Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Distinctive Features

By Paul E. Flaxman, J.T. Blackledge, Frank W. Bond

© 2011 – Routledge

184 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415450669
pub: 2010-11-10
US Dollars$20.95
Hardback: 9780415450652
pub: 2010-11-10
US Dollars$120.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

What are the distinctive theoretical and practical features of acceptance and commitment therapy?

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a modern behaviour therapy that uses acceptance and mindfulness interventions alongside commitment and behaviour change strategies to enhance psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility refers to the ability to contact the present moment and change or persist in behaviour that serves one’s personally chosen values.

Divided into two sections, The Distinctive Theoretical Features of ACT and The Distinctive Practical Features of ACT, this book summarises the key features of ACT in 30 concise points and explains how this approach differs from traditional cognitive behaviour therapy.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy provides an excellent guide to ACT. Its straightforward format will appeal to those who are new to the field and provide a handy reference tool for more experienced clinicians.


"Overall, Flaxman and colleagues do an excellent job of describing the ACT concepts, techniques, and strategies and how they can be practically applied. This volume will be beneficial to clinicians who are new to the field, as well as to those experienced clinicians who want to gain more in-depth knowledge." - PsycCRITIQUES, Vol 56, October 2011

"This well-written, concise text on ACT is an important resource for psychotherapists and students in the psychological and psychiatric fields. It provides a relevant beginning for further study of this behavior and mindfulness cognitive therapy… this book highlights another promising therapeutic method available for advancing human well-being." - Cynthia R. Pfeffer, Journal of Clinical Psychology, Vol 73, November 2012

Table of Contents

Part I: The Distinctive Theoretical Features of ACT. ACT, Human Suffering and Experiential Avoidance. Developments Within CBT: ACT and the Third Wave of Behaviour Therapy. Functional Contextualism. Relational Frame Theory. Acceptance. Cognitive Defusion. Self as Context. Contact with the Present Moment. Commitment. Values. Mindfulness and Behaviour Change: Toward Psychological Flexibility. ACT and CBT: Assumptive Differences. ACT and CBT: Strategic & Technical Differences. Empirical Matters. Part II: The Distinctive Practical Features of ACT. Overview of ACT’s Therapeutic Strategies. ACT-Based Case Conceptualization. Examining the Workability of the Control/Avoidance Agenda. Creative Hopelessness. Control is the Problem, Not the Solution. Introducing Willingness as the Alternative to Control. Promoting Active Acceptance. Cognitive Defusion I: Altering Language Conventions. Cognitive Defusion II: Objectifying Psychological Content. Cultivating Mindfulness to Promote Contact with the Present Moment. Contacting the Self-as-context. Clarifying Values. Values-based Goal and Action Planning. Building Larger Patterns of Committed Action. ACT in Groups and Non-clinical Contexts. ACT’s Therapeutic Stance.

About the Authors

Paul E. Flaxman is Senior Lecturer in Psychology, City University, London. J. T. Blackledge is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Morehead State University, USA. Frank W. Bond is Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London

About the Series

CBT Distinctive Features

This exciting new series asks leading practitioners and theorists of the main CBT therapies to write simply and briefly on what constitutes the main features of their particular approach.

Each Distinctive Features book will highlight the thirty main features – practical and theoretical – of its respective approach. The series as a whole will be essential reading for psychotherapists, counsellors, clinical and counselling psychologists of all orientations who wish to learn more about the range of new and developing cognitive-behavioural approaches.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Clinical Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Cognitive Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health