Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life: The New Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (A New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook)

Category: Mental Health
Author: Steven C. Hayes, Spencer Smith
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by FaultsInOurCars   2019-07-21

Here is a national care crisis number. 1-800-273-8255 Please call. They are very nice and have special training. We all want you to stay here. . Also call your therapist (glad to hear you have them) and set up an appointment soon. Hugs.

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If you want to do a workbook, the best one I know is for ACT, which is pretty similar to DBT. My library has it but it's also on Amazon:.

Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life: The New Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (A New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1572244259/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_2B1VCbQPY3CPT

by ttcanuck   2019-07-21

This book is one of my go tos for recommending to clients. A lot of traditional CBT approaches involve cognitive restructuring, which, in a nutshell, means trying to wrestle your irrational thoughts into rational ones. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy basically says that your brain is designed to generate crazy nonsense and fighting it isn't generally going to work. You need to learn to allow the crazy nonsense to be there without responding to it or letting it drive your choices.

One of my favourite analogies is that we all have some relative or friend who has...unusual beliefs that we know not to engage with them about (ex: my former building manager believed in the healing power of crystals, and that lizard people were secretly in charge). You know there's no point in arguing because 1) you're not going to change their mind and 2) you're going to waste a bunch of time and make yourself unnecessarily frustrated and 3) you've got better things to be doing.

by [deleted]   2018-11-10

I write this primarily from my experience of practicing mindfulness (or paying bare attention, or awareness) in day-to-day life, as well as from reading some core literature (which I mention below).

In my experience, the core of being "mindful" (I prefer the term "aware"), whether during a formal meditation session, or during day-to-day life activities is the understanding of the difference between (1) the "Self" or "I" when it is caught up in mental phenomena, and identifying with the mental phenomena and (2) the "Self" that is observing the mental phenomena, without being caught up in it.

We are basically in either of the 2 cognitive states:

(1) "riding the wave of" a thought or feeling ("I am happy", "I am anxious" etc)

(2) The state of being aware that "There is happiness", "There is anxiety".

The 2nd state above is what mindfulness practices tries to point to. It does not require years of practice, nor formal methods. Now, what I wrote above is a very simplified, experiential, based on personal experiences.

Now, if you are interested in exploring these "perspectives of Self" more rigorously, you will find a theoretical foundation in "Relational Frame Theory (RFT)", which is a branch of "Contextual Behavioural Science". I would recommend this book by Stephen Hayes for a good introduction and this book on RFT if you are interested in more theory. I found these videos helpful to understand "Self-as-context" (1, 2, 3 ).

by [deleted]   2018-11-10

You asked a very important question. It is necessary to understand what each of these are...

The aim of CBT is to understand the thoughts that underlie (or gives rise to) your feelings, and thus modify your behaviour. A typical example would be: I return from office in the evening and realize that I am depressed. I try to identify when this started exactly, what was I doing at that time etc. And then, I pinpoint, say, that this depressed feeling started when I was having lunch with my friends when one friend made a comment. Then, I try to identify my thoughts at that time (or during the afternoon), and try to understand my unreasonable, distorted thoughts. Very often, understanding the distorted thought, and rationally correcting the thought itself relieves a person of one's negative emotions. This "problem-solving" approach is used in CBT. It is a very important tool that one should have, especially when dealing with difficult emotional states like depression and anxiety.

Now, where does mindfulness come in here? In my example above, note that I became aware of my 'depressed' feeling only in the evening although the precipitating incident happened at noon. Because of this, I had a miserable time in the whole afternoon. Sometimes, we go through days without realizing that we are depressed. What if I can be aware of the depression as it occurs? So that I can address to the emotion as soon as possible. This is one place where mindfulness (or the skill of being more aware) is important.

Another situation where mindfulness will be helpful is when troubleshooting using CBT is not giving satisfactory results. Sometimes, even after contesting distorted thoughts the emotions don't come back to normal. Also, sometimes the process of thinking sucks you into endless brooding without a definite solution. In such situations, we need to accept negative emotions, be willing to stay with them, and focus on value-based actions (this is what is done in Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT)). In this process of being with negative emotions, mindfulness is very helpful practice.

Since you have some difficulty with meditation, it would be good to stay away from it; at least stay away from formal sitting meditation. Mindfulness can be cultivated without meditation. This book (based on ACT) will be helpful to understand how do incorporate it in daily life (it was a life-changing book for me).

by stuckandrunningfrom   2018-11-10

are you doing anything like therapy? working through workbooks that deal with the issues like the SMARTRecovery materials, https://www.smartrecovery.org/smart-recovery-toolbox/

trying urge surfing when temptation strikes? https://portlandpsychotherapyclinic.com/2011/11/riding-wave-using-mindfulness-help-cope-urges/

doing mindfulness and acceptance work? https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1572244259

Learning meditation so you can feeling a feeling of temptation and not act on it?

by stuckandrunningfrom   2018-11-10

The SMART Recovery handbook is really good https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/061585267X

And for general stuff I like "Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life: (if you have AMazon Prime it's free on Kindle) https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1572244259

sorry for the garbage looking links