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Contents Contents Acknowledgments vii Introduction 1 ACT: What It Is and How It Can Help You Suffering: Psychological Quicksand The Ubiquity of Human Suffering Mindfulness, Acceptance, and Values Commitment and Values-based Living CHAPTER 1 Human Suffering 9 Human Suffering Is Universal EXERCISE: Your Suffering Inventory The Problem with Pain EXERCISE: The Pain is Gone, Now What? The Problem with Pain: Revisited Living a Valued Life: An Alternative CHAPTER 2 Why Language Leads to Suffering 19 The Nature of Human Language EXERCISE: Relate Anything to Anything Else EXERCISE: A Screw, a Toothbrush and a Lighter Why Language Creates Suffering EXERCISE: A Yellow Jeep EXERCISE: Don¿t Think About Your Thought What You¿ve Been Doing EXERCISE: The Coping Strategies Worksheet The Problem with Getting Rid of Things¿Squared Experiential Avoidance The Mind-Train CHAPTER 3 The Pull of Avoidance 35 Why We Do What Can¿t Work Accepting the Possibility that Experiential Avoidance Can¿t Work So, What Are You Supposed to Do? EXERCISE: The Blame Game EXERCISE: Judging Your Own Experience: Examining What Works Moving On EXERCISE: What Are You Feeling and Thinking Now? CHAPTER 4 Letting Go 45 If You¿re Not Willing to Have It, You Will Acceptance and Willingness EXERCISE: Why Willingness? Willingness and Distress EXERCISE: Being Willingly Out of Breath The Willingness to Change Question CHAPTER 5 The Trouble with Thoughts 55 Thought Production Exercise: What Are You Thinking Right Now? Why Thinking Has Such an Impact EXERCISE: Your Daily Pain Diary Looking at Your Thoughts Rather Than from Your Thoughts The Mind Train EXERCISE: Watching the Mind-Train Uncorrected Galley vi Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life CHAPTER 6 Having a Thought Versus Buying a Thought 71 Cognitive Defusion: Separating Your Thoughts from Their Referents EXERCISE: Say the Word ¿Milk¿ as Fast as You Can EXERCISE: Labeling Your Thoughts EXERCISE: Floating Leaves on a Moving Stream EXERCISE: Describing Thoughts and Feelings EXERCISE: Exploring the Difference between Descriptions and Evaluations Creating Your Own Cognitive Defusion Techniques CHAPTER 7 If I¿m Not My Thoughts, Then Who Am I? 89 Considering Your Self-Conceptualizations The Three Senses of Self EXERCISE: Re-telling Your Own Story Being the Observing Self EXERCISE: Experientially, I¿m Not That Getting Started EXERCISE: Tracking Your Thoughts in Time Taking the Next Step CHAPTER 8 Mindfulness 107 Daily Practice The Practice EXERCISE: Be Where You Are EXERCISE: Silent Walking EXERCISE: Cubbyholing EXERCISE: Eating Raisins EXERCISE: Drinking Tea EXERCISE: Eating Mindfully EXERCISE: Listening to Classical Music EXERCISE: Be Mindful of Your Feet While You Read This EXERCISE: Just Sitting Mindfulness in Context CHAPTER 9 What Willingness Is and Is Not 123 What Needs to be Accepted? EXERCISE: What Needs to Be Accepted The Goal of Willingness CHAPTER 10 Willingness: Learning How to Jump 135 The Willingness Scale Taking a Jump EXERCISE: Willingness Scale Worksheet Using Your Skills and Learning Some New Ones EXERCISE: Physicalizing EXERCISE: Giving Your Target a Form EXERCISE: The Tin-Can Monster EXERCISE: Acceptance in Real Time CHAPTER 11 What Are Values? 155 Values as Chosen Life Directions What Values Are and Are Not CHAPTER 12 Choosing Your Values 167 The Masters You Serve EXERCISE: Attending Your Own Funeral Taking It a Step Further: Ten Valued Domains Ranking and Testing Your Values Committed Action CHAPTER 13 Committing to Doing It 181 Taking Bold Steps EXERCISE: Goals Worksheet EXERCISE: Making Goals Happen Through Action EXERCISE: Expected Barriers Many Maps for Different Journeys Building Patterns of Effective Action Whose Life Is It Anyway? CONCLUSION The Choice to Live a Vital Life 199 APPENDIX The Values and Data Underlying ACT 203 References
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