Despite ongoing criticism of strict beauty ideals, cosmetic surgeons and diet pill manufacturers continue to thrive and tolerance for body flaws seems to lessen every day. More and more people have begun to internalize a need for physical perfection. And the psychological distress that accompanies body image dissatisfaction leaves many individuals in a long-term struggle.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Body Image Dissatisfaction is a manual for practitioners seeking to help clients let go of self-judgment and preoccupation with body image. Mindfulness and acceptance approaches target the underlying anxiety and perfectionism that keep many trapped in destructive relationships with their bodies. This book presents a clear plan for showing clients how to clarify their values to help broaden their lives and refocus on what is most meaningful and vital to them. It presents a clear ACT protocol, complete with sample scripts, therapy exercises, case studies, and worksheets, for treating body image dissatisfaction. You'll learn from a wide range of clinical examples of body image dissatisfaction, some of which explore manifestations in medical populations. The treatment protocol in this book can be effectively applied to both men and women, across a wide age range.
“Body image dissatisfaction is particularly well-suited to an acceptance-based approach, yet there has been little to guide therapists in confronting this sensitive topic with their clients. I commend the authors for taking on this challenging issue and providing a clear-eyed yet empathic approach that is equally useful whether a client’s concerns reflect primarily distorted perceptions, or, at least to some extent, more reality-based apprehensions regarding others’ potentially negative responses to their physical presentation.”
—Linda Craighead, Ph.D., professor of psychology and director of clinical training at Emory University in Atlanta, GA
“After observing her for over a year in complex psychological settings, I have been impressed by how Adria Pearson ‘walks the talk’ of acceptance and commitment therapy. She seems always to be ACT-consistent by embodying genuineness, honesty, and courage in all her actions. This book is just like that… she knows the concepts well enough to express them in ways that are equally meaningful for both therapists and clients who struggle with body image dissatisfaction.”
—Kenneth D. Cole, Ph.D., director of training at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System
About the Authors:
Adria N. Pearson, Ph.D., received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno, and completed her internship at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System. Pearson has presented at national conferences on the topic of body image and eating disorders and has written articles in peer-reviewed journals on mindfulness, acceptance, and trauma. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System and lives in the greater Los Angeles area.
Michelle Heffner, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist in Nevada and coauthor ofThe Anorexia Workbook. She has written and developed professional book chapters, online continuing education courses, and peer-reviewed journal articles.
Victoria M. Follette, Ph.D., is Foundation Professor of Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno, and a clinical scientist specializing in interpersonal violence and body image problems.
Foreword writer Steven C. Hayes, Ph.D., is University of Nevada Foundation Professor of Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. An author of thirty books and nearly 400 scientific articles, he has focused his career on understanding language and cognition functionally and applying this perspective to prevention and intervention, primarily acceptance and commitment therapy.