Book Review: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Anxiety Disorders
Eifert, Georg H. Ph. D., and Forsyth, John P. Ph. D. 2005. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications Inc.
There are literally hundreds of publications available, both to the counselling practitioner and lay person regarding the understanding and treatment of anxiety. Many focus on behavioural and cognitive behavioural approaches to assist in dealing with anxiety, ‘Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Anxiety Disorders’ by Georg H. Eifert Ph. D and John P. Forsyth Ph. D takes these approaches a step further.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) emerged during the late eighties as part of the third wave therapeutic approaches. Along with Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), ACT emphasises mindfulness as a core principle. Mindfulness relates to the ability to be aware of and accepting of the present moment. ACT incorporates this into a unique approach that, by definition assists clients to accept themselves and still pursue a valued existence. Eifert and Forsyth present a text detailing the practical application of ACT to the treatment of a variety of anxiety based disorders.
The book is divided into three sections, each offering insight into ACT and anxiety disorders. The first provides an overview of ACT as well as a summary of general anxiety disorders. This initial section also covers traditional approaches to treatment. In the next part, discussion turns to an understanding of anxiety from an ACT framework. Dialogue addresses the concept of control and as humans; we have an innate desire to control self and surroundings.
ACT proceeds to dispel the desire for control and to move to acceptance. The final area of the book is a comprehensive exploration of ACT procedure. It is highly detailed offering comprehensive protocols yet still emphasising the importance of tailoring programs to suit individual clients. The theory is supported by therapeutic examples, worksheets, exercises and assessment measures. The accompanying CD-ROM supplies electronic copies of all materials.
Eifert and Forsyth’s ‘Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Anxiety Disorders’ is a solid addition to any counselling clinician’s bookshelf. The authors have presented the information in an easy to read and follow format whilst still maintaining the integrity of the approach and the science.
Book reviewed by Anda Davies
Copies of this publication are available at www.amazon.com.