Acceptance Commitment Therapy for Anxiety

There is a wealth of helpful materials out there for folks who want to liberate themselves from the clutches of anxiety. Many of my favourites are based on Acceptance Commitment Therapy. Some ACT books are a bit more clinical as they are intended for therapists, so I am going to focus here on the easy-to-carry-in-your-satchel and hold-in-one-hand kind. These are written by great ACT clinicians and researchers but are very easy to understand so if you like them search up under the author’s name and you will find a ton of other great books, websites, talks and blogs by them. The ACT community is very active and prolific. OK, so Kelly G. Wilson is one of my faves, again he has a lot of material out there but a lovely, concise and down to earth book of his is: ‘things might go terribly, horribly wrong, a guide to life liberated from anxiety’. Good stuff. Useful stuff. Heartening stuff. Another good one is by Russ Harris (who also wrote, The Happiness Trap, among many others) and is called ‘The Reality Slap: finding peace and fulfillment when life hurts’.

There are also a lot of helpful ACT Workbooks, both for anxiety and depression. The ‘Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety’ by Georg H Eifert and John P. Forsyth was my first introduction to ACT many years ago and I still remember what a revelation it was to me at the time. Very accessible and practical stuff. Another useful ACT workbook is ‘The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Social Anxiety and Shyness: Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to Free Yourself from Fear and Reclaim Your Life’ by Jan E. Fleming and Nancy L. Kocovski.

Now a suggestion for those of you with wee ones: The Joy of Parenting: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Guide to Effective Parenting in the Early Years by Lisa Coyne and Amy R. Murrell. This book will help you regulate yourself when your bundle of joy pushes all your buttons all at once. This is a deeper, more insightful perspective then I find a lot of parenting books out there offer, those that focus exclusively on regulating our child’s emotions without acknowledging the need for us to regulate ourselves first. Our children (of all ages) are our greatest teachers but only if we have the willingness and the courage to take a good long (and compassionate) look at ourselves.