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The ACT Matrix

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About the Author

Editor Kevin L. Polk, PhD, is a clinical psychologist who has been a practicing for twenty-three years, primarily helping veterans and others with troubling trauma memories. While in graduate school he learned psychodynamic and family systems therapy, and then for practical reasons he learned and practiced cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for fifteen years. For the past eight years he has studied acceptance and commitment training and therapy (ACT), spending close to 20,000 hours studying the philosophy and theory behind ACT, learning and designing ACT interventions. He is a peer reviewed ACT trainer who is passionate about teaching others how to use the Matrix to increase psychological flexibility and valued living around the world. Editor Benji Schoendorf, MSc, MPs, is the author of two French language books, one about ACT in general and the other about functional analytic psychotherapy. Both of his books are based on the Matrix diagram.


"The matrix is transparent and user-friendly for both mental health and medical providers working in brief treatment settings. As a matrix practitioner, you will help many people, including those with addictions, chronic pain, and relationship problems. Add The ACT Matrix to your bookshelf now and benefit from Polk and Schoendorff's numerous examples of how to use this highly accessible tool." --Patricia J. Robinson, PhD, author of Real Behavior Change in Primary Care and Brief Interventions for Radical Change "In The ACT Matrix, editors Kevin Polk and Benjamin Schoendorff simplify the entire ACT model into two basic distinctions. The first two chapters of the book, written by the editors and collaborators, summarize the matrix diagram by discriminating between sensory and mental experiencing and between moving toward versus away from your values. These are well-written and entertaining. I was unfamiliar with the matrix, and after reading these introductory paragraphs, I had a good feel for what the work would look and feel like with a client in the therapy room. "The remaining chapters of the book apply to specific settings, presenting problems and populations. I believe that you could skip to whatever work you most commonly do, or read straight through--either would be useful! These chapters are written by practitioners who are experts in each of the areas, and the subtle details of how the matrix can be used differently with each issue really shine through. I believe this will be a great addition to many office bookshelves, and I would say to pick up a copy right away!" --Amy R. Murrell, PhD, associate professor at the University of North Texas "The matrix method of delivering ACT has experienced a rapid increase in popularity in the last few years. The ACT Matrix provides a simple, mindful framework for delivering ACT in a wide number of contexts, including areas involving emotional disorders, eating disorders, addiction, pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and pro-social behavior. It can be used in the clinic, in schools, in organizations, or any setting [where someone] would benefit from increased psychological flexibility and resilience. If you would like a quick, accessible way to learn and start practicing ACT, this book is for you." --Joseph Ciarrochi, PhD, author of the best-selling teen book, Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life for Teens "This book is a must-have for anyone interested in practicing or teaching ACT." --JoAnne Dahl, PhD, professor of psychology at Uppsala University, Sweden, and coauthor of ACT and RFT in Relationships "I love the matrix. Sometimes you need a way of thinking about ACT that is so focused on what is critical and so simple that you cannot forget it. That's the matrix. The number of situations that call for it is stunning: as a tool for difficult clients; when you feel lost in therapy; for an elevator speech with a business person; to do a thirty-minute talk with a lay group; to guide a chat with a school principal; and on and on. This is the first book on the matrix and how to use it. Let me simplify it for you: Get it. Read it. Use it." --Steven C. Hayes, PhD, cofounder of ACT and professor of psychology at the University of Nevada

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