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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 [Kindle Edition]

Russ Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description


"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

Book Description

In Getting Unstuck in ACT, psychotherapist Russ Harris, tackles common ACT obstacles faced by both therapists and their clients that can make them feel "stuck." These obstacles include sending mixed messages on the part of the therapist, a lack of motivation on the clients' part, as well as confusion regarding the theoretical basis of ACT. This book is a must-have for any ACT therapist looking to streamline their therapeutic approach.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 657 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; 1 edition (1 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DQU3SL4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #150,750 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars essential reading for anyone using ACT 29 Aug 2013
By Ray
It's great news that there are more & more people using ACT as an approach to helping people. What's been needed (up till now) has been pragmatic guidance for therapists beyond the basic skills, not so much on specialist applications (there are other books on that) but on handling everyday snags and hitches in helping people this way. This book for practitioners does exactly that, and - just like he did with his 'ACT Made Simple' - Russ Harris makes this understandable, practical, friendly & above all achievable for us everyday practitioners.
Worth every penny.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book about how to really do ACT 7 July 2013
By Laura J - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is my first book review on Amazon. I was inspired to comment on this book because I think it is one of the best books I have read on ACT. In fact, I think it is helpful to any therapist who encounters these common problems in therapy. The tips and strategies are just good solutions to common therapeutic challenges. I consider myself to be a cognitive behavior therapist and not an ACT-specific therapist. Prior to reading this book, I was skeptical about ACT because I had some misconceptions about it. This book has clearly explained to me how to use ACT in a logical and practical way. I see and hear many therapists using ACT in non-ACT ways. For example, it is quite common that non-ACT therapists incorporate a few ACT concepts into therapy and say "now I am doing ACT." Or they talk about ACT without getting experiential. This is why I had been frustrated with ACT in the past. I did not see ACT as a complete psychotherapy system. The section on ACT case conceptualization was quite helpful in showing how ACT can be an all-encompassing approach to behavior change. I also like that Russ Harris explains ACT in normal language. Many books about ACT use confusing language. This book is easy to read and understand. I guess my biggest pet peeve about ACT has been that it has renamed itself "ACT" as though it is separate and different from cognitive behavior therapy. The way ACT is presented in this book is completely consistent with CBT. ACT talks about changing thoughts as defusion and perhaps the process of defusion is less direct than cognitive restructuring but, in the end, it has a similar goal. I find many ACT concepts are similar to CBT concepts, just approached from a less direct angle, with less focus on specific content, and using ACT words and language. However, CBT is also moving away from content to a greater focus on a metacognitive and process level especially with OCD treatment. I love that Russ Harris says that talking to clients about acceptance can be invalidating. This is so true. I feel that some ACT therapists as well as non-ACT therapists "force" acceptance on their clients. I think this book is a great beginning to learning ACT. I wish I had read it before reading some of the other books on ACT because this book has opened me up to accepting ACT and now I am eager to learn more about ACT. I'll be reading ACT Made Simple next.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource for clinicians and clinical supervisors! 22 July 2013
By Amy R. Murrell - Published on
Informed acknowledgement of life's ups and downs and the vitality of values-based action are big draws of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) - it's easy to get people excited about ACT. Sometimes, in the rush of excitement, though, clinicians begin doing ACT to clients rather than with them - trying out this experiential exercise, throwing out that metaphor - and then getting stuck. It happens to all of us. Thankfully, in getting unstuck in ACT, Dr. Russ Harris reminds us that each exercise, each metaphor, best serves our goals when chosen based on work with a specific client, in the specific moment, for specific purposes. Dr. Harris does a wonderful job directly tying together the six components of the ACT model, in straightforward and clear language. Throughout the book, Dr. Harris gives examples of session content which model stuck and unstuck responses to ACT processes. There a good number of sample exercises in both Parts I and II of the book as well. Further, at the end of each chapter, there are helpful experiments to practice skills. As someone who frequently supervises student clinicians, I see this book as a must-have! If you don't have someone to regularly consult or do supervision with, this book is also definitely for you! Part II includes several common treatment pitfalls, including avoidance exhibited by clients and by clinicians, and it gives detailed techniques to address them. The experiments in this section address typical sticking points, like values traps and give practice for the steps for addressing unworkable behavior. The book concludes with a bit on self-compassion for clinicians: one way to be kind to yourself, ultimately helping your supervisees and your clients too, would be to read this book!
--Amy R. Murrell, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of North Texas and co-author of the joy of parenting
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend 10 Sep 2013
By Donaldo - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In the process of learning, this covers those times a therapist feels de-skilled when meeting resistance; another good ACT book
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource 5 Sep 2013
By Deborah - Published on
Very useful guidance for those in training as well as those who practice ACT. Easy to apply and highly readable.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great resource for experienced ACT therapists 22 Jun 2014
By Mike Pollard - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Used with "Advanced Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: The Experienced Practitioners....", it will assist in bettering your understanding and applications of the ACT model. Reader friendly also.
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