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Customer Review

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ACT with more compassion, 30 July 2013
This review is from: The Reality Slap (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. We are being sucked into a world where what things look like is considered more important than what they are really like and what their purpose and value are. So we end up with shocks in everything from the bankers' greed to North Staffs et al hospitals lack of basic compassion as whole organisations have let go of their values in favour of targets, appearances and short term and superficial rewards like money and prestige. I hope ACT can spread from therapy into industry and organisations like the NHS so that we all can pursue fulfilling meaningful lives for ourselves and each other.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Nov 2013 14:11:35 GMT
Thank you for your thorough review. It was very helpful for me, as I too am a huge fan of The Happiness Trap (THT). I am studying a Mindfulness Skills Coaching certificate and find THT is a wonderful resource. I was wondering if this book would be repeating THT which it clearly isn't from your review. Also, I had thought exactly the same about values, so it was affirming to read your comments. Thank you, Helen

Posted on 25 Nov 2013 14:11:52 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 25 Nov 2013 14:12:06 GMT]

Posted on 28 Jan 2014 12:01:59 GMT
This was a really comprehensive review, and you seem a very thoughtful and lovely person also. Just wanted to say :).

Posted on 26 Jul 2015 21:02:29 BDT
M. Deane says:
Thanks for the well written review! You managed to succinctly summarise the problems we are facing in our highly competitive individualised western societies where we have lost focus on the very things that nourish our souls and produce happiness. I've been thinking a lot about this recently as I have been studying design; I hope to work in a design capacity that helps to redesign our way out of the unnatural system we find ourselves within.
I was considering buying the happiness trap as I already have the confidence gap by Russ Harris but never managed to work through it properly, I always felt that working on my happiness should come before confidence development. I've heard great things about the happiness trap and am now going to buy it after your recommendation. I was looking at the reality slap book because I have suffered in the past and feel that I keep reflecting on the loss suffered but after your review I definitely feel that the happiness trap should be the starting point for me, so thanks for that.
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Location: Northumberland uk

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