Get ready to take a different perspective on your problems and your life—and the way you live it.
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a new, scientifically based psychotherapy that takes a fresh look at why we suffer and even what it means to be mentally healthy. What if pain were a normal, unavoidable part of the human condition, but avoiding or trying to control painful experience were the cause of suffering and long-term problems that can devastate your quality of life? The ACT process hinges on this distinction between pain and suffering. As you work through this book, you’ll learn to let go of your struggle against pain, assess your values, and then commit to acting in ways that further those values.
ACT is not about fighting your pain; it’s about developing a willingness to embrace every experience life has to offer. It’s not about resisting your emotions; it’s about feeling them completely and yet not turning your choices over to them. ACT offers you a path out of suffering by helping you choose to live your life based on what matters to you most. If you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, or problem anger, this book can help—clinical trials suggest that ACT is very effective for a whole range of psychological problems. But this is more than a self-help book for a specific complaint—it is a revolutionary approach to living a richer and more rewarding life.
Learn why the very nature of human language can cause suffering
Escape the trap of avoidance
Foster willingness to accept painful experience
Practice mindfulness skills to achieve presence in the moment
Discover the things you really value most
Commit to living a vital, meaningful life
This book has been awarded The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Self-Help Seal of Merit — an award bestowed on outstanding self-help books that are consistent with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) principles and that incorporate scientifically tested strategies for overcoming mental health difficulties. Used alone or in conjunction with therapy, our books offer powerful tools readers can use to jump-start changes in their lives.
Steven C. Hayes, PhD, is University of Nevada Foundation Professor of Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. He is author of more than 350 scientific articles and twenty-seven books, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Relational Frame Theory—two books that significantly develop the concepts on which Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life is based. His research explores the nature of human language and cognition and their application to the understanding and alleviation of human suffering. In 1992, the Institute for Scientific Information reported Hayes among the highest-impact psychologists in the world during the years 1986–90 based on the citation impact of his writings. He is past-president of the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy, the American Association of Applied and Preventive Psychology, and Division Twenty-Five of the American Psychological Association. He was the first Secretary-Treasurer of the American Psychological Society. He is the recipient of the Don F. Hake Award for Exemplary Contributions to Basic Behavioral Research and Its Applications from Division 25 of the American Psychological Association. In 1999, US Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala appointed him to a four-year term on the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse.
Spencer Smith is a writer and editor based in Santa Rosa, CA. He is coauthor of The Memory Doctor.
“With kindness, erudition, and humor, the authors of Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life educate readers into a new way of thinking about psychological issues in general and life satisfaction in particular. Their combination of cutting-edge research and resonance with ancient, tried-and-true practices makes this one of the most fascinating and illuminating self-help books available. If you’re tired of standard psychological parlance and still frustrated with your quality of life, this book can be a godsend.” —Martha Beck, columnist for O Magazine and author of Finding Your Own North Star and Expecting Adam.
“This manual, firmly based on cutting-edge psychological science and theory, details an innovative and rapidly growing approach that can provide you with the power to transform your very experience of life. Highly recommended for all of us.” —David H. Barlow, professor of psychology, research professor of psychiatry, and director of the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University.
“This is the quintessential workbook on acceptance and commitment therapy. Written with wit, clinical wisdom, and compassionate skepticism, it succeeds in showing us that, paradoxically, there is great therapeutic value in going out of our minds. Once released from the struggle with thought, we are free to discover that a life of meaning and value is closer at hand than thought allowed. This book will serve patients, therapists, researchers, and educators looking for an elegant exposition of the nuts and bolts of this exciting approach.” —Zindel V. Segal, Ph.D., the Morgan Firestone Chair in Psychotherapy and professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Toronto and author of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression.
“This book is a user-friendly tool for clinicians who may be looking for adjunct handouts for clients with a wide variety of issues. Exercises found within can help deepen, structure, or guide experiences contacted in session. As a stand-alone self-help book, it brings to light the guiding principles that make ACT such an empowering approach. I highly recommend this book to clinicians and laypeople alike.” —Sandra Georgescu, Psy.D., assistant professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.