Synopses & Reviews
Statistics suggests that as many as 2.5 percent of American women suffer from anorexia; of these, further research indicates that one in ten of these will die from the disorder. This is the only book available that addresses the particular needs of anorexics with the techniques of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), a revolutionary new psychotherapy. The authors of this book are pioneering researchers in the field of ACT, with numerous research articles to their credit
Despite ever-widening media attention and public awareness of the problem, American women continue to suffer from anorexia nervosa in greater numbers than ever before. This severe psychophysiological condition-characterized by an abnormal fear of becoming obese, a persistent unwillingness to eat, and severe compulsion to lose weight-is particularly difficult to treat, often because the victims are unwilling to seek help. The Anorexia Workbook demonstrates that efforts to control and stop anorexia may do more harm than good. Instead of focusing efforts on judging impulses associated with the disorder as 'bad' or 'negative,' this approach encourages sufferers to mindfully observe these feelings without reacting to them in a self-destructive way. Guided by this more compassionate, more receptive frame of mind, the book coaches you to employ various acceptance-based coping strategies.
Structured in a logical, step-by-step progression of exercises, the workbook first focuses on providing you with a new understanding of anorexia and the ways you might have already tried to control the problem. Then the book progresses through techniques that teach how to use mindfulness to deal with out-of-control thoughts and feelings, how to identify choices that lead to better heath and quality of life, and how to redirect the energy formerly spent on weight loss into actions that will heal the body and mind. Although this book is written specifically as self-help for anorexia sufferers, it includes a clear and informative chapter on when you need to seek professional treatment as well as advice on what to look for in a therapist.
"Drawing on Hayes’s principles of acceptance and action, Michelle Heffner and Georg Eifert have produced a remarkably useful book, full of easily understood but not simplistic principles for self-change. Individuals experiencing anorexia, as well as their therapists, families, and friends can find useful wisdom in this book, reassured that it draws on new but sound principles in clinical psychology."
—Ian M. Evans, PhD, fellow of the American Psychological Association and Royal Society of New Zealand, and author of Non-Aversive Intervention for Behavior Problems
"This is an engaging and highly readable book for those hoping for a different perspective on a problem that is difficult to treat. The Anorexia Workbook is a life-affirming and soothing guide that teaches the art of accepting and letting go as a way to a healthy lifestyle. Rather than focusing on what is wrong, it helps the reader find the path to what is right through wonderful metaphorical images, written exercises, and active participation.I enjoyed reading this book from start to finish and learned as much about treating anorexia using ACT as about ACT itself. I actually used some of what I learned in a session with a student immediately after reading the book. This is great stuff and a gem for patients and clinicians alike!"
—Jeanne M. Walker, PhD, director of Psychological Counseling Services at Chapman University in Orange, CA
"This beautifully written book challenges the change agenda so often emphasized in the treatment of eating disorders. Instead, it focuses on acceptance, choice, and making commitments to living consistent with one’s values and goals. The person-focused perspective, coupled with numerous examples and exercises, provide a wonderful guide for those wishing to consider an alternative to the trap of struggle and control over body image, food, and weight. The reader will find a fresh and empowering perspective on what it means to live a full, rich, and valued life and how to go about doing just that."
—John P. Forsyth, PhD, director of the Anxiety Disorders Research Program at SUNY, Albany
"This workbook will be a great resource for people whose lives are affected by anorexia. It is easy to read, well structured, and compassionate. It takes people on a journey, helping them to travel beyond anorexia towards a more valued life path. Importantly, the workbook techniques have been supported by substantial scientific research. This book is an excellent investment and will be of benefit for years to come."
—Joseph Ciarrochi, PhD, senior lecturer of psychology at the University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia, and associate editor of Cognition and Emotion
"ACT is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received during my education and training as a doctor and general psychiatrist in private practice. ACT has the credentials of a sound scientific foundation and, as a functional approach, it allows practitioners to design highly flexible interventions with different patient populations even under the severe time constraints of a busy practice. Instead of focusing on symptoms and pathology, this treatment brings real life, values, and humanity into the doctor’s office.With this marvelous book, Ms. Heffner and Dr. Eifert present ACT to the lay public for the first time. They do so in an excellent and very convincing way with a disorder that is notoriously difficult to deal with for patients and professionals alike. Highly recommended."
—Rainer F. Sonntag, MD, psychiatrist and psychotherapist in private practice in Olpe, Germany
“Michelle Heffner and Georg Eifert have done a wonderful job in applying ACT to anorexia. I believe that the practical exercises and advice in this book can certainly help people who want their lives no longer be ruled by anorexia. In particular, this book offers an avenue of hope and encouragement that is not only ultimately humane but completely different from other scientifically-driven approaches to the problem of anorexia. I have no doubt that it will transform the lives of many people.”
—Frank W. Bond, Ph.D., senior lecturer of psychology at Goldsmiths College, University of London
Practical, gentle, and thorough, this book nudges and guides you into your body and your senses. As you learn how to turn down the volume of the chatter and self-judgment there is more room to experience yourself as a whole, physical human being. What a relief, and what an opportunity! Highly recommended.”
Steven C. Hayes, PhD, cofounder of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and author of Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life
We humans are so often at war with our own bodies. We use our powerful intellect to break ourselves into partsthighs, buttocks, stomach, noseand then often judge these parts as not good enough. We then waste energy trying to fix ourselves and/or become self-conscious and withdraw from life. Living with Your body and Other Things You Hate
will help you to declare peace on your body, connect with it, nurture it, and appreciate it. The book never preaches. It uses practical exercises to take you on a gentle, mindful journey. If you are the sort of person who is hard on yourself and insecure about your body, then I believe this book will help you to accept yourself, find your inner strength, and build a life filled with joy and meaning.”
Joseph Ciarrochi, author of Get out of Your Mind and Into Your Life for Teens and Mindfulness, Acceptance, and Positive Psychology
Full of wisdom and compassion, this is a beautifully written and highly practical guide to self-acceptance. I wish Id read it thirty years ago; it would have saved me decades of self-loathing!”
Russ Harris, author of The Happiness Trap
If you are unhappy with your appearance in any way, this book will help you and others understand what you experience and why. It will explain why your feelings are devastating, and how your struggles to overcome it may have been futile. The authors provide a totally different way to approach the problem of poor self-image. If all other methods have failed, this book offers hope and guidance in a distinctly new way. Acceptance and commitment therapy techniques will teach you to live the life you want, follow your values, and stop struggling for an ideal image. The authors write in a very friendly manner, sharing their own experiences at times, and provide wonderful exercises to follow. I highly recommend this book to everyone who wants to stop struggling and begin living.”
Fugen Neziroglu, PhD, ABBP, ABPP, author of Overcoming Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Body Dysmorphic Disorder: A Treatment Manual
How to accept yourself, heal your suffering, and reclaim your life.
Despite ever-widening media attention and public awareness of the problem, American women continue to suffer from anorexia nervosa in greater numbers than ever before. This severe condition is particularly difficult to treat and many sufferers are reluctant to seek help. This book adapts a revolutionary model of psychotherapy called acceptance and commitment therapy, or ACT, to teach readers that efforts to control and stop anorexia may do more harm than good. Instead of judging impulses associated with the disorder as "bad" or "negative," this approach encourages the mindful observance of unwanted thoughts and feelings without reacting to them in a self-destructive way. In this more compassionate, more receptive frame of mind, the step-by-step exercise, and techniques in this book can help redirect energy formerly spent on weight loss into committed actions that heal the body and mind. The book first focuses on providing readers with a new understanding of anorexia and the ways they might have already tried to control the problem. Then it teaches how to use mindfulness techniques to deal with out-of-control thoughts and feelings, how to identify choices that will lead to better heath and quality of life, and how to redirect the energy formerly spent on weight loss into those actions that will heal the body and mind.
Foreword by Steven C. Hayes, Ph.D., founder of ACT
Written by a leading researcher in acceptance and commitment theory, Georg Eifert, Ph.D., this book offers the most up-to-date and effective treatment for anorexia. Readers learn to view the use of eating control strategies as a problem, not a solution. They learn to better cope with out-of-control emotions and thoughts, and redirect the drive for thinless twoard healthier, valued life directions.
Are you comfortable with the skin youre in? If not, you arent alone. Most people are dissatisfied with some aspect of their physical appearance, but if your unhappiness with your looks starts to take over your life, its time to make a change. This book applies powerful acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) principles to help you accept both your body and negative thoughts, and discover new feelings of validity beyond your reflection in the mirror.
Lets be honest: most people are unhappy with at least some aspect of their physical appearance. Just think of all the money we spend each year trying to improve our looks! But if worrying about your appearance is getting in the way of living, maybe its time to start thinking about body image in a completely new way.
Based in proven-effective acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), Living with Your Body and Other Things You Hate offers a unique approach to addressing your struggle with body image. In this book, you will not be told that your self-perceptions are wrong, that your thoughts are irrational, or that your feelings are misguided. Instead, you will learn to live with the reality that these often painful thoughts and beliefs about yourself will arise from time to time, and that what is really important is accepting these distressing thoughts without allowing them to dominate your life.
You know what its like to constantly be checking the mirror, to avoid certain social situations where your body may be exposed, or to gaze longingly at a fashion model in a magazine and think, Why cant I be her?” But what you may not know is that people who struggle with negative body image are at an increased risk for depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and low self-esteem. Body image problems can even lead to major financial issues. By focusing on your appearance and little else, you are hurting yourself in more ways than one.
If you are ready to find a purpose in life that is more important than the pain you feel about your appearance, this book provides a truthful, powerful resource.
About the Author
Michelle Heffner, PhD, was trained in the West Virginia University Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry eating disorders program. She has assessed and treated eating disorder clients in the West Virginia University Department of Psychology clinic and the West Virginia University Carruth Center for Counseling and Psychological Services.Georg H. Eifert, PhD, was ranked among the top thirty researchers in behavior analysis and therapy in the 1990s, and has authored over 100 publications on psychological causes and treatments of anxiety and other emotional disorders. He is clinical fellow of the Behavior Therapy and Research Society, a member of numerous national and international psychological associations, and serves on several editorial boards of leading clinical psychology journals. He is also a licensed clinical psychologist. He is coauthor of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Anxiety Disorders and ACT on Life, Not on Anger.Steven C. Hayes, PhD, is Nevada Foundation Professor and director of clinical training at the department of psychology at the University of Nevada. An author of 38 books and over 540 scientific articles, his career has focused on analysis of the nature of human language and cognition, and its application to the understanding and alleviation of human suffering and promotion of human prosperity. Among other associations, Hayes has been president of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy, and the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. His work has received several awards, including the Impact of Science on Application Award from the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy.
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