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Learning ACT for Group Treatment


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About the Author

Darrah Westrup, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in Colorado and California with an established reputation for her work as a therapist, program director, trainer, researcher, and consultant to practitioners at various firms and organizations. She is a recognized authority on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and has conducted numerous presentations and trainings at international, national, and local conferences, seminars, and workshops. She currently serves as an expert ACT consultant for the VA-wide evidence-based treatment rollout of ACT for depression, and has coauthored two books on ACT: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Trauma-Related Problems and The Mindful Couple.


"Finally! The scientific literature on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is heavily based on group intervention methods, but through nearly three decades of such studies, no book has been available to walk clinicians through the myriad choice points, barriers, and opportunities presented by ACT in groups. No more. This wonderful and readable volume walks through every relevant area and issue in a way that is wise, evidence-based, and clear. How can you organize an open membership ACT group? What if a group member just wants to tell stories? In area after area and issue after issue, Westrup and Wright have skillfully done the heavy lifting for you. If you're doing ACT in groups, you now have a much easier job: buy the book, read it, and use it."
--Steven C. Hayes, PhD, Foundation Professor of Psychology at the University of Nevada, and cofounder of ACT

"This long-awaited book finally provides therapists with the guidance they needed to do ACT in groups. Darrah Westrup and Joann Wright have turned their scientific expertise and clinical wisdom into a wonderfully written text that covers all the key aspects of the psychological flexibility model while addressing the typical pitfalls and advantages of doing ACT in this context. This is an essential read for all therapists doing ACT in groups!"
--Matthieu Villatte, PhD, coauthor of Mastering the Clinical Conversation

"Life's too short to beat around the bush, so I'm going to be blunt: if you do ACT with groups, or if you wish to start doing so, you need this book. Chockablock full of wisdom and experience from experts in the field, it's not just an optional extra; it's an absolute essential. If you want to help groups of people to discover ACT, and leave them glowing with a sense of vitality and fulfilment, then be smart about it: allow Westrup and Wright to light the way for you."
--Russ Harris, author of The Happiness Trap and ACT Made Simple

"Westrup and Wright have masterfully woven the ACT approach into the group therapy milieu. Contextual behavioral science, the foundation of ACT, suggests the human condition evolved through the blending of two levels of selection: the group and the individual. The ACT community has long endeavored to address the human condition in a way that reduces suffering and improves quality of living by using applied behavioral science to help at the individual level. Thankfully Westrup and Wright are contributing to the applied literature with an eye on utilizing group therapy to direct the therapeutic process in important, valuable directions. Learning ACT for Group Treatment highlights advanced ACT topics in a manner accessible for a novice. This pioneering book offers practical exercises for immediate application, and gives incisive examples of how to use them in an ACT-consistent manner. Most importantly, Westrup and Wright created a flexible framework to create unique, impactful group therapy interactions. Highly recommended, even if you are not a group therapist."
--D.J. Moran, PhD, BCBA-D, founder of Pickslyde Consulting and the MidAmerican Psychological Institute

"It's here! And it's just what's needed for the therapist looking to do ACT in a group format. For those who have been waiting and asking for a thoughtful and effective guide--including material ranging from brief basics on ACT to utilizing core processes in a powerful and dynamic way in group therapy to supplementary content designed to support its implementation--this is the book for you. Darrah Westrup and Joann Wright have written this manual in a user-friendly fashion. The book is comprehensive in nature, while also maintaining a compassionate clinical voice--felt in both the example dialogue and the overall approach. ACT delivered in the context of group therapy is not only robust, but also helps clients to connect with others in the very human experience of suffering. Westrup and Wright bring these qualities to life. A must-read for those doing or wanting to do ACT in groups."
--Robyn D. Walser, PhD, coauthor of Learning ACT, The Mindful Couple, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Trauma-Related Problems; director of TLConsultation Services; assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley; and cofounder of the Bay Area Trauma Recovery Clinic

"Brought to us by two ACT master clinicians, Learning ACT for Group Treatment is an essential addition to the library of any therapist who uses mindfulness, acceptance, and compassion processes in groups. This book brings the psychological flexibility model to life in the context of group therapy. I am confident that this text can enhance the effectiveness of any of our group-based work. Masterful!"
--Dennis Tirch, PhD, coauthor of The ACT Practitioner's Guide to the Science of Compassion, and founder of The Center for Compassion Focused Therapy

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