02 Jan January Book of the Month
Book of the Month – A Liberated Mind: How to Pivot Toward What Matters by Steven C. Hayes
Steven C. Hayes is an American clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. He’s best known for developing a style of counseling called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). With this theory, Dr. Hayes relies heavily on mindfulness, values, and positive reinforcement as the keys to working through human suffering, and motivating change.
In “A Liberated Mind: How to Pivot Toward What Matters,” Hayes gives an overview of the core skills related to ACT. These skills have been shown to help even where other approaches have failed. Science shows that they are useful in virtually every area–mental health (anxiety, depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, PTSD); physical health (chronic pain, dealing with diabetes, facing cancer); social processes (relationship issues, prejudice, stigma, domestic violence); and performance (sports, business, diet, exercise). With his book, Dr. Hayes provides exercises and advice that help readers recognize unhelpful patterns in their lives, so they can make meaningful change.
According to Hayes, “We are always building habits through what we do each and every day. And while habit building is a moment-by-moment process, we often fall into the trap of overly focusing on perfect outcomes. When we try to change our habits in one fell swoop, our efforts tend to lead to procrastination, impulsivity, or workaholism. Instead, we can learn to focus on the process of continuously building habits in small steps linked to the construction of larger habits of loving, caring, creating, or any other chosen value. One less-than-perfect guitar song at a time.”
If you’re hoping to make 2020 the year that you begin working towards more peace and fulfillment, we highly recommend picking up this important book. If you need additional support while working through it, consider enlisting a therapist for greater depth and accountability.