Skip to content

Crisis Integration With Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Theory and Practice

Katrina Carlsson, M.D., Ph.D., Kirk D. Strosahl, Ph.D., and Laura Weiss Roberts, M.D., M.A.

  • ISBN 978-1-61537-325-3
  • Item #37325

View Pricing

List Price

APA Members

20% off

APA Resident-Fellow Members

25% off

Buying In Canada or Europe?


Frightening and destabilizing as they may be, personal crises can also provide meaningful opportunities for learning and growth. For individuals struggling with mental disorders, however, mitigating the former and fostering the latter can be challenging, particularly in the context of what are often time-limited conversations or a limited number of visits.

In Crisis Integration With Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Theory and Practice, health care professionals will find a practical guide, informed by both theory and evidence, to the psychological skills patients need to deal with and grow through crises.

Enlivened by detailed and engaging clinical dialogues—all based on real-world clinical practice—this book introduces the acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) model, demonstrating how it applies to findings from crisis studies and can be integrated into clinical practice. It then delves into the three core processes of ACT:

  • Mindfulness, as understood in terms of predictive coding as well as non-systematic interoceptive exposure, and its effectiveness in both acute and chronic crises
  • Self-compassion and how the action of bringing affection and kindness to oneself during intense torment can be crucial to acceptance
  • Engagement with life and the importance of controlling one's own behavior in the midst of otherwise uncontrollable crisis-provoking events

Although crises come in a variety of forms, Crisis Integration With Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Theory and Practice argues that the core processes that underpin the generation and maintenance of a crisis response are essentially the same and helps to simplify the conceptualization of complex clinical presentations.

By accessibly and deftly melding crisis science, evolutionary psychology, neuroscience, behavioral psychology, and the practice of mindfulness, this volume offers readers—be they psychiatrists, psychiatric residents, psychologists, psychotherapists, or other health care professionals—an approach that is easy to learn, simple to remember, and applicable to any crisis situation that their patients may be confronting.


  • Introduction
  • Acknowledgements
  • Part I: The Fundamentals
  • Chapter 1. Crisis Fundamentals
  • Chapter 2. ACT Model of Crisis Instigation
  • Chapter 3. ACT Model of Crisis Integration
  • Part II: Advanced Concepts and Applications
  • Chapter 4. A Field Guide to Mindfulness
  • Chapter 5. Mindfulness of Body and Feeling
  • Chapter 6. Acceptance and Self-Compassion
  • Chapter 7. Engagement

About the Authors

Katrina Carlsson, M.D., Ph.D., is senior consultant in psychiatry at PRIMA Child and Adult Psychiatry in Stockholm, Sweden

Kirk D. Strosahl, Ph.D., is President of HeartMatters Consulting LLC, in Wheeler, Oregon.

Laura Weiss Roberts, M.D., M.A., is Chairman and Katharine Dexter McCormick and Stanley McCormick Memorial Professor for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, California.

Crisis Integration With Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a well-researched, clearly organized, practical guide for practitioners who wish to apply Acceptance and CommitmentTherapy to their work with patients experiencing trauma. The authors delve into the nature of trauma and crisis and address its perceptual, somatic, emotional, conceptual, and behavioral dimensions in a comprehensive way. They build a conceptual framework for understanding how the elements of the ACT model foster resilience and offer ample practical techniques and clinical illustrations for working with trauma. In addition, the neuroscience research supporting ACT's efficacy in terms of learning and behavior change is made explicit throughout. This book provides a superb balance between theory and practical applications.—Dan Clurman, Professor of Psychology, Golden Gate University, Co-author of Let's Talk: An Essential Guide to Skillful Communication

Much of my clinical work in addiction psychiatry focuses on engagement and acceptance: helping my patients, through motivational interviewing and mindfulness exercises, to engage the healthy parts of their neurobiology while tricking their brain to let go of cravings. This book brings it all together. It integrates masterfully the theory and practice of ACT and explains, step by step, how to work with a patient through the most seemingly-impossible-to-overcome crises.—Petros Levounis, M.D., M.A., Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry, and Associate Dean, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Chief of Service, University Hospital, Newark, New Jersey, Director, Northern New Jersey MAT Center of Excellence, President-Elect, American Psychiatric Association, Co-author of Motivational Interviewing for Clinical Practice

A guide to help clinicians manage and support patients in psychological crisis, this text is as warm and compassionate as it is scholarly and intellectually appealing. It firmly places mindfulness-based therapeutic strategies in the context of contemporary neuroscience, and demonstrates their practical use with case vignettes that will move even a seasoned reader to tears. But it will also instill hope, by sketching out ways of adapting to adversity through inner change.—Markus Heilig, M.D., Ph.D., Vice Chancellor's Professor of Psychiatry, and Director, Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience, Linkoping University, Sweden, Member, Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences, Fellow, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, Author of The Thirteenth Step: Addiction in the Age of Brain Science

Written in a highly accessible way by a world-class group of authors, this book shows how crisis integration can ensue from extremely challenging life experiences. It carefully walks the reader through the science and the theory and practice of howpsychological flexibilitymay be acquired and taught.You will learn about each component of the flexibilityprocesses and how they may alter the trajectory of people's lives.These processes apply to you and to the lives of those you serve. They apply to all of us. They are worth learning and you have an excellent guide in front of you.—Steven C. Hayes, Ph.D., Foundation Professor of Psychology, University of Nevada, Reno, Co-developer of ACT and author of A Liberated Mind

This is a masterful work on how to apply the wisdom of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to patients in crisis. Complex theory and research are covered in an easy-to-understand manner, but especially impressive are the concrete illustrations of how the concepts can be used with people who are suffering.—Kristin Neff, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Texas, Austin, Texas, Author of Self-Compassion, Fierce Self-Compassion, and The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook

We all experience a crisis at some point in our lives. And often our response makes things worse. This book shows us how the latest developments in psychology and neuroscience can help us to understand the nature of crisis and how best to respond. Metacognition, our ability to reflect on our thoughts and feelings, is the key.—Chris Frith, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Neuropsychology, University College London, United Kingdom, Co-author of What Makes Us Social? and Two Heads: Where Two Neuroscientists Explore How Our Brains Work Together with Other Brains

This is a beautiful book! It describes—with numerous explicit examples—patients in crisis and how we can help them to get through their crisis. Despite integrating the most recent and rather sophisticated science from psychology, psychiatry, and neuroscience, the book reads with a surprising ease and pleasant lightness. Intellectually quite challenging concepts are introduced without getting stuck in dry explanations and are well grounded in the phenomenology of body, mind, and life. This book is a must-read both for the experienced psychiatrist, because it bridges between clinical practice and the underlying theoretical concepts, and for the novice, because it teaches the practical tools needed to care for our patients.—Wolf Mehling, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Family and Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA

Finally,we have what wasreally needed—aunification of the frameworks of cognitive neuroscience and psychiatric practice. This wonderfulbook providesreal understanding of how theexternalenvironment influences the forming of the human mind.—Professor Martin Ingvar, M.D., Ph.D., Barbro andBernardOsher Professor of Integrative Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Inthe depths of crisis, we often find our greatest growth.Crisis Integration With Acceptance and Commitment Therapyis the guidethatclinicians need to help their clients not justtoovercomehardships but toemerge enriched in vitality and wisdom. A true delight!—Poul Perris, M.D., Psychotherapist Director, Swedish Institute for CBT and Schema Therapy

The authors deliver a clear and heartfelt appreciation of mindfulness, with its different forms and uses, all solidly based on a rare combination of scientific understanding with deep personal practice. A hugely readable and informative volume.—Elizabeth English, Ph.D., Teacher of Mindfulness at University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, Author ofJourneys to the Deep: A Gentle Guide to Mindfulness Meditation

Related Products

Become an APA Member
Join Now