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Russ Harris

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

Russ Harris (born 1966, Liverpool, United Kingdom) is a medical practitioner, psychotherapist, author, and life coach.[1]. Harris graduated Newcastle-Upon-Tyne University as a medical practitioner in 1989 and migrated to Melbourne, Australia, in 1991 where he began working as a GP [2]. Harris is an internationally renowned trainer of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and has written eight books on the topic [3].

In 2015, Harris collaborated with the World Health Organisation to create an ACT protocol to aid refugees in managing their stress and coping with adversity.


Harris migrated to Melbourne, Australia, to established medical practice. During his late twenties, he became disillusioned with the practice of medicine. Despite having achieved his primary aim in life -  becoming a doctor - he suffered from anxiety and depression [4]. Harris sought to understand his own mental health and that of his patients, many who also suffered psychologically. His search for appropriate therapy lead him to the study of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

ACT is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy based on the innovative use of mindfulness and values. The core tenets of the therapy generate the acronym: A – accept your thoughts and feelings and stay present; C – choose a valued direction; T – take action [5]. ACT is an evidence-based therapy with more than 350 randomized control trials demonstrating its efficacy [6]. Harris trained in the United States with the creator of ACT therapy Steve Hayes. In a bid to present ACT to the average person, thus negating their need for a trained therapist, Harris wrote his first book in 2007, titled 'The Happiness Trap'. Harris developed a unique model for training called 'ACT Made Simple'; this became the basis for his textbook of the same name. His training is based on the core values of simplicity, clarity, and authenticity [7]. Harris believes people can learn to be happier [8]


ACT-based self-help books[edit]

  • Harris, Russ (2007). The Happiness Trap. Exisle Publishing. ISBN 9780908988907 Search this book on ..
  • Harris, Russ (2009). ACT with Love. New Harbinger. ISBN 1458756475 Search this book on ..
  • Harris, Russ (2010). The Confidence Gap. Penquin Group Australia. ISBN 0834827662 Search this book on ..
  • Harris, Russ (2011).The Reality Slap. Exisle Publishing. ISBN 0834827662.
  • Harris, Russ (2013). The Happiness Trap Pocketbook. Exisle Publishing. ISBN 1921966181 Search this book on ..
  • Ciarrochi, Joseph; Bailey, Ann; Harris, Russ (2014). The Weight Escape. Penquin Books Australia. ISBN 9781743481141 Search this book on .

ACT textbooks[edit]

External Links[edit]


  1. "Russ Harris". Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  2. "Dr Russ Harris biography". Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  3. "Russ Harris". 2012-11-26. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  4. "Stop chasing happiness, author says". AusDoc.PLUS. 2013-07-17. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  5. "The Happiness Trap: A Conversation with Dr. Russ Harris on the Foundations of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy". HotDoc. 2019-03-12. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  6. "ACT Randomized Controlled Trials since 1986 | Association for Contextual Behavioral Science". Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  7. "Australia and New Zealand ACBS Chapter - Board Member Bio's | Association for Contextual Behavioral Science". Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  8. "Making Australia Happy". ABC iview. Retrieved 2020-06-15.

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