Reality slaps: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

By Yvonne van Dongen In Psychology

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“Humans have struggled with the meaning of life for thousands of years,” says Dr Russ Harris, “but the feel-good society is only 50 years old. For most of human history, doing good was valued as the way to happiness, not just feeling good.” ACT, or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, is not even offering anything particularly new. Harris has simply popularised a therapeutic model devised by Professor Steven Hayes at the Department of Psychology, University of Nevada, Reno, in the early 1980s that in turn derives from a branch of behavioural psychology called applied behaviour analysis (ABA). ACT appealed to the English-born Australian doctor because it had proved effective in treating major depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, addiction and chronic pain syndrome and helped with weight loss and even conditions such as tinnitus and stuttering. ...

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