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About the Author

Dr. Russ Harris is a world-renowned trainer of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). As a physician he became increasingly interested in the psychological aspects of health and well-being, which led to a total career change. He now works in two different yet complementary roles as a therapist mostrar mais and a coach, and he is the author of numerous books. He lives in Melbourne, Australia. mostrar menos
Image credit: Russ Harris

Obras por Russ Harris


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Local de nascimento
Liverpool, UK
Locais de residência
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (MBBS)
Liverpool College



2/26/23. ACT made simple an easy-to-read primer on acceptance and commitment therapy by Russ Harris

Why I picked this book up: I’ve transitioned from CBT to more ACT and Mindfulness. I wanted to read this as a refresher and the simplicity of it being a primer seemed just what I needed. I am by no means an expert but I found the pragmatic, simple and useful approach easy to digest.

Thoughts: This was kind of a getting my feet wet and refresher to what I knew but also filled in some gaps. It was a good amount of knowledge, technics and teaching that I needed.

Why I finished this read: fast paced, simple and useful I wanted to get what I could from it.

Stars rating: 5 out of 5 as it was what I picked it up for.
… (mais)
DrT | Feb 26, 2023 |
This is a very thin, charmingly illustrated book about how to deal with negative thoughts. It distills down the core points of ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ) into a succinct little volume. To summarize, ACT's main tenets are that negative emotions are normal and to allow yourself to feel the emotions instead of avoiding them. Negative or unhelpful thoughts can be stopped using a variety of diffusion techniques covered in this book. Finally, it encourages people to commit to living according to their values, despite any fear and anxiety that will inevitably arise in the course of their lives.

There is a full-length version of this by the same author, which I'm sure goes into far more detail than this one does. However, this book would serve as a good reminder for anyone who has already delved into ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy) and knows what it is.
… (mais)
serru | 1 outra crítica | Oct 6, 2022 |
When Life Hits Hard by Russ Harris draws on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to explore dealing with grief. I’m a big fan of the author based on his other writings about ACT, and this book didn’t disappoint.

The book is divided into three sections: regroup, rebuild, and revitalize. Grief is framed as a process rather than emotion, and that process occurs in different ways for different people. The book isn’t so much about changing that process as smoothing the way.

The author explains that we can’t control the past, future, or other people, and “we definitely can’t control our thoughts and feelings.” He’s very realistic and anti-toxic positivity, saying that your loss isn’t a gift, and pain isn’t going to vanish because you “somehow magically replace them with joy and happiness.” Preach! I like the ACT approach of allowing thoughts and feelings rather than trying to grapple them.

He explains what self-compassion is and isn’t, and why it’s important. He also acknowledges that it’s not easy at first, and offers suggestions to practice, including going back and offering compassion to your past self.

Metaphors are used a lot in ACT to capture important concepts. To illustrate the importance of feeling the whole range of emotions, Harris likens feelings to the weather. He pointed out how much it would limit your life if you could only do/be what you really wanted on days with good weather.

Anchor-dropping is a technique that’s frequently referred to throughout out the book. It involves acknowledging your thoughts/feelings, connecting with your body, and engaging in what you’re doing. This is to keep you centred, not to make problems go away; after all, “anchors don’t control storms.”

The book address psychological smog, an ACT concept that refers to all the mental pollution that we create that clouds up our inner world. Mindfulness and getting unhooked from thoughts are presented as a way to cut through the smog with openness, curiosity, and flexibility.

Values are another important concept in ACT, and in this book, they’re used as a way to orient yourself in moving forward. Harris also suggests looking at what you want to contribute rather than what you want to get out of life, which I thought was an interesting way of reframing.

Regarding behaviour change, I think Harris is spot on. “Whoever said ‘practice makes perfect’ was deluded. There’s no such thing as perfection. Practice will help you establish better life skills, but it won’t permanently eliminate self-defeating behaviors. You (and I, and everyone else on this planet) will screw up, make mistakes, and, at times, fall back into old habits. This will happen repeatedly.”

I’m a fan of ACT, I’m a fan of Russ Harris, and I’m a fan of this book. It’s genuine, it’s real, and there’s no BS. Exactly the way I like it.

I received a reviewer copy from the publisher through Netgalley.
… (mais)
MH_at_home | Dec 8, 2021 |
Highly recommended to anyone interested in personal growth and mental health. Will be re-reading this one regularly.
lacurieuse | 4 outras críticas | Nov 11, 2021 |


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