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ACT for Psychosis Recovery

ACT for Psychosis Recovery
A Practical Manual for Group-Based Interventions Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy





Publication date:


ISBN: 9781626256132
in stock
$49.95In Stock



About the Book

ACT for Psychosis Recovery is the first book to provide a breakthrough, evidence-based, step-by-step approach for group work with clients suffering from psychosis. As evidenced in a study by Patricia A. Bach and Steven C. Hayes, patients with psychotic symptoms who received acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) in addition to treatment as usual showed half the rate of rehospitalization as those who did not. With this important guide, you’ll learn how a patient’s recovery can be both supported and sustained by promoting acceptance, mindfulness, and values-driven action.

The journey of personal recovery from psychosis is immensely challenging. Patients often struggle with paranoia, auditory hallucinations, difficulties with motivation, poor concentration and memory, and emotional dysregulation. In addition, families and loved ones may have trouble understanding psychosis, and stigmatizing attitudes can limit opportunity and create alienation for patients.

True recovery from psychosis means empowering patients to take charge of their lives. Rather than focusing on pathology, ACT teaches patients how to stay grounded in the present moment, disengage from their symptoms, and pursue personally meaningful lives based on their values.

In this groundbreaking book, you will learn how to facilitate ACT groups based on a central metaphor (Passengers on the Bus), so that mindfulness and values-based action are introduced in a way that is engaging and memorable. You will also find tips and strategies to help clients identify valued directions, teach clients how to respond flexibly to psychotic symptoms, thoughts, and emotions that have been barriers to living a valued life, and lead workshops that promote compassion and connection among participants.

You’ll also find tried and tested techniques for engaging people in groups, particularly those traditionally seen as “hard to reach”—people who may be wary of mental health services or experience paranoia. And finally, you’ll gain skills for engaging participants from various ethnic backgrounds.

Finding purpose and identity beyond mental illness is an important step in a patient’s journey toward recovery. Using the breakthrough approach in this book, you can help clients gain the insight needed to achieve lasting well-being.


Emma K. O’Donoghue, DClinPsy, is a senior clinical psychologist working in community psychosis settings in a South London National Health Service Trust. She has a long-standing interest in using acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) approaches... Read more

Books by Emma K. O'Donoghue

Eric M. J. Morris, PhD, is clinical psychologist and director of the La Trobe University Psychology Clinic in Melbourne, Australia. Eric previously worked as the psychology lead for early intervention for psychosis at the South London and Maudsley... Read more

Books by Eric M.J. Morris

Joseph E. Oliver, PhD, is a consultant clinical psychologist and joint director of the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Psychosis Post Graduate Diploma program at University College London. He also works within a North London National Health... Read more

Books by Joseph E. Oliver

Louise C. Johns, DPhil, is a consultant clinical psychologist and British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP)-accredited cognitive behavioral therapist. She works in the Oxford Early Intervention in Psychosis Service,... Read more

Books by Louise C. Johns

Steven C. Hayes, PhD, is Nevada Foundation Professor in the department of psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. An author of forty-one books and more than 575 scientific articles, he has shown in his research how language and thought leads... Read more

Books by Steven C. Hayes


“Packed with useful tools, techniques, strategies, and guidelines, this well-written book is a gold mine for the effective treatment of psychosis. Step-by-step, it will help you to develop all the skills you need to work with the many challenges of this specialized field. If you do acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and you work with psychotic clients, then you can’t afford to go without this book!”
Russ Harris, author of The Happiness Trap and ACT Made Simple

ACT for Psychosis Recovery is a fantastic resource for anyone wishing to offer ACT groups for people experiencing psychosis, or for their caregivers. It is written by leading experts in the field, and includes a thorough overview of theory and evidence. The inclusion of a chapter on peer-support co-facilitation is welcome and is in keeping with the values base of the approach. The group manual itself is very comprehensive, covering each session in detail and including a number of prompt sheets. These will help practitioners put the manual into practice with confidence.”
Clara Strauss, DPhil, DClinPsych, consultant clinical psychologist and clinical research fellow and research lead at Sussex Mindfulness Centre, University of Sussex, and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

“This book is an absolute must for any mental health clinician who wants to provide state-of-the-art, evidence-based care to clients suffering from psychotic experiences, whether it be on the inpatient ward, or in an outpatient community setting.  … The manual is supported by numerous worksheets, detailed instructions for conducting core ACT metaphors in session, and helpful hints for addressing common issues. The authors demonstrate an unrivaled depth of knowledge of, and compassion for, those whose lives are affected by psychosis. That alone would make this book a key addition to any mental health clinician’s library!”
—Kirk Strosahl PhD, cofounder of ACT, and coauthor of The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Depression

“As a direct result of my participation in ACT, and practicing the essential taught tools, ACT for psychosis recovery disrupted my revolving door, long sessions in locked psychiatric hospitals, and led to my learning how to productively identify constructive approaches and manage challenges to ensure my enjoyment daily, of a quality of life with my mental health diagnoses, that had been denied to me before this therapy. Prior to ACT, my psychosis was indeed so pronounced, aggressive, and bleak, that I also spent time in prison. ACT for psychosis recovery was my final attempt at therapy.”
Yvonne Patricia Stewart-Williams, artist, and author of Still On The Cusp Of Madness

“Compiled by experts in the field, this is a comprehensive and invaluable resource for supporting recovery in the context of psychosis. Written in an engaging and accessible way, the importance of close collaboration with experienced experts is highlighted throughout. The authors are to be commended for developing an approach that richly recognizes the common humanity shared by those who have experienced psychosis, and those who are committed to helping.”
—Ross G. White, PhD, DClinPsy, associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of Liverpool

“As evidence of the benefits of ACT for psychosis are piling up, there is a need for a clear and practical manual on how to implement ACT for psychosis in the clinical workplace. This book is offering exactly that, an extensive and detailed manual of a four-session ACT group intervention for people suffering from psychosis at different stages of illness, as well as their caregivers. With additional information on training, supervision, and inclusion of peer-support co-facilitators, this book is a must-read for all clinicians interested in third-wave psychotherapies for people with psychosis.”
Inez Myin-Germeys, professor of psychiatry, and head of the Center for Contextual Psychiatry at KU Leuven in Belgium

“ACT has enriched the family of cognitive behavioral therapies immeasurably. This book distills over ten years of the authors’ work developing ACT for and with people struggling with psychosis. ACT for Psychosis Recovery provides detailed guidance on how to run groups for people with psychosis, and their caregivers. In the spirit of generosity associated with ACT, the book includes all the worksheets, metaphors, and measures needed to run these groups in clinical practice.”
Katherine Newman-Taylor, consultant clinical psychologist at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, and associate professor at the University of Southampton

ACT for Psychosis Recovery is a unique resource for practitioners from any background. Developed by expert clinicians who are also leading researchers, the manual shows how to engage participants in simple and powerful group exercises that foster hope and enable action today toward living a more satisfying life. The use of a central metaphor and straightforward language accommodates all abilities, and innovations in peer facilitation and caregiver groups open new directions. When implementing it in our services, the degree of change in participants surprised even our group leaders. The authors are onto something special here!”
John Farhall, PhD, associate professor of clinical psychology at La Trobe University, and consultant clinical psychologist at NorthWestern Mental Health in Melbourne, Australia

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