ACT Questions and Answers
About the Book
Renowned ACT expert Russ Harris presents easy-to-read Q&A sessions to uncover the most common ways clients and practitioners get stuck when using ACT, how to get unstuck, and how to transform that “stuckness” into powerful personal growth.
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a highly effective, evidence-based treatment for a number of mental health issues—from depression to addiction—that focuses on mindfulness, client values, and a commitment to change. It also provides innovative tools, techniques, and strategies for promoting psychological flexibility and profound behavioral change. However, there are several challenges and frustrations that can arise when delivering ACT in-session.
In the tradition of the hugely popular professional guide ACT Made Simple, ACT Questions and Answers offers practical tools for overcoming common sticking points in-session. You’ll find effective tips and strategies for moving past misconceptions about mindfulness and acceptance, how to deal with reluctant or unmotivated clients, and how to break down communication barriers that can stand in the way of progress. You’ll also find links to free downloadable resources.
If you are new to ACT—or just want to improve your delivery—this easy-to-read reference guide will help you troubleshoot common in-session challenges and help your clients achieve lasting change.
Books by Russ Harris
“Russ has yet again written an extremely accessible book. Describing common problems that we all encounter when doing acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), this book is reassuring, open, funny, irreverent, and at the same time, supremely wise. It is full of practical strategies, guidance, and helpful resources, that are also grounded in theory. With illuminating new material on self-compassion, exposure, and functional analysis, as well as well-known ACT classics, Russ’s down-to-earth examples of how to use this wisdom in therapy will prove helpful to all levels of experience with ACT.”
—David Gillanders, academic director of the doctoral program in clinical psychology at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom; peer-reviewed ACT trainer; and former chair of the ACBS training committee
“In ACT Questions and Answers, Russ Harris once again uses humor and clear language—this time to address the complex subtleties of 150 common ACT sticking points. The book is full of practical solutions for handling problems that arise when things don’t go as planned. Harris does a brilliant job showing how the six core processes interact, and he emphasizes behavior analytic concepts with simplicity. Further, several misconceptions about ACT are clarified. The appendix has incredible resources and links to even more, including worksheets, videos, and handouts. Highly recommended!”
—Amy R. Murrell, PhD, associate professor of psychology at the University of North Texas, and coauthor of The Joy of Parenting
“Russ Harris has produced another gem. In these pages, newbies and seasoned ACT veterans alike will find many, many useful clarifications, concepts, strategies, and resources for getting their clients, and themselves, unstuck in session. And all in a playful, compassionate, jargon-busting style. A must-read.”
—Christopher McCurry, PhD, clinical psychologist, and author of Parenting Your Anxious Child with Mindfulness and Acceptance
“Russ Harris has done a spectacular job of addressing the most common questions and challenges that therapists face in using ACT. His writing is clear, charming, and honest, making for a very enjoyable read. The inclusion of chapters detailing the Choice Point model and loads of clinical examples and handouts make this an essential read for clinicians, both novice and seasoned. I am sure you will find something of value in ACT Questions and Answers.”
—Sheri Turrell, PhD, C. Psych, adjunct lecturer in the department of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, clinician, ACT therapist, and coauthor of ACT for Adolescents
“ACT Questions and Answers is an excellently written book both in terms of its prose and tips. In Harris’s typical witty and charming style, this book will help any ACT practitioner get out of the tricky spots that inevitably crop up. The question and answer format make it an easy and accessible read. It is a perfect adjunct to introductory ACT materials for practitioners who want get that extra edge to their work.”
—Louise McHugh, PhD, associate professor in the school of psychology at University College Dublin, peer-reviewed ACT trainer, and coauthor of The Self and Perspective Taking
“Russ Harris has done it again! Inviting, fun, and practical, ACT Questions and Answers is a real-life reference in doing ACT and overcoming hang-ups for clinicians. In an approach where the answer to difficult questions is often “it depends,” Russ Harris gives you new, ACT-consistent ways to think about tricky situations we all find ourselves in with concrete techniques and sound advice. This will book will motivate you to use ACT in your practice.”
—Timothy Gordon, MSW, RSW, social worker, peer-reviewed ACT trainer, and coauthor of The ACT Approach
“Wouldn’t it be great to have a book on everything you always wanted to know about ACT but were too afraid to ask? With answers that are practical and understandable? Written by one of the leading ACT trainers in the world? Good news! Your search is over with Russ Harris’s ACT Questions and Answers. He answers questions he’s compiled from the literally hundreds of trainings he’s run around the world. Questions like: ‘How do we work with clients who keep saying I don’t know?’or ‘Can people fuse with both thoughts and feelings?’ and ‘How can we talk about self-as-context without making it weird or mystical?’ Dive inside to find out the answers to these questions, laid out in a clear and helpful way, illustrated with lots of real-life clinical examples. This book is a super accessible, engaging, must-have companion, whether you are just starting out on your ACT journey, or you’re well down the track.”
—Joe Oliver, PhD, coauthor of ACTivate Your Life
“The book you are holding captures the questions and nuances missing in the field. Harris offers a gift to allied health professionals and consultants. This is the definitive guide to answer your questions for how to improve lives when no two people are the same.”
—Todd B. Kashdan, PhD, professor of psychology and senior scientist at the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being at George Mason University, and coauthor of The Upside of Your Dark Side
“Finally! It’s about time someone answered the ubiquitous questions that often perplex therapists after their introductory training. Harris’s book answers the hard questions with no-nonsense, real-world practical ideas and applications that ACT therapists can effectively and immediately use with their clients. Even experienced ACT practitioners can benefit from Russ’s fresh perspective on some of the thorny issues that come up during the application of ACT.”
—Daniel J. Moran, PhD, coauthor of ACT in Practice
“ACT Questions and Answers offers an invaluable opportunity to learn about core ACT processes and their direct application, in a straightforward, unique, and refreshing format. In this easy-to-read and highly informative book, Russ Harris shares his wealth of expertise to skilfully address a range of obstacles and questions which commonly arise in practice. This incredibly useful resource is packed full of relevant advice, guidance, and practical tips, and is sure to support and enrich your work with clients. Every ACT practitioner should grab a copy. Highly recommended.”
—Michael Sinclair, coauthor of Mindfulness for Busy People and The Little ACT Workbook