus on alleviating the symptomatic behaviors, ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) takes a refreshing alternative approach. The primary focus of ACT is to help the client understand the purpose of their eating disorder behaviors, and then help create ways to shift their life to be more in line with their chosen values:

"The goal in ACT for eating disorders is psychological flexibility with the purpose of facilitating valued living. ACT targets broad behavior change, not in the sense of reducing eating disorder symptoms but in the sense of changing the dominant functions of the behavioral repertoire. ACT is about shifting life towards the things an individual cares about. The therapeutic stance in act is about making a place for that shift to occur.... ACT therapists help clients to interact more effectively with the things in their lives that hurt the worst and the things that mean the most." (pp. 59-61).

The crux of making this shift is to help the client develop psychological flexibility--the ability to "actively and openly contact their ongoing experiences in the present moment as fully conscious human beings, without defense and as it serves their chosen values." (p. 17). In other words, "ACT focuses on building valued living in the present, without the world of the individual having to change." (p. 117)

With clear explanations and illustrative clinical applications, the book masterfully teaches the six clinical components involved in helping eating-disordered clients develop this psychological flexibility:
1. Present moment focus--employing flexible and focused attention to ongoing events
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an ACT therapist specializing in treating eating disorders, I was really looking forward to getting and reading this book. I have never before rated a book so badly as this one. Where do I begin. As a subscriber to the scientist-practitioner model, I appreciate references to research in the text--not just a short, general list of references at the end of the book. Admittedly the authors represented this book as a "process-focused guide", but the experiential processes included did not have enough context to understand what the process being quoted was supposed to accomplish or why and how to generalize it to a therapist's actual practice. Furthermore, the context that was given hinted at these processes being used in a residential program and not in private practice. I believe the text should have clarified where the process was being implemented. Part I covered the "Foundations of ACT", which as a therapist familiary with ACT I could understand, but I can't imagine that anyone without adequate knowledge and experience with ACT would find this section anything more than mystifying. Part II was titled "Delving into ACT." I pushed myself through this section thinking that surely I would begin to understand the processes presented; I rarely was able to delve into what the authors were trying to communicate. Seven appendices were included, one of which included a template for an assessment plan. However, I could not find any explanation in the text of how to use this hexaflex diagram, even though I know and understand the hexaflex model. The other appendices were also unhelpful. And it may sound petty, but I was horrified to find five typos in the first 40 pages of text. This book was just not up to the standard that most professionals expect from New Harbinger Publications or their authors (of which I am one).
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