What if almost everything we believed about finding happiness turned out to be inaccurate, misleading, or false? And what if those very beliefs were making us miserable? What if our efforts to find happiness were actually preventing it?
A growing body of scientific research suggests that we are all caught in a powerful psychological trap: a vicious cycle, whereby the more we strive for happiness, the more we suffer. This book provides an escape from 'the happiness trap', via a revolutionary new development in human psychology: a powerful model for change, known as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
ACT helps people to create a rich, full and meaningful life, whilst effectively handling the pain that inevitably comes with it. It achieves this through the use of six powerful principles, which are very different to the 'common-sense' strategies suggested in most self-help books. ACT has been clinically proven to be highly effective in a wide range of psychological disorders, ranging from depression and anxiety to drug addiction and schizophrenia. It is no exaggeration to say that ACT is changing the very face of western psychology - and it was recently written up as a major feature article in 'Time' magazine.
Interestingly, although ACT is based on cutting-edge psychological research into human cognition, it has many parallels with ancient eastern philosophy.
This book shows you how to apply ACT in your own life to increase self-awareness, develop emotional intelligence, enhance relationships, create a sense of meaning and purpose, access a transcendent sense of self, and fundamentally transform painful thoughts and feelings so they have much less impact and influence over your life.
About the Author
Russ Harris is a medical practitioner, psychotherapist, and leading expert in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). His books include ACT with Love, ACT Made Simple, The Confidence Gap, and The Happiness Trap, which has now been translated into twenty-two languages. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, and travels internationally to train mental health professionals in the ACT approach.
Introduction: I Just Want to Be Happy
PART 1: How You Set The Happiness Trap
Chapter 1: Fairytales
Chapter 2: Vicious Cycles
PART 2: Transforming Your Inner World
Chapter 3: The Six Core Principles of ACT
Chapter 4: The Great Storyteller
Chapter 5: True Blues
Chapter 6: Troubleshooting Defusion
Chapter 7: Look Who's Talking
Chapter 8: Scary Pictures
Chapter 9: Demons on the Boat
Chapter 10: How Do You Feel?
Chapter 11: The Struggle Switch
Chapter 12: How the Struggle Switch Developed
Chapter 13: Staring Down Demons
Chapter 14: Troubleshooting Expansion
Chapter 15: Urge Surfing
Chapter 16: More Demons
Chapter 17: The Time Machine
Chapter 18: The Dirty Dog
Chapter 19: A Confusing Word
Chapter 20: If You're Breathing, You're Alive
Chapter 21: Tell It Like It Is
Chapter 22: The Big Story
Chapter 23: You're Not Who You Think You Are
PART 3: Creating A Life Worth Living
Chapter 24: Follow Your Heart
Chapter 25: The Big Question
Chapter 26: Troubleshooting Values
Chapter 27: The Thousand-mile Journey
Chapter 28: Finding Fulfilment
Chapter 29: A Life of Plenty
Chapter 30: Facing FEAR
Chapter 31: Willingness
Chapter 32: Onward and Upward
Chapter 33: A Meaningful Life