Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a new, scientifically based psychotherapy that takes a fresh look at why we suffer and even what it means to be mentally healthy. What if pain were a normal, unavoidable part of the human condition, but avoiding or trying to control painful experience were the cause of suffering and long-term problems that can devastate your quality of life? The ACT process hinges on this distinction between pain and suffering. As you work through this book, you’ll learn to let go of your struggle against pain, assess your values, and then commit to acting in ways that further those values.
ACT is not about fighting your pain; it’s about developing a willingness to embrace every experience life has to offer. It’s not about resisting your emotions; it’s about feeling them completely and yet not turning your choices over to them. ACT offers you a path out of suffering by helping you choose to live your life based on what matters to you most. If you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, or problem anger, this book can help—clinical trials suggest that ACT is very effective for a whole range of psychological problems. But this is more than a self-help book for a specific complaint—it is a revolutionary approach to living a richer and more rewarding life.
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