10 books like Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

By Kirk D. Strosahl, Kelly G. Wilson, Steven C. Hayes

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Man’s Search for Meaning

By Viktor Frankl,

Book cover of Man’s Search for Meaning

In apposition to the Levi book I listed first, Frankl becomes more of what he already is, which is a transformation of a completely different sort. The author’s professional life becomes magnified, his thought processes on suffering become exponential. The Holocaust experience affects him so much, so deeply, that he emerges with a new field of thought that shakes up the foundational thought on mental health that Freud had well established. One is not a slave to his own mind; one can attain mastery under any circumstances with certain shifts of reason. Resonant for all time, and certainly for our time.

Man’s Search for Meaning

By Viktor Frankl,

Why should I read it?

26 authors picked Man’s Search for Meaning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the outstanding classics to emerge from the Holocaust, Man's Search for Meaning is Viktor Frankl's story of his struggle for survival in Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps. Today, this remarkable tribute to hope offers us an avenue to finding greater meaning and purpose in our own lives.


Cognitive Behavior Therapy

By Judith S. Beck,

Book cover of Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Cognitive Behavior Therapy is premised on the belief that our thoughts are at the root of our negative feelings, and to alter those feelings, we need to alter our thoughts. The connection between reason and emotion can be traced back to Stoicism. Hence it is no surprise that the late Dr. Albert Ellis, the developer of the very similar Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, used to have a quote from the Stoic philosopher Epictetus on his webpage. In addition, the Cognitive Distortions which form the heart of CBT can mostly be found in The Art of Thinking (1662) by Antoine Arnauld and Pierre Nicole.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy

By Judith S. Beck,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cognitive Behavior Therapy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hundreds of thousands of clinicians and graduate students have relied on this text--now significantly revised with more than 50% new material--to learn the fundamentals of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). Leading expert Judith S. Beck demonstrates how to engage patients, develop a sound case conceptualization, plan individualized treatment, structure sessions, and implement core cognitive, behavioral, and experiential techniques. Throughout the book, extended cases of one client with severe depression and another with depression, anxiety, and borderline personality traits illustrate how a skilled therapist delivers CBT and troubleshoots common difficulties. Adding to the third edition's utility, the companion website features downloadable worksheets…


Motivational Interviewing

By William R. Miller, Stephen Rollnick,

Book cover of Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is not so much a therapeutic intervention as a technique, a way of talking to another person to help them move in a different direction. The fundamental idea, brilliant in its simplicity, is that people don’t change because you tell them to. They change because they tell themselves to. MI does precisely what Socrates did: question and draw people out, getting them to see the contradictions in their own thinking as a way of motivating them to change their beliefs (and ultimately their life). If Socrates were a therapist (and in a way he was), he’d be doing MI (and in a way, he did).

Motivational Interviewing

By William R. Miller, Stephen Rollnick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Motivational Interviewing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This bestselling work for professionals and students is the authoritative presentation of motivational interviewing (MI), the powerful approach to facilitating change. The book elucidates the four processes of MI--engaging, focusing, evoking, and planning--and vividly demonstrates what they look like in action. A wealth of vignettes and interview examples illustrate the "dos and don'ts" of successful implementation in diverse contexts. Highly accessible, the book is infused with respect and compassion for clients. The companion Web page provides additional helpful resources, including reflection questions, an extended bibliography, and annotated case material.

This book is in the Applications of Motivational Interviewing series, edited…


Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends

By David Epston, Michael White,

Book cover of Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends

Narrative Therapy (of which this book is the founding text) traces its roots back to the French philosopher Michel Foucault and postmodern philosophy. Not that anyone can agree on a definition of postmodernism. Invoking Foucault’s critique of power, narrative therapy sees the DSM-5 (the standard list of mental illness that is akin to the Bible in psychiatry) as grounded not in objective truth but as a mostly fabricated list of pseudo-diseases a profession has conjured up in order to assure it is well-paid. Narrative therapy works not on attempting to change any objective condition the client may inhabit but to motivate the patient to change his subjective view of his condition.

Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends

By David Epston, Michael White,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

White and Epston base their therapy on the assumption that people experience problems when the stories of their lives, as they or others have invented them, do not sufficiently represent their lived experience. Therapy then becomes a process of storying or restorying the lives and experiences of these people. In this way narrative comes to play a central role in therapy. Both authors share delightful examples of a storied therapy that privileges a person's lived experience, inviting a reflexive posture and encouraging a sense of authorship and reauthorship of one's experiences and relationships in the telling and retelling of one's…


Activate Your Life

By Joe Oliver, Jon Hill, Eric Morris

Book cover of Activate Your Life: Using Acceptance and Mindfulness to Build a Life That Is Rich, Fulfilling and Fun

This is the first self-help book I have ever read, and I read it in 2019. I have always been honest about my battle with my mental health, from anxiety to depression. This book was recommended to me by an excellent expert in the field and it changed my view of my relationship with mental health as a battle. It sounds corny putting it into words but when you learn to accept the different parts of your personality and how they help and protect you, then it is easier to say “not right now, I need to make dinner, not crawl into bed”. The analogy that stuck with me was pulling a rope opposed by a character representing anxiety on the other side, and a pit in the middle. You can pull and pull, trying to avoid the pit, or you can… let go of the rope and accept that…

Activate Your Life

By Joe Oliver, Jon Hill, Eric Morris

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Activate Your Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

ACTivate Your Life focuses on helping people to be more open, connected and engaged with their lives, demonstrating how Acceptance Commitment Therapy can be used to tackle a range of problems such as low self-esteem, anxiety, anger and depression, as well as providing skills for life enhancement and self-development.

Readers are encouraged to consider what matters to them and will learn techniques to set life directions based on meaningful values. Readers will also be introduced to mindfulness and learn how to use it in everyday life to connect with their actions, experiences and the people around them. The ACT approach…


The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook

By Martha Davis, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman, Matthew McKay

Book cover of The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook

My copy is the sixth edition, but this groundbreaking workbook now offers a seventh edition and is based on the authors’ decades of clinical experience working with clients suffering from varied symptoms of stress including insomnia, worry, hypertension, poor digestion, depression, and anger. This hefty book offers a comprehensive compilation of stress-reduction strategies—including techniques for relaxation, managing time, dealing with stressful thoughts and feelings, and effective communication. The workbook format provides helpful guidance to create a personal action plan for stress reduction.  

The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook

By Martha Davis, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman, Matthew McKay

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now in its seventh edition-with more than one million copies sold worldwide-The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook remains the go-to resource for stress reduction strategies that can be incorporated into even the busiest lives.

The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook broke new ground when it was first published in 1980, detailing easy, step-by-step techniques for calming the body and mind in an increasingly overstimulated world. Now in its seventh edition, this fully revised and updated workbook-highly regarded by therapists and their clients-offers the latest stress reduction techniques to combat the effects of stress and integrate healthy relaxation habits into every…


The Borderline Personality Disorder Workbook

By Daniel J. Fox,

Book cover of The Borderline Personality Disorder Workbook: An Integrative Program to Understand and Manage Your Bpd

This book is directed to someone who identifies with symptoms of BPD. It is a workbook with an emphasis on work! It is not designed to cure BPD, but to help the individual more productively address dysfunctional behavior. With scales and forms to fill out, the individual reader can confront specific problems.

The Borderline Personality Disorder Workbook

By Daniel J. Fox,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Borderline Personality Disorder Workbook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Introducing a breakthrough, integrative approach to managing your borderline personality disorder (BPD). If you've been diagnosed with BPD you may feel a number of emotions - including shock, shame, sadness, abandonment, emptiness, or even anger. Even worse, you may be tempted to research your diagnosis online, only to find doomsday scenarios and terrible prognoses everywhere you click. Take a deep breath. You can get through this - and this workbook will help guide you. Despite what you may have read or been told, BPD is not the worst thing that can happen to you. Like many mental health issues, it…


Self-Esteem

By Matthew McKay, Patrick Fanning,

Book cover of Self-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem

I recommend this book to many of my clients because you create your life based on your perceived self-concept about who you are in the world. If you don’t feel good about who you are it’s hard to build a good life. This book is great because it applies the well-researched principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy to overcoming the inner critic and building a positive view of one’s self, creating the much-needed platform for transforming your life.

Self-Esteem

By Matthew McKay, Patrick Fanning,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Self-Esteem as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Circumstances and status can affect self-esteem-many factors can contribute to the way we see ourselves-but the one contributing factor that all people who struggle with low self-esteem have in common is our thoughts. Of course we all have a better chance of feeling good about ourselves when things are going well, but it's really our interpretation of our circumstances that can cause trouble, regardless of what they are.

This revised and updated fourth edition of the best-selling Self-Esteem uses proven-effective methods of CBT and relevant components of ACT to help you raise low self-esteem by working on the way you…


Fear of Flying Workbook

By David Carbonell,

Book cover of Fear of Flying Workbook: Overcome Your Anticipatory Anxiety and Develop Skills for Flying with Confidence

An extensive and powerful read. Whilst it focuses on the fear of flying (including in-depth worksheets and exercises that you can start using straight away) David breaks down exactly how this fear came to be and what you can do to break the anxious cycle. Even if fear of flying is not something you struggle with, all of the information in this book can be applied to various anxiety disorders. A great source of psychoeducation! 

Fear of Flying Workbook

By David Carbonell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fear of Flying Workbook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Leads readers step-by-step with proven techniques that finally make it possible to conquer their fear of flying

You’ve tried to face your fear of flying, but the harder you try to control it, the worse it gets. This book teaches how to work constructively with your brain so you can address your anxiety in different ways that truly help you let go of the fear.

Packed with hands-on exercises, this book helps you better understand both the anticipatory anxiety prior to a flight as well as the fear experienced on board—and provides the tools needed to successfully fill the role…


Depressive Illness

By Tim Cantopher,

Book cover of Depressive Illness: The Curse of the Strong

This book saved my life. And no, I’m not exaggerating. I read it at the peak of my depression when I’d lost all hope and my emotional pain was at its peak. I spent the whole time going ‘Yes! That’s me, that’s happening to me! Thank god someone understands’. 

It is short, so that you can actually finish it. This is SO important when your concentration has evaporated due to depression. It’s written by a psychiatrist who understands what your brain is doing but also, crucially, tells you what to do and emphasises how serious this illness is.

Depressive Illness

By Tim Cantopher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Depressive Illness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'People affected by depression tell me this is the most powerful and helpful book ever written on the topic. I keep meeting people who say this book changed their lives.' - Jeremy Vine, BBC Radio 2

Do you have depression?
Firstly, stop blaming yourself.
Secondly, don't struggle on alone - read this book instead. It has helped thousands of people just like you.

Dr Tim Cantopher knows two essential truths about depression and depressive illness.

One: it's strong people who are most vulnerable to it; people whose standards are high, whose ethics are powerful, who want their lives to be…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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