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The Big Book of ACT Metaphors


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About the Author

Jill A. Stoddard, PhD, is the founder and director of The Center for Stress and Anxiety Management, an outpatient clinic in San Diego, CA. She specializes in evidence-based treatments for anxiety and related disorders. She is an associate professor of psychology at Alliant International University where she teaches , conducts research, and mentors students in topics related to anxiety disorders, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). She received her PhD in clinical psychology from Boston University in 2007. Niloofar Afari, PhD, is a psychologist, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, and director of clinical affairs at the VA Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health in San Diego, CA. In addition to clinical practice, she conducts research and mentors graduate and postdoctoral students in the application of ACT to chronic health conditions . Afari received her PhD in clinical psychology in 1996 from the University of Nevada, Reno under the mentorship of ACT cofounder, Steven C. Hayes. Foreword writer Steven C. Hayes, PhD, is Nevada Foundation Professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada. An author of 34 books and more than 470 scientific articles, he has shown in his research how language and thought leads to human suffering, and has developed acceptance and commitment therapy, a powerful therapy method that is useful in a wide variety of areas. Hayes has been president of several scientific societies and has received several national awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy.


"A valuable addition to your ACT toolkit."
--Russ Harris, author of The Happiness Trap
"As the interest in ACT has grown internationally, there has been a burgeoning desire to find new and individually relevant metaphors and exercises to use across a variety of settings and clinical populations. This book will certainly satisfy that appetite for those looking for new ways to best connect with their clients. But more importantly, this book will inspire readers to recognize what has been true all along: that the metaphors and exercises that will be most useful are those that draw upon clients' own experiences. By bringing this compendium together, the authors will inspire clinicians around the world to be more creative in their practice."
--Sonja V. Batten, PhD, president (2013-2014) of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science and adjunct associate professor of psychiatry at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
"ACT has burst upon the psychotherapy scene with creativity, a deep sense of excitement, and, most importantly, strong empirical support. With its premise that human suffering is an unfortunate byproduct of our everyday language and conceptions, metaphors become a more important tool in this therapeutic approach than most others. Now, Jill A. Stoddard, and Niloofar Afari have assembled these metaphors in an entertaining reference book that will be extraordinarily valuable--not only to practitioners of ACT, but to psychotherapists everywhere."
--David H. Barlow PhD, ABPP, professor of psychology and psychiatry at Boston University and founder and director emeritus of the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders
"As an ACT trainer and therapist, this is a must-buy! If you are looking for new, distinctive, and effective ways to deepen your clients' understanding of ACT, your quest is at an end. Stoddard and Afari have pulled together a wonderful compendium of rich and effective metaphors that, when delivered in therapy, will create an engaging and meaningful experience. The wealth and variety of stories and exercises will meet the needs of many a client. I know I will return to this book again and again, and like few others on my shelf, it will be dog-eared, coffee-stained, and well-worn--thanks for putting together this terrific collection!"--Robyn D. Walser, PhD, associate director of dissemination and training at the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, assistant clinical professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and director of TLConsultation Services

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