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103 Reviews
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143 of 146 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated!
I felt compelled to review this as seeing four stars for a book like this boggles my mind.

I've had a generalised anxiety disorder since 15 and had a nervous breakdown five months ago with intense anxiety, I had to be checked in to a mental health hospital to recover, you'd think that I didn't know anything about psychology to get into that state, but I've read...
Published on 25 Aug 2011 by N. Harris

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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A godless world
This book puts forward some interesting arguments against the positive thought approach, not sure it works for me but noticing what happens in a stressful situation can be revealing. Put this into practice when dealing with a workplace bully recently and it gave me space to think before reacting to the goad.
The book I return to most often is Tony Wilkinsons...
Published on 7 Oct 2010 by J. Stapleton


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143 of 146 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated!, 25 Aug 2011
By 
N. Harris - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Happiness Trap (Based on ACT: A revolutionary mindfulness-based programme for overcoming stress, anxiety and depression) (Paperback)
I felt compelled to review this as seeing four stars for a book like this boggles my mind.

I've had a generalised anxiety disorder since 15 and had a nervous breakdown five months ago with intense anxiety, I had to be checked in to a mental health hospital to recover, you'd think that I didn't know anything about psychology to get into that state, but I've read an almost silly amount. With this book and other ACT books I am now doing better than ever in my life and am grateful for what I went through, as it led me to a life philosophy I will never give up on, in fact I've only just started living at 24 thanks to this. I must have bought every book with even a grain of wisdom on this whole site!

That was just adding to the problem, by constantly telling my brain that this anxiety is not acceptable I was just sending messages of how dangerous this anxiety was and the cycle never broke no matter how much insight I got into my own mind.

This book explains brilliantly and in simple terms how to get out of this trap, if you follow the advice and actually act on it then you can't fail to enhance your life.

ACT is definitely borrowed from Buddhism which seems to bug some people, like they stole it or something, which is bizarre. I really don't think the Buddha would be complaining about how his wisdom is being passed on in a different way more appropriate for people with genuine mental health problems. And one reviewers mention of this book's "political correctness" warps my mind, I genuinely have no idea what he's even referring to. Also I'd say that any form of therapy that works incorporates something the Buddha said as he essentially did figure out the crux of human suffering, so whether they notice it or not they will be repeating his theories for a modern age. The word buddhism has a stigma, that despite it's efficiency, turns some people off. Therapy has to stay away from that so as not to alienate people.

All I can say is that I've bought probably 100 + books on therapy or ancient wisdom or philosophy and gave them my full attention and all that did was make things worse, had I found this book and realised buying books was part of the problem I could have lived a much fuller life up to this point. Russ Harris reads like a genuinely nice, down to earth guy and this book is also great for people without mental health problems that just want to cope with life a bit better. Don't make the same mistake I made!
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87 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lucid Concise Description of ACT, 5 July 2008
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This review is from: The Happiness Trap (Based on ACT: A revolutionary mindfulness-based programme for overcoming stress, anxiety and depression) (Paperback)
I have number of books on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) but this is the most lucid and easy to read. It gets straight to the point and explains ACT very clearly. I am still pleased I have my other books as I like to read about ACT in great detail but this book has really answered a lot of questions for me. It also also brings in concepts that I must of missed in my other books.

Russ Harris presses quite strongly that ACT was not inflenced in any way by Buddhism. ACT came completely from western scientific research and has powerful but simple methods for developing mindfuleness. It needed to do this as ACT is a therapy not a spiritual journey and needs to work fairly quickly. But there are many similarities between ACT and Buddhism validating both traditions. ACT has no religeous or metaphysical components, it is hard cutting edge science designed to improve the lives of people.

Well done Russ for an excellent concise book on ACT.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The happiness trap, 28 Aug 2011
I got this book as I am having therapy at present and my therapist recommended this book and lent me her copy, it was so good and easy to follow I got myself a copy but in large print to make it easier to read. I find this book very helpful and would recommend it to anyone else who is suffering from severe depression as I am.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - easy read and practical, 20 Aug 2009
By 
Quentin C. Livingston (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Happiness Trap (Based on ACT: A revolutionary mindfulness-based programme for overcoming stress, anxiety and depression) (Paperback)
Great book easy to read and offering lots of practical methods to help you.

What I also liked is that the author says if a specific technique doesnt work for you don't worry just try another technique - rather than the so often self help author saying you MUST do it this way and you MUST follow all my steps!

Really good book: Easy to apply and will definitely reread in the future to keep me using the tecgniques which i have found useful!!
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and helpful new 'take' on psycho-stuff, 3 Jan 2012
By 
Self-help junkie (Birmingham, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Happiness Trap (Based on ACT: A revolutionary mindfulness-based programme for overcoming stress, anxiety and depression) (Paperback)
I'm a therapist and like everyone else have my own 'stuff' to deal with on a daily basis: so I've found reading Russ Harris's book very stimulating and thought-provoking. ACT is quite a radical approach to emotional problems. Whereas most other forms of therapy aim at reducing symptoms, ACT instead focuses on helping us to accept them and still get on with our lives. After 20 years of practising conventional forms of therapy, I think there is much to be said for this approach. So many of us have unrealistic expectations about how happy we 'should' be, and feel that something awful is happening when we can't tame those unruly but upsetting thoughts and feelings that trip us up on a daily basis. In this book, Harris outlines this different approach and I, for one, will be giving it serious consideration and attention over the coming months.
Well worth a try if you've found that CBT or psychoanalysis have had limited impact on your overall happiness.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent!, 29 Aug 2010
By 
Ms. P. Nocivelli (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Happiness Trap (Based on ACT: A revolutionary mindfulness-based programme for overcoming stress, anxiety and depression) (Paperback)
I've been struggled with the concept of true acceptance on a day to day basis. I've read many great books on a similar theme, such as 'The power of now' by Eckhart Tolle and 'Self help for your nerves' by Dr claire Weekes, both extolling the virtues of letting go and acceptance to just be. While these books have helped me tremendously I never really felt completely at peace because of the continual negative commentary going on in my mind. Finally, this brilliant book describes fun and easy ways to enable the reader to just observe this negative mind-talk, whilst putting it into perspective at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Its clear and practical and more importantly for me, it works a treat!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book, 30 Sep 2013
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I have read many good books on mindfulness but this book brings something different. It provides understandable and practical advice on how to train our minds to avoid getting attached to our thoughts; our thoughts are just a version of a story, because that story comes from the voice inside our own head does not mean that it is fact, it is just a perception and we don't need to believe everything we hear ourselves say. For most of us, we are our own worst critics and we cannot get rid of our negative thinking, its in our nature as human beings so its futile to try, but we can train our minds to not let negative thoughts affect us so much - this for me was a light bulb moment. The author writes in a very engaging and straight forward way and he relates some of his own experience which in fact is the same for most of us. He points out that they key to changing our self critical tendency is to practice the techniques in the book, this is important as just reading a load of self help books is not going to effect change - this would be like reading about India but never actually going there! The book is a revelation!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS BOOK WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE, 31 July 2013
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This review is from: The Happiness Trap (Based on ACT: A revolutionary mindfulness-based programme for overcoming stress, anxiety and depression) (Paperback)
This book can seem rather wordy and at first I found myself doubting it BUUUT stick with it!!! It has completely changed my life better than any Cognitive Behavioural Therapist that you'll see. I still use the techniques when I'm anxious and it truly works. IF YOU HAVE DEPRESSION GET THIS!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 25 April 2013
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This review is from: The Happiness Trap (Based on ACT: A revolutionary mindfulness-based programme for overcoming stress, anxiety and depression) (Paperback)
I was so impressed by this book and it really helped me look at things in a different way. It's quite simplistic in what it tells you to do but I found it really works. It teaches you how to handle your feelings, not to be scared of your emotions and not to take your emotions too seriously, which basically means you are not fighting or questioning how you feel you learn to just accept them and let them come and go. It's almost like what your Grandparents would tell you to do, telling you it's ok to feel emotions because its part of being human. Fantastically refreshing new look at life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different, practical and it works!, 27 Nov 2012
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This review is from: The Happiness Trap (Based on ACT: A revolutionary mindfulness-based programme for overcoming stress, anxiety and depression) (Paperback)
I am a CBT therapist and fairly new to ACT. Some of the textbooks are pretty forbidding...Although this is a self help book it is simply packed with profound new ways of looking at emotional problems and how to solve them. I used this book first for myself and then with patients. One of the most valuable parts of the book is about values! Simple idea but it takes time and mental effort to really pinpoint your heart's desires; the person you most want to be. The odd thing is he puts that part at the end of the book whereas i find it a great thing to start with. The exercises and techniques in the whole book do work and they require consistent effort so it is helpful to be guided by the lights of your own valued directions.
Everything else,Russ explains far better than i can. I can only wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who truly wants to build a richer fuller life.
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