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When Life Hits Hard


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About the Author

Russ Harris is author of the best-selling self-help guide, The Happiness Trap. He is a medical practitioner, psychotherapist, and world-renowned trainer of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). He has authored four professional books on ACT, including the popular ACT Made Simple, and has trained more than 30,000 health professionals. In 2016, he wrote the World Health Organization (WHO) ACT protocol for refugee camps-a brief intervention that covers the broadest possible range of trauma-related problems, and leads to significant reductions in cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.


"When Life Hits Hard is a lovely book for clients and clinicians alike. Harris's writing voice conveys deep empathy and compassion for the universal pain and suffering that comes with being human, and offers simple, patient, and practical tools to help guide the reader along in whatever difficult journey he or she may be travelling."
--Susan M. McCurry, PhD, author of When a Family Member Has Dementia, and research professor at the University of Washington School of Nursing--Susan M. McCurry, PhD
"When Life Hits Hard is a vital resource--a practical book for those who wish to rebuild a meaningful life after devastating loss, illuminated by Russ's warm and friendly voice. First, Russ will show you how to gradually learn to deal more effectively with loss in a way that is as effective as it is counterintuitive: unhooking from unhelpful thoughts and making kind space for painful emotions. Next, Russ will show you how to rebuild a valued life--a life richer in depth and meaning--which stands as a living monument to what most matters to you and yours."
--Benjamin Schoendorff, MA, MSc, director of the Contextual Psychology Institute in Montreal, QC, Canada; coeditor of The ACT Matrix; and coauthor of The ACT Practitioner's Guide to the Science of Compassion--Benjamin Schoendorff, MA, MSc
"It's a difficult thing to communicate complex ideas in a way that people can easily understand and relate to. It's particularly difficult when addressing a subject as significant as grief and loss. Russ Harris is an author who has this ability in spades, and he covers how to manage some of the most painful experiences we can have in his usual accessible style. This book is refreshingly honest and validating about the pain of loss, as well as being very useful in offering an evidence-based set of tools for charting a way through that pain."
--Richard Bennett, ClinPsyD, clinical psychologist, lecturer in the Centre for Applied Psychology at the University of Birmingham, and coauthor of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Self-Esteem--Richard Bennett, ClinPsyD
"Personal and practical, When Life Hits Hard offers concrete, science-based strategies to help you navigate life's most turbulent waters--and does so in a way that is approachable and heartfelt. Reading it is like getting advice from your wisest, most down-to-earth friend if that friend also happened to have a PhD in coping with grief and loss. While nothing may be able to prepare us for life's most painful losses and identity-shattering events, there are things that can help guide us through the aftermath--this book is definitely one of them."
--Jenna LeJeune, PhD, licensed psychologist, affiliate faculty at Oregon Health and Sciences University, and coauthor of Values in Therapy--Jenna LeJeune, PhD
"Russ Harris is a master of helping us apply the life-changing power of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) in our day-to-day lives, and When Life Hits Hard is no exception. This clear, well-written, and timely book gently guides us to a deep understanding of how to work effectively with life's most difficult experiences. Lots of us are struggling right now. Filled with clear explanations, real-world vignettes, and pragmatic suggestions, this book will help."
--Russell Kolts, PhD, professor at Eastern Washington University, and author of CFT Made Simple and The Compassionate-Mind Guide to Managing Your Anger--Russell Kolts, PhD
"This book is a true gem. Not only is it packed with practical and manageable suggestions on how to cope with crisis, loss, and grief; it takes you through an easy-to-read, at times deeply personal, down-to-earth, compassionate, and loving journey too. Read this book. You are going to need it when life hits hard."
--Rikke Kjelgaard, psychologist, author, and ACT trainer--Rikke Kjelgaard
"This book will be a vital companion for anyone struggling with the pain of loss. It offers hope and a solid, evidence-based pathway through life's hardships. Russ Harris writes from the heart with a wonderful balance of wisdom and gentleness, translating key processes from the latest behavioral science into everyday language and practical tools. You'll learn how to embrace your pain with courage and compassion, and how to live well and thrive in the face of adversity. I cannot recommend this book enough and I will be encouraging my clients, relatives, and friends to get a copy."
--Mike Sinclair, DPSych, clinical director at City Psychology Group, and coauthor of Mindfulness for Busy People, The Little ACT Workbook, The Little Depression Workbook, and The Little Anxiety Workbook--Mike Sinclair, DPSych

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