Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life : The New Acceptance & Commitment Therapy pdf by STEVEN C. HAYES, PII.D. with SPENCER SMITH
Learn step-by-step how mindfulness & acceptance can help You:
- Overcome depression
- Transform emotional pain
- Free yourself from negative thinking and self-judgment
- Commit to what you care about
- Live a life you value
“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 О Magazine and author of Finding Your Own North Star and Expecting Adam
It’s not just that they have pain—suffering is much more than that. Human beings struggle with the forms of psychological pain they have: their difficult emotions and thoughts, their unpleasant memories, and their unwanted urges and sensations. They think about them, worry about them, resent them, anticipate and dread them.
At the same time, human beings demonstrate enormous courage, deep compassion, and a remarkable ability to move ahead even with the most difficult personal histories. Knowing they can be hurt, humans still love others. Knowing they will die, humans still care about the future. Facing the draw of meaninglessness, humans still embrace ideals. At times, humans are fully alive, present, and committed.
This book is about how to move from suffering to engagement with life. Rather than waiting to win the internal struggle with your own self so that your life can begin, this book is about living now and living fully—with (not in spite of) your past, with your memories, with your fears, and with your sadness.
ACT: WHAT IT IS AND HOW IT CAN HELP YOU
This book is based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or ACT. (“ACT” is spoken as a single word, not as separate initials.) This is a new, scientifically based psychotherapeutic modality that is part of what is being called the “third wave” in behavioral and cognitive therapy (Hayes 2004). ACT is based on Relational Frame Theory (RFT): a basic research program on how the human mind works (Hayes, BarneS’Holmes, and Roche 2001). This research suggests that many of the tools we use to solve problems lead us into the traps that create suffering. To put it bluntly, human beings are playing a rigged game in which the human mind itself, a wonderful tool for mastering the environment, has been turned on its host.
Perhaps you’ve noticed that some of your most difficult problems have paradoxically become more entrenched and unmanageable, even as you’ve implemented ideas about how to solve them. This is not an illusion. This results from your own logical mind being asked to do what it was never designed to do. Suffering is one result.
This may seem like a very odd claim, particularly if you picked up this book to help yourself overcome some of your psychological issues. As a rule, people turn to self-help books for tools to solve specific problems: depression, anxiety, substance abuse, trauma, stress, burnout, chronic pain, smoking, to name just a few. For the average person, overcoming these problems implies not just an ultimate end but also an end reached by specific means.
For example, overcoming stress seemingly must first involve eliminating stressful feelings; overcoming smoking seemingly must first involve getting rid of urges to smoke; overcoming anxiety’ disorders seemingly must involve learning how to relax instead, or to dispute and change overblown and worrisome thoughts; and so on. In this book, ends and means are carefully distinguished, and you will learn that many of these common sense routes to a better life are now thought to be both risky and unnecessary in current psychological theory’.
If you are suffering with a psychological problem, you should know that research suggests that ACT helps with many common psychological difficulties (Hayes, Masuda, et al. 2004), and its underlying model has received considerable support (Hayes et al. forthcoming). We will discuss these data throughout this book.
The fact that you are reading an empirically based account is all the more important because this book will take some seemingly strange twists and turns. At times, it may be confusing. To some degree that is unavoidable because ACT challenges some of the most culturally ingrained forms of conventional thinking about human problems. Research indicates that ACT’s methods and ideas are generally sound, which provides reassurance that these concepts and procedures are effective. (See the appendix for a partial list of studies on ACT and its components.)
That doesn’t mean they are easy to grasp. Then again, if these ideas and methods were already well-known to you, this book would probably not be useful.
Here’s a sample of some of the unconventional concepts you will be asked to consider:
■ Psychological pain is normal, it is important, and everyone has it.
■ You cannot deliberately get rid of your psychological pain, although you can take steps to avoid increasing it artificially.
■ Pain and suffering are two different states of being.
■ You don’t have to identify with your suffering.
■ Accepting your pain is a step toward ridding yourself of your suffering.
■ You can live a life you value, beginning right now, but to do that you will have to learn how to get out of your mind and into your life.
ACT: What It Is and How It Can Help You
Suffering: Psychological Quicksand
The Ubiquity of Human Suffering
Mindfulness, Acceptance, and Values
Commitment and Values-Based Living
CHAPTER I Human Suffering
- Human Suffering Is Universal
- EXERCISE: Your Suffering Inventory
- The Problem with Pain
- EXERCISE: The Pain is Gone, Now What? The Problem with Pain: Revisited
- Living a Valued Life: An Alternative
CHAPTER 2 Why Language Leads to Suffering
- The Nature of Human Language
- EXERCISE: Relate Anything to Anything Else
- EXERCISE: A Screw, a Toothbrush, and a Lighter
- Why Language Creates Suffering
- EXERCISE: A Yellow Jeep
- EXERCISE: Don’t Think About Your Thought
- What You’ve Been Doing
- EXERCISE: The Coping Strategies Worksheet
- The Problem with Getting Rid of Things—Squared
- Experiential Avoidance
- The Mind-Train
CHAPTER 3 The Pull of Avoidance
- Why We Do What Can’t Work
- Accepting the Possibility’ That Experiential Avoidance Can’t Work
- So, What Are You Supposed to Do?
- EXERCISE: The Blame Game
- EXERCISE: Judging Your Own
- Experience: Examining What Works Moving On
- EXERCISE: What Are You Feeling and Thinking Now?
CHAPTER 4 Letting Go with John T. Blackledge and M. Ritter
- If You’re Not Willing to Have It, You Will
- Acceptance and Willingness
- EXERCISE: Why Willingness?
- Willingness and Distress
- EXERCISE: Being Willingly Out of Breath
- The “Willingness to Change” Question
CHAPTER 5 The Trouble with Thoughts with Jason Lillis
- Thought Production
- EXERCISE: What Are You Thinking Right Now?
- Why Thinking Has Such an Impact
- EXERCISE: Your Daily Pain Diary
- Looking at Your Thoughts Rather Than from Your Thougl
- The Mind-Train
- EXERCISE: Watching the Mind-Train
CHAPTER 6 Having a Thought Versus Buying a Thought
- Cognitive Defusion: Separating Your Thoughts from Their Referents
- EXERCISE: Say the Word “Milk” as Fast as You Can
- EXERCISE: Labeling Your Thoughts
- EXERCISE: Floating Leaves on a Moving Stream
- EXERCISE: Describing Thoughts and Feelings
- EXERCISE: Exploring the Difference Between Descriptions and Evaluations
- Creating Your Own Cognitive Defusion Techniques
CHAPTER 7 If I’m Not My Thoughts, Then Who Am I?
- Considering Your Self-Conceptualizations
- The Three Senses of Self
- EXERCISE: Retelling Your Own Story
- Being the Observing Self
- EXERCISE: Experientially, I’m Not That
- Getting Started
- EXERCISE: Tracking Your Thoughts in Time
- Taking the Next Step
CHAPTER 8 Mindfulness
- Daily Practice The Practice
- EXERCISE: Be Where You Are
- EXERCISE: Silent Walking
- EXERCISE: Cubbyholing
- EXERCISE: Eating Raisins
- EXERCISE: Drinking Tea
- EXERCISE: Eating Mindfully
- EXERCISE: Listening to Classical Music
- EXERCISE: Be Mindful of Your Feet While You Read This
- EXERCISE: Just Sitting
- Mindfulness in Context
CHAPTER 9 What Willingness Is and Is Not
- What Needs to Be Accepted?
- EXERCISE: What Needs to Be Accepted
- The Goal of Willingness
CHAPTER 10 Willingness: Learning How to Jump
- The Willingness Scale
- Taking a Jump
- EXERCISE: Willingness Scale Worksheet
- Using Your Skills and Learning Some New Ones
- EXERCISE: Physicalizing
- EXERCISE: Giving Your Target a Form
- EXERCISE: The Tin-Can Monster
- EXERCISE: Acceptance in Real-Time
CHAPTER 11 What Are Values?
- Values as Chosen Life Directions
- What Values Are and Are Not
CHAPTER 12 Choosing Your Values
- The Masters You Serve
- EXERCISE: Attending Your Own Funeral
- Taking It a Step Further: Ten Valued Domains
- Ranking and Testing Your Values
- Committed Action
CHAPTER 13 Committing to Doing It
- Taking Bold Steps
- EXERCISE: Goals Worksheet
- EXERCISE: Making Goals Happen Through Action
- EXERCISE: Expected Barriers
- Many Maps for Different Journeys
- Building Patterns of Effective Action
- Whose Life Is It Anyway?
The Choice to Live a Vital Life with David Chantry
The Values and Data Underlying ACT
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