Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for the Treatment of PTSD & Trauma Related Problems by Walser and Westrup provides an excellent overview of PTSD and the various challenges faced by those who are personally grappling with the impact of trauma in their lives. The essence of the book however lies in the application of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as a timely and empirically based treatment approach for trauma related difficulties. The authors outline and incorporate ACT in a manner that is clear and approachable for those already familiar with ACT, and those who are interested in learning more about this evidence-based treatment approach. The book provides a clear and concise road map for treatment using ACT in a manner that is consistent with other state of the art empirically based therapies (i.e., exposure) and the growing literature on mindfulness and acceptance based approaches. In addition, it is rich with practical case examples, mindfulness and acceptance exercises, and steeped in metaphors that facilitate the work of therapy. The worksheets, CD-ROM and reference resources complement the material.
The authors also address the essential role of the therapist as an integral part of the therapeutic process, and convey the value in recognizing our respective role and the related challenges faced as clinicians who are often caught up in similar trappings as the person across from us. The book invites the reader to discern in a non-judgmental manner if ACT is well suited for them given what ACT asks of the therapist in terms of their own process, perspective and willingness. Consistent with ACT, Walser and Westrup provide a framework for living a meaningful and valued life that goes beyond the diagnosis and resolution of PTSD. The authors articulate a context of possibilities for living a more complete, rich and vital life that extends beyond amelioration of anxiety. I highly recommend this book.