An Interview with Jonathan Bricker

The following is an interview between Steve Hayes and Jonathan Bricker on the occasion of Jonathan’s TEDx talk passing the 1 million view mark STEVE: A million views. That’s by far the most exposure of any video presenting Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). How does it feel to be reaching that benchmark? JONATHAN: Exhilarating. It’s …

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The Mental Spider That Claims to Be Us

Not too long ago, perhaps a couple hundred thousand years, an obscure primate species called “human” learned a new trick. We learned to relate one thing to another arbitrarily — we learned to have one thing stand for another. We acquired symbolic thought. The comedian Emo Philips has a saying that captures the situation we …

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Mindfulness and Acceptance in Evidence-Based Psychotherapy

Only a small percentage of psychotherapy services in the United States are tightly linked to existing scientific knowledge. It is a bit strange if you think of it. Would anyone want surgery that was not based on a current scientific understanding of the body? Why should the mind and behavior be any different?

Stepping Out of Automatic Pilot

Thoughts cause our actions, or do they? We need to stop treating out own minds with the automaticity of tying our shoes or any idiot with a microphone has access to buttons to control us. In between agreeing with thoughts and disagreeing with thoughts, there is a middle path. In the noisy culture we have created we need to learn how to get there.

Giving Thanks for the Journey

I received this message a few days ago from someone involved in the ACT work. It was a message so painful and yet courageous I thought some might find comfort and support from it on this important day: Between the ages of about 5 until about 8 and a half I was sexually abused on almost a daily basis. Throughout high school I had panic attacks and was dissociating. Today I am alive. I’m not just going through the motions. I can have relationships with people. I can feel the rain, and the sun…

Hard Won Wisdom in Dealing with Anxiety

It is one of the ironies of life that verbal formulae are not quite the same as wisdom earned. That is why parents cannot quite save their children from having to make mistakes, and teachers cannot quite eliminate the exploration of dead ends by their students. But sometimes on the other side of actual work we find particular wisdom in words.