Reality slaps: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

By Yvonne van Dongen In Psychology

Print Share
“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. ...

Get full access to

Subscribers can read the full version of this story.

You can subscribe and get full online access for as little as $5 per week.

Enjoy the high-quality, in-depth journalism of the Listener magazine with convenient online access. This includes access to thousands of archived articles and up-to-date TV and entertainment listings.

Our great content is available online even before it hits the shelves, and includes more focus on breaking news. With our responsive design you get a great reader experience whether you read from your home computer, tablet, or even smartphone.

Already a subscriber? Just to read full version of this story.

Already an existing print subscriber? As part of your magazine subscription you are entitled to receive full access to the New Zealand Listener Online content. Click here for instructions on how to redeem your digital access.

Or you can subscribe now to get unlimited access to

More by Yvonne van Dongen

Switch to our mobile site