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The Reality Slap [Paperback]

Russ Harris
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 Jun 2012
Sometimes it can feel like there's a gap between what we plan or hope for in our lives and the reality we're faced with - a so-called 'reality gap'. Sometimes it's a startling reality gap caused by the death of a loved one, for example, or a serious illness, a freak accident, divorce or the loss of a job. Sometimes it's a little gentler: envy, loneliness, resentment, failure, disappointment or rejection. But whatever form your 'reality gap' may take, one thing's for sure: it can cause us great distress. Based on the scientifically proven mindfulness-based approach called 'Acceptance and Commitment Therapy' (ACT), this self-help book will teach you how to cope effectively when life hurts and you will learn not only how to survive life's unexpected curve balls, but also how to thrive, despite them.


Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson (21 Jun 2012)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1780332025
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780332024
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 154,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Book Description

A self-help book that will teach you how to cope effectively when life hurts and how not only to survive life's unexpected curve balls, but also how to thrive, despite them.

About the Author

Dr Russ Harris is one of Australia's foremost practitioners and trainers of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a mindfulness-based psychological therapy that aims to help you to reduce stress, overcome fear and find fulfilment. He is one of the world's leading authorities in ACT, and regularly travels internationally to train a wide variety of professionals in the approach. He is the author of The Happiness Trap, an international bestseller which has been translated into 22 languages, and The Confidence Gap.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ACT with more compassion 30 July 2013
Format:Paperback
In my opinion The Happiness Trap is one of the best self help books ever. The more you use it the more you get out of it and ACT is a radically different way of looking at mental and emotional health. The focus of The Reality Gap is sufficiently different to be a worthwhile study if you are a HT fan. And it is probably comprehensive enough to stand alone if you haven't read HT.
The difference in the focus is partly that Russ is talking about the big 'bad' events in life that hit us all now and again. But everything in the book is equally applicable to more everyday frustrations, fears and disappointments.
Improvements on HT are that there is a much greater focus on treating yourself kindly. This is really helpful and makes the other core techniques of ACT much more doable and gentle.
He also cuts to the chase quicker on core techniques which makes them easier to understand and to start practising. The depth he goes into in HT probably helps to really get a grasp of them but can be a bit forbidding in places.
He uses a bunch of new exercises that are very quick and effective and incorporate mindfulness, compassion and action.
Most of all for me is that he places Values more centrally and sooner in the discussion . I never could understand why he put the Values stuff at the end of HT. Seems to me it is not only a central plank but the prime motivator in ACT so needs to come early in the change journey or there might be no journey!
I get really excited about ACT out of all the therapies i have trained in. It is this central importance of Values that excites me. Not just individuals but organisations and even society seems to have lost the very understanding of what values are.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another informative and valuable read 28 Nov 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a fan of the author as I find his writing style easy to read. It is a book to keep referring back to as many times as is necessary. I find ACT is more approachable than Mindfulness itself as it feels more applicable to everyday modern life and throws a slightly different slant on the usual approach to dealing with common complaints such as anxiety and depression through CBT. As a sufferer of anxiety and depression I have found this book as well as 'The Happiness Trap' a refreshing and welcomed source of support in the modern age. It's a good dose of realism and offers an approach from a new direction that many of us would never be aware of especially today where we feel we do not even have time to think!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rather good self help book... 4 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I came across this book purely by accident when browsing the bookshop and I am really glad I found it. I don't usually buy 'self help' books as such, and the ones I have bought I never finished due to loss of interest. The thing I really liked about this book is that the author would regularly acknowledge that it isn't just the simple act of 'positive thinking' that allows us to find fulfillment in life. Rather, the book teaches us to find peace when we experience negative emotions instead of trying to fight them. This is done using a variety of detailed 'mindfulness' techniques described in the book.

I loved how Russ Harris would use real examples from his own life (in particular his Autistic son) when explaining the ACT approach. I also appreciated how Russ Harris admitted convincingly that even HE needs to consciously remind himself of the techiques he is writing about during painful times in his life. This made me think of him as a human with actual insight and not just a know-it-all expert who may make the reader feel like they must develop sound coping skills within a day of reading their book.

All in all, this book does not claim to have all the answers to your problems (or reality gaps). It does however provide the reader with some food for thought when looking at painful emotions. It aims to give the reader the opportunity to see painful situations in a different light (compared to other books) and deal with the "here and now". Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Reality Slap 24 April 2012
By Joanne
Format:Kindle Edition
I cannot recommend 'The Reality Slap' highly enough. I was slightly concerned when I first started to read it but as I settled down and took proper notice it soon became obvious what a well observed and very helpful book this is. It has already made a difference to my way of life, and it will be kept close at hand for me to refer to often.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it before the reality slaps you 27 Nov 2012
By Margot
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When we do not get what we want because it is beyond our reach (further progession within the company), capabilities of getting it ( becoming someone else i.e. as beautiful or rich as someone else...) or just impossible (for the one we are longing for is no longer amongst those who are alive or already living a happy life with someone else)...we often rush to fix this gap...the gap between the reality we are living in and the reality of our dreams...
There are a lot of books that tell us how to fix the gap and that is possible if we only want it. They would also claim and try to convince us that this is the way to be happy.
Russ Harris however, is more realistic about those unfixable gaps or rather shows us how we can live a fulfilled life looking within and not outside.
The book for those who are not afraid to wake up and live a happy life despite the weather of not eternal sunshine.
Highly recommended!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Revealing
So much wisdom contained in this book and it offers a real insight into how we can tolerate distress in our lives.
Published 3 months ago by Cezza
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I think this book is an invaluable tool. It has lots of useful exercises and advice. I found this book more useful than the Happiness Trap which contains more theory. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Miss V M Forsyth
3.0 out of 5 stars The Reality Slap
I must admit I found some of the advice good in this book, especially learning how to be kinder to oneself. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Avid Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading!
I haven't finished the book yet - but so far, I have been very impressed. I have put into practice, several of the suggestions - and they work for me. Read more
Published 7 months ago by J R
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Mindfulness book I have read
Plenty of mindfulness books about but this writer involves the reader much more

than the simplistic ' just don't think' instruction of some others. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Robert E
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent uplifting read
This no nonsense book lets you decide for yourself if its worth the read or not - take from it what you will but it gave me food for thought and that can't be bad!
Published 7 months ago by comic reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical mindfulness at it's best.
Russ Harris is able to translate the concepts of mindfulness into every day stratgies for dealing with those unexpected brickwalls which we walk into now and then.
Published 7 months ago by Cynthia Leslie
5.0 out of 5 stars acceptance
As a cbt therapist there are times when it just doesn't work nor should it. Acceptance theory is very good and can accompany cbt. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mr. P. J. Carroll
2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre
I Was board reading this book. I was waiting all through for a killer twist but this did not happen. Mediocre
Published 7 months ago by brendan fleming
1.0 out of 5 stars Bit hard to stomach.....
Really annoyed with this book. As a mother of an autistic son I felt real empathy with the writer who was basing his reality slap on the day his child was diagnosed with autism. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mrs Nicola J Hazlem
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