The ACT Matrix
A New Approach to Building Psychological Flexibility Across Settings and Populations
Published by: New Harbinger Publications
Imprint: Context Press
If you are an ACT practitioner or mental health professional, this eagerly awaited resource is an essential addition to your professional library.
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is an evidence-based therapy that has been successful in treating a variety of psychological issues, such anxiety, depression, substance abuse, trauma, eating disorders, and more. In contrast to other treatment options, ACT has proven extremely effective in helping clients who are “stuck” in unhealthy thought patterns by encouraging them align their values with their thoughts and actions. However, the ACT model is complex, and it’s not always easy to use.
Traditionally, ACT is delivered with a focus around six core processes that are often referred to as the hexaflex: cognitive defusion, acceptance, contact with the present moment, observing the self, values, and committed action. Each of these core processes serves a specific function, but they are often made more complex than needed in both theory and in practice. So what if there was a way to simplify ACT in your sessions with clients?
Edited by clinical psychologists and popular ACT workshop leaders Kevin L. Polk and Benjamin Schoendorff, The ACT Matrix fuses the six core principles of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) into a simplified, easy-to-apply approach that focuses on client actions and behavior as workable or unworkable, rather than good or bad. Most importantly, you’ll learn how this innovative approach can be used to deliver ACT more effectively in a variety of settings and contexts, even when clients are resistant or unmotivated to participate.
This is the first book to utilize the ACT Matrix model, and it is a must-read for any ACT practitioner looking to streamline his or her therapeutic approach.
“I love the matrix. Sometimes you need a way of thinking about ACT that is so focused on what is critical and so simple that you cannot forget it. That's the matrix. The number of situations that call for it is stunning: as a tool for difficult clients; when you feel lost in therapy; for an elevator speech with a business person; to do a thirty-minute talk with a lay group; to guide a chat with a school principal; and on and on. This is the first book on the matrix and how to use it. Let me simplify it for you: Get it. Read it. Use it.”
—Steven C. Hayes, PhD, cofounder of ACT and professor of psychology at the University of Nevada
“This book is a must-have for anyone interested in practicing or teaching ACT.”
—JoAnne Dahl, PhD, professor of psychology at Uppsala University, Sweden, and coauthor of ACT and RFT in Relationships
“The matrix method of delivering ACT has experienced a rapid increase in popularity in the last few years. The ACT Matrix provides a simple, mindful framework for delivering ACT in a wide number of contexts, including areas involving emotional disorders, eating disorders, addiction, pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and pro-social behavior. It can be used in the clinic, in schools, in organizations, or any setting [where someone] would benefit from increased psychological flexibility and resilience. If you would like a quick, accessible way to learn and start practicing ACT, this book is for you.”
—Joseph Ciarrochi, PhD, author of the best-selling teen book, Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life for Teens
“In The ACT Matrix, editors Kevin Polk and Benjamin Schoendorff simplify the entire ACT model into two basic distinctions. The first two chapters of the book, written by the editors and collaborators, summarize the matrix diagram by discriminating between sensory and mental experiencing and between moving toward versus away from your values. These are well-written and entertaining. I was unfamiliar with the matrix, and after reading these introductory paragraphs, I had a good feel for what the work would look and feel like with a client in the therapy room.
“The remaining chapters of the book apply to specific settings, presenting problems and populations. I believe that you could skip to whatever work you most commonly do, or read straight through—either would be useful! These chapters are written by practitioners who are experts in each of the areas, and the subtle details of how the matrix can be used differently with each issue really shine through. I believe this will be a great addition to many office bookshelves, and I would say to pick up a copy right away!”
—Amy R. Murrell, PhD, associate professor at the University of North Texas
“The matrix is transparent and user-friendly for both mental health and medical providers working in brief treatment settings. As a matrix practitioner, you will help many people, including those with addictions, chronic pain, and relationship problems. Add The ACT Matrix to your bookshelf now and benefit from Polk and Schoendorff’s numerous examples of how to use this highly accessible tool.”
—Patricia J. Robinson, PhD, author of Real Behavior Change in Primary Care and Brief Interventions for Radical Change