ACT Made Simple: An Easy-to-Read Primer on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

(46 customer reviews)

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Why is it so hard to be happy? Why is life so difficult? Why do humans suffer so much? And what can we realistically do about it? No matter how rewarding your job, as a mental health professional, you may sometimes feel helpless in the face of these questions. You are also well-aware of the challenges and frustrations that can present during therapy.If you are looking for ways to optimize your client sessions, consider joining the many thousands of therapists and life coaches worldwide who are learning acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). ACT is not just a proven effective treatment for depression, anxiety, stress, addictions, eating disorders, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, and myriad other psychological issues that focuses on mindfulness, client values, and a commitment to change. It’s also a revolutionary new way to view the human condition, packed full of exciting new tools, techniques, and strategies for promoting profound behavioral change.
A practical and entertaining primer, ideal for ACT newcomers and experienced ACT professionals alike, ACT Made Simple offers clear explanations of the six ACT processes and a set of real-world tips and solutions for rapidly and effectively implementing them in your practice. This book gives you everything you need to start using ACT with your clients for impressive results. Inside, you’ll find: scripts, exercises, metaphors, and worksheets to use with your clients; a session-by-session guide to implementing ACT; transcripts from therapy sessions; guidance for creating your own therapeutic techniques and exercises; and practical tips to overcome ‘therapy roadblocks.’This book aims to take the complex theory and practice of ACT and make it accessible and enjoyable for both you, the therapist, and your clients.

46 reviews for ACT Made Simple: An Easy-to-Read Primer on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

  1. Todd Hudson

    Written beneath its audience

    This book had some good basic information about ACT, but it was written beneath its target audience. For a book aimed at clinicians who presumably have earned a master’s degree at the very least, the author seemingly takes the position that his readers are unable read clinical literature and instead need to be entertained by banter, informal language, and dumbed-down explanations. In the one chapter where he touches on the underlying science, he apologizes for doing so. At other points, it seemed as though he were instructing me on the basics of being a therapist, such as the importance of building rapport. In short, it was written more like a self-help book or a manual for paraprofessionals than a guide for clinicians.

    Helpful? 75 0

    Helpful guide to understanding ACT

    Engaging read. Kept my interest going for someone with adhd.

    Helpful? 26 0
  3. KaS

    Useful additional reading to supplement learning

    I have been taking a short course Advanced Certificate in Mental Health Coaching with PreKure and this was suggested as a useful text for further knowledge building. I am really glad I decided to purchase this text is really interesting and easy to follow. Haven’t read cover to cover yet but I am planning to. Thanks to the seller.

    Helpful? 12 0
  4. Nicole Cochran

    The best ACT book!!

    I had ACT made simple (first edition) and debated getting the second edition.
    I work in a treatment center and we have an ACT group so this book is the best! I go chapter by chapter each week with the clients and it’s great! It’s easy for myself and the clients to understand!
    And it’s so much better than the first edition!
    It also has a free website that has even extra handouts and worksheets and YouTube videos to help clients understand.
    10/10 recommend!!

    Helpful? 12 0
  5. F. Theobald

    Great resource

    Easy to read/follow – great resource for clinicians

    Helpful? 10 0
  6. Anonymous


    This was my first ACT book and I loved it! Russ makes the information fun and easily digestible.

    Helpful? 8 0
  7. Lewis Tagliaferre

    Misses the mark.

    This book is directed by a renowned ACT therapist to therapists, but it seems to be in between a self-help book for laymen like me and a graduate level manual for professionals. Thus, it fails on both counts. Perhaps Dr. Harris was persuaded to do yet another book to keep the sales going. In my opinion as a mental health consumer for thirty-five years, CBT, DBT, and ACT all miss one major aspect of therapy by ignoring the personality traits of the consumer as described by Dr. Carl G. Jung and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. to see its application in grief therapy, please read Recovery From Loss, CAPT 2001.

    Helpful? 8 0
  8. dragonangel

    Easy way to learn this technique

    I read this, then watch a seminar video where a ACT developer and instructor talks about how to use the ACT techniques with clients. Nice to have both.

    Helpful? 8 0
  9. Jacqueline Diaz Maldonado

    Excellent purchase

    Excellent book.!!! This and all the author’s books are amazing! This is the best to learn ACT

    Helpful? 8 0
  10. Amelie

    Start Here

    If you are interested in a cognitive behavioral therapy that is accepting and non-judgmental, start here. I only wish there were an audio version for those who drive a lot or process verbally. ACT is a fabulous therapy- inclusive, creative, and effective. Russ Harris is all of these.

    Helpful? 5 0
  11. Beebop

    Workability and Noticing

    Amazing book that changed my life!

    Helpful? 4 0
  12. William Duff

    Useful applications

    I’m a mental health clinicians and love ACT therapy. This book has a lot of practical applications for ACT

    Helpful? 4 0
  13. Halley

    A Complex Topic Made Enjoyable and Easy To Understand

    The title of this post says it all. This book speaks to the reader in a very human way. It simplifies complex topics and makes everything easy to learn. I loved the style of how it was written because the author seems humble and isn’t trying to sound overly smart with technical jargon. There is also a fun aspect of humor sprinkled throughout to keep things light hearted. I enjoyed the entire experience and learned a lot!

    Helpful? 3 0
  14. KiloBravo

    Excellent book, I am using this book to compliment an ACT Course I'm currently taking.

    Russ Harris is engaging and easy to follow. This book will be an excellent reference point for me in the work I do. I highly recommend it!

    Helpful? 3 0
  15. inlori Customer

    Insightful and practical

    This book gives a wonderful outline of ACT and lots of brilliant example of tools to use. I found that the stricter of the book makes it difficult to find what I need when I’m looking for it. It’s been written more like a book to work your way through step by step – I can see the logic in terms of giving a positive understanding of the application of ACT but to dip into for exercises I’ve added my own tabs so I can find them.

    Helpful? 2 0
  16. Pipster

    Love the book and use it regularly!

    This book is a wonderful resource for both people new to ACT and people who have used it for years!

    Helpful? 2 0
  17. inlori Customer

    ACT therapy is cool


    Helpful? 2 0
  18. Jordanne Ehrhart

    Good quality

    As described, recommend this buyer.

    Helpful? 0 0
  19. Liz

    Wonderful beginner book

    Wonderful beginner book into ACT

    Helpful? 0 0
  20. A Jones

    Great for beginners

    Recently got this as I was working with someone using ACT. This was really helpful in guiding me and identifying which skills, metaphors etc to use. Great for anyone who wants a straight forward understanding of using ACT

    Helpful? 0 0
  21. Carrie L. Becker

    Book damaged, but valuable

    The book is great.
    However, it is damaged, which bothers me as I paid for a new book- not a used book.

    Helpful? 0 0
  22. Angela Fawcett

    Fantastic book, well written

    The best ACT text I’ve read. Well read, prefer the alternate terminology. Excellent tools and interventions.

    Helpful? 0 0
  23. Ady B

    Great book

    Recommended by my psychiatrist.

    Helpful? 0 0
  24. larryb2001

    Great update

    Great update

    Helpful? 0 0
  25. Joanzie

    ACT made simple

    Great read and very useable for clients!

    Helpful? 0 0
  26. Rinny

    Easy to understand even for non therapist

    I love ACT therapy thanks to Russ Harris. I am not a therapist but do have a PhD in analytical philosophy. The format of this book leaves lots of space for note taking. Lots of diagrams and Dr. Harris’ fun, non-technical writing style makes this a pleasure to read. Also, lots of additional free information. You can find the first 2 chapters on line and read for free. Read them and maybe you find ACT and it’s theory of a good life as wonderful as I do.

    Helpful? 0 0
  27. inlori Customer

    Great book!

    This treatment modality makes so much sense. This book was clearly written and easy to understand. I’ll definitely be reading more of Russ Harris’ books.

    Helpful? 0 0
  28. Allison Phillips

    Great revision

    Wow so much better than the first edition. However to understand the second edition I think you have to read the first edition. Just try it. I don’t think you can understand this book without the first edition because it doesn’t specifically go over each part of the hexaflex.

    Helpful? 0 0
  29. Eva doherty

    Manual for therapists

    Good summary

    Helpful? 0 0
  30. Lynn

    Interesting, Enjoyable & Easy Read

    This book is one of my study textbooks for semester 2. Whilst academically robust, it is written in an easy to read and understand style, which is busting some myths and inaccurate pre-conceived ideas I’d had about ACT and giving me a new appreciation for and understanding of this therapy.

    Helpful? 0 0
  31. David Doyle

    Explains what ACT is. My advice would be to shop around for a better deal than I attained.

    Not read too much of book yet, but as I am working an ACT Programme, this book is an essential tool for the intervention/ self awareness tool box.

    Helpful? 0 0
  32. Nicholas Hatcher

    Outstanding Text on ACT

    The author did an outstanding job explaining complex concepts of ACT in an engaging and concise way. I appreciate the extra bits as well which provides more in-depth content as well as worksheets. Highly recommended for those interested in ACT.

    Helpful? 0 0
  33. Bernetta Delk

    Will help you give skills to high level clients and keep you straight

    Book fantastic

    Helpful? 0 0
  34. dlayn


    Very simple but interesting breakdown of ACT. Great examples and an enjoyable read.

    Helpful? 0 0
  35. inlori Customer

    A must-have for any therapist treating anxiety

    Amazingly written!! Extremely comprehensive and covers all the core points of Acceptance Commitment Therapy!!

    Helpful? 0 0
  36. elizabeth hopkins


    Found it very difficult to read and comprehend. Returned

    Helpful? 0 0
  37. Alina k

    Good intro to ACT

    I’m a new social worker and really liked this as an intro to ACT. Looking forward to diving into the “Extra Bits” section online to get materials to practice with.

    Helpful? 0 0
  38. LiveByTheFoma

    Excellent resource for clinicians

    I love this book. It is comprehensive and extraordinarily well written. Rarely do I read nonfiction that I can’t put down, but this was one of those special texts. A+

    Helpful? 0 0
  39. Debbie

    Super Easy to Use if you Apply principles

    super easy to use and effective if you utilize skills

    Helpful? 0 0
  40. Lisa Drey

    ACT is interesting and a good skill in supporting any treatment plan

    It is a simple easy to read book and I think will be a great asset for my practice

    Helpful? 0 0
  41. pierce fenelon

    ACT is a great way to handle depression

    Excellent book. Really helpful to me.

    Helpful? 0 0
  42. Lusitanian

    Great worth every penny

    Excellent book, I have the first edition and this edition brings some extra information about using ACT

    Helpful? 0 0
  43. Adam R Schwartz

    Great read

    Phenomenal book. Really easy to read, but amazingly comprehensive

    Helpful? 0 0
  44. Richard Shoninger


    Another relevant,helpful book by Russ Harris

    Helpful? 0 0
  45. William D Gillette

    Not good

    It doesn’t fit my expectation.

    Helpful? 0 0
  46. Meg


    It’s like the author knew exactly what my wishlist would be for a second edition.

    Helpful? 0 0
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