Dr Russ Harris is a world-renowned trainer of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT). Russ’s background is in medicine, and as a GP he became increasingly interested in the psychological aspects of health and wellbeing, and increasingly disenchanted with writing prescriptions. Ultimately this interest led to a total career change. He now works in two different, yet complementary roles – as a therapist and a coach.
In 2015, Russ wrote a stress-management protocol for the WHO (World Health Organization) to use in refugee camps around the world, catering for the broadest possible range of trauma-related problems, including PTSD, depression and anxiety disorders. It has so far been implemented to good effect in refugee camps in Syria, Uganda and Turkey, and the impressive results were published in one of the world’s top medical journals, The Lancet.
Since 2005, Russ has run over 800 two-day workshops and provided ACT training for over 50,000 health professionals. He has authored four ACT textbooks (ACT Made Simple, Trauma-Focused ACT, Getting Unstuck in ACT, ACT Questions & Answers), and four ACT-based self-help books (The Happiness Trap, The Reality Slap, The Confidence Gap and ACT with Love). His best-known book, The Happiness Trap, has sold over one million copies worldwide, with translations into more than 30 languages.
This new edition features over 50% completely new material, including new sections on perfectionism, people-pleasing, procrastination, dealing with loss and loneliness, overcoming trauma, making difficult decisions and breaking bad habits. In a challenging world, the new material on self-compassion will be particularly appreciated as we all learn to be there for ourselves in a caring and supportive way.
NZAC newsletter; Nicola McKinlay-Clark
Using an easy-to-read and entertaining writing style Harris aims to help the reader develop skills to create a meaningful life free from struggling with stress, anxiety or depression.
This second edition has over 50% more content in it than the first edition that was released in 2007. This extra content includes new tools, techniques and exercises. It also includes new information about the nature and purpose of emotions, how to break ba
d habits, push through procrastination, stop panic attacks, overcome “people pleasing” and perfectionism, practical tips for those suffering from trauma, and new material on self-compassion.
I found this book to be an easy and worthwhile read. Harris uses a laid-back and entertaining narration style that feels personable and engaging.
“Dr Harris explains how we tend to get hooked on negative thoughts and emotions, and implements strategies to help with it so that we respond to those negative things differently. He also points out ways that our emotions help us and serve three main purposes – communication, illumination and motivation.”
Happiness, according to the author, is defined as a rich, full and meaningful life with the full range of human emotions felt to varying degrees. From this standpoint there is a real opportunity to embrace concepts discussed by Harris, shut out some of the noise from advertisers and social media, and focus on the aspects of our existence that bring real human emotions, both positive and negative, that create the basis of happiness. Dr Russ Harris also has a series of YouTube clips that complement the book’s teachings. They are well worth checking out.