Leave Your Mind Behind by Matthew McKay
The Everyday Practice of Finding Stillness Amid Rushing Thoughts

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We typically have little control over our thoughts, but we often invest them with a lot of authority—even when they contradict what our experiences tell us to be true. Take a moment right now and think There's a hungry grizzly bear sitting next to me. Chances are you didn't take that thought literally and run screaming from the room. But what if instead you had thought, I'll never get a better job,I'm boring, or No one loves me? Just like that terrifying grizzly, these more garden-variety thoughts are just words and pictures that pop into our minds. But often we take thoughts like these literally and let them trick us into avoiding the lives we really want to live.

Leave Your Mind Behind offers a collection of light-hearted practices readers can use to learn to observe their thoughts without getting caught up in them. Each practice is grounded in a component of the new acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) called cognitive defusion: the process of de-fusing or not identifying or becoming one with your thoughts. Sometimes downright strange—imagine yourself hearing your thoughts in the voice of a headless monster!—these activities don't seek to stop or control problematic thinking. Instead, they work to show readers how to observe thoughts without judgment and learn to live with the confounding and marvellous word-making, story-telling machine that is the human mind.


About Matthew McKay

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Matthew McKay, PhD, is a professor at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. He has authored and coauthored numerous books, including The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook, Self-Esteem, Thoughts and Feelings, When Anger Hurts, and ACT on Life Not on Anger. McKay received his PhD in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, and specializes in the cognitive behavioral treatment of anxiety and depression. He lives and works in the Bay Area.Patrick Fanning is a professional writer in the mental health field. He is author of Visualization for Change and Lifetime Weight Control and coauthor of several self-help books, including Self-Esteem and 50 Ways to Simplify Your Life.Avigail Lev, PsyD, maintains a private practice in Berkeley, CA. She specializes in couples' therapy and also treats individuals who struggle with interpersonal problems, anxiety, trauma, chronic pain, and mood disorders. She has provided supervision, trainings, and workshops utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and is the coauthor of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Interpersonal Problems.Michelle Skeen, PsyD, is a therapist who lives and works in San Francisco, CA. She has provided brief and long-term therapy for individuals and couples utilizing schema, cognitive, and behavioral therapies to address interpersonal issues, weight management, anger, depression, anxiety, disabilities, and trauma. She is the author of The Critical Partner and coauthor of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Interpersonal Problems, and is currently working on her fourth book for New Harbinger Publications, Love Me Don't Leave Me, a self-help book that provides breakthrough, evidence-based solutions for women (and men) struggling with the fear of abandonment. Michelle hosts a weekly radio show called Relationships 2.0 with Dr. Michelle Skeen on KCAA-1050AM. To find out more about Michelle, visit her website at www.michelleskeen.com.
Published October 3, 2007 by New Harbinger Publications. 159 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help. Non-fiction

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