ACT for Adolescents


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About the Author

Sheri L. Turrell, PhD, is a clinical psychologist living with her family in Toronto, ON, Canada. She is passionate about her clinical work with adolescents, helping them to move towards a life that matters. Sheri is the primary investigator, working in collaboration with Mary Bell, for studies of group-based acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and a mobile app for adolescents. Sheri runs a full-time private practice, and enjoys being a consultant for graduate students and mental health service providers who are interested in learning ACT. Mary Bell, MSW, RSW, is a social worker working in private practice and clinical roles in Singapore and Toronto, ON, Canada. She specializes in helping youths and their parents through the adolescent transition. Her clinical affiliations have included The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), and Trillium Health Partners. She has found her 'true north' in sharing acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) with both clients and other practitioners.


"ACT for Adolescents is a well-written resource that steps therapists through the hexaflex model, session by session. The authors have a deep understanding of young people and how to approach therapeutic work with them. This book is a way to see the acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) model through the eyes of two experienced adolescent therapists. A practical approach for setting up group and individual therapy with young people."
--Louise Hayes, PhD, senior fellow at Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health; and The University of Melbourne; and coauthor of The Thriving Adolescent and Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life for Teens
"ACT for Adolescents is a must-read for professionals working with adolescents and their primary caregivers. Turrell and Bell emphasize the acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) view of person-in-environment, linking the interdependence and mutual influence of adolescents in their social and physical environments. This perspective in a helping relationship fosters empowerment, and this book guides a flexible, holistic approach that clinicians working with adolescents will benefit from. Readers will gain novel and practical ACT approaches to working with adolescents."
--Timothy Gordon MSW, RSW, social worker; ACT instructor at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada; and peer-reviewed ACT trainer

"Hats off to Turrell and Bell for giving us a high-quality manual to support clinicians' use of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) with adolescents! They've tested and refined their interventions over years, and now provide specific instructions on how to use them in both individual and group treatments. The ACTion group protocol follows a ten-session model, and it's filled with teen-friendly metaphors and supported by online mindfulness exercises. Bravo! Truly what we needed."
--Patricia J. Robinson, PhD, director of training and program evaluation at Mountainview Consulting Group; international ACT trainer; author of numerous articles, chapters, and books; and coauthor of Inside This Moment and Real Behavior Change in Primary Care

"Sheri Turrell and Mary Bell have developed a step-by-step approach to using acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) with teenagers, in individual and group treatment, brimming with new exercises and metaphors, and creatively adapted traditional ACT interventions. Amongst the strengths of this book are its integration of self-compassion training and the powerful ACT matrix model."
--Benjamin Schoendorff, international ACT trainer; director of the Contextual Psychology Institute in Montreal, QC, Canada; and coauthor of The Essential Guide to the ACT Matrix

"Turrell and Bell are adolescent pros! In ACT for Adolescents, they provide a readable, organized, and practical protocol for treating adolescents using acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). They clearly describe sophisticated interventions, and include dozens of powerful and engaging experiential exercises that will surely engage and resonate with young people. This book can be used as a treatment manual, allowing the reader to implement ACT immediately and effectively with teens, with step-by-step instructions to guide the therapist through each session. The entire protocol can be implemented in a group setting, and specific modifications are suggested for group work. The authors are clearly gifted therapists, and their experience, wisdom, and respect for adolescents comes through on every page. Any therapist who works with adolescents will find powerful tools that can be used immediately to improve their outcomes with adolescents in this very accessible book."
--Britt H. Rathbone, MSSW, LCSW-C, expert adolescent therapist, trainer, author, and coauthor of What Works with Teens, Dialectical Behavior Therapy for At-Risk Adolescents, and Parenting a Teen Who Has Intense Emotions

"Turrell and Bell have made a valuable and timely contribution to the field. The authors provide a model that is comprehensive enough in theory and practice to allow a confident foray into using acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) with adolescent clients. At the same time, the program is flexible and not overly prescriptive, which allows the clinician to walk alongside the adolescent wherever they need to go that day in the service of the therapy goals. Clients will feel that the work is being tailored to them in the moment, which it is, and not some imposed system the adolescent is expected to fit into."
--Christopher McCurry, PhD, clinical child psychologist in private practice, and author of Parenting Your Anxious Child with Mindfulness and Acceptance and Working with Parents of Anxious Children

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