Mindfulness for Two


An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Approach to Mindfulness in Psychotherapy

about Mindfulness for Two

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about the authors
Kelly G. Wilson, Ph.D. is associate professor of psychology at the University of Mississippi, director of the Mississippi Center for Contextual Psychology, and founder of One Life Education & Training. He is coauthor on the original text on acceptance and commitment therapy. He resides with his wife and two of his three daughters in Oxford, MS. 

Troy DuFrene is a writer specializing in topics in psychology, especially acceptance and commitment therapy. He is coauthor of Coping with OCD and is a contributing blogger for Psychology Today, where he writes the column "Fumbling for Change." He divides his time between the San Francisco Bay Area and Austin, TX. 


In mindfulness meditation we bring our attention to bear gently on our own breath. What would it look like to bring that quality of attention to our clients in a therapeutic interaction? Mindfulness for two describes in detail what takes our clients and us from the present moment and provides a roadmap for finding our way back into the room. This book is based on current scientific theory and evidence, but does not read like a science text.

praise for Mindfulness for Two

Kelly Wilson does a masterful job of framing the many different ways in which a therapist grounded in mindfulness might skillfully nurture greater awareness and self-knowing in his or her clients. His approach is a very creative use of mindfulness within the dyadic relationship, both verbal and non-verbal. Of course, it is impossible to engage in authentically without continually listening deeply to and learning from the myriad "dyadic relationships" we have within ourselves, as he so aptly and honestly recounts. This book makes a seminal contribution to the growing literature on ACT and its interface with mindfulness theory and practice.

—Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Full Catastrophe Living and Letting Everything Become Your Teacher and coauthor of The Mindful Way Through Depression

This is a book of enormous breadth and depth, a book full of wisdom from an internationally acclaimed clinician and researcher. Wilson builds bridges between therapy traditions in a wonderful way. For those who already teach mindfulness as part of their therapy, this is a must-read. For those who are yet to do so, this book is the best invitation possible.

—Mark Williams, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Oxford and coauthor of The Mindful Way Through Depression

There is tremendous change occurring in our collective thinking regarding empirically supported interventions. Mindfulness for Two portends the direction of this change, where the scientist, therapist and client are motivated and affected by the same set of principles. Mindfulness in general and ACT in particular apply to both the client and the therapist, and Wilson and DuFrene are insightful, emotionally honest, and pragmatic. This is a refreshing and timely contribution to therapy process.

— Thomas J. Dishion, Ph.D., director of the Child and Family Center and professor of psychology and school psychology at the University of Oregon

This is an extraordinary book. Wilson speaks to the reader directly and honestly. He uses not only state-of-the-art scientific research but also his own most intimate personal experiences, his considerable clinical wisdom, and even great poetry to explain some of the most technical concepts in modern behavior analysis. The book avoids getting bogged down in detailed theoretical analysis of questionable relevance to clinical work. Of equal importance, it avoids the kind of unprincipled, superficial technology common to many clinical guidebooks. Wilson demonstrates how the ancient concept of mindfulness, when understood within the context of modern behavior analysis and the new behavior therapy known as acceptance and commitment therapy, provides fresh insights into the psychotherapy process. Mindfulness for Two is a must-read for both novice clinicians seeking an introductory treatment of modern behavior analytic psychotherapy and for seasoned clinicians who wish to deepen their understanding and skills.

—James D. Herbert, Ph.D., professor of psychology and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Drexel University

Wilson and DuFrene have provided therapists with the clearest understanding of ACT and mindfulness that I have encountered. They explain the basic theory of emotions and human learning in simple, clear, and understandable prose. Also, I found this book rich in philosophical insights concerning the human condition. Their models of assessment and intervention flow from this basic knowledge and philosophy. This work will help all therapists see a new way to understand and assess their clients’ suffering and potential for improving their lives. They will also learn to construction treatment plans to make such a transition.

—Raymond DiGiuseppe, Ph.D., ABPP, professor and chair of the Department of Psychology at St. John's University

This book provides the clearest description I've seen of how understanding both mindfulness and behavior analysis contributes to effective therapy. It also provides unique, creative, and powerful exercises to help therapists cultivate mindful awareness of their interactions with their clients to create life-changing conversations.

—Ruth A. Baer, professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky

In this book Wilson, an internationally respected therapist, provides an outstanding and innovative overview of new trends in behavior therapy and mindfulness and shares his insights into the complexities of what happens when we try to use our own mind to heal the minds of others. Beautifully written, clear and bristling with wisdoms from a very experienced therapist, this gem of a book will be a pleasure to read and a source for much reflection and learning.

—Paul Gilbert, author of Overcoming Depression and The Compassionate Mind

As a clinical psychologist who applies mindfulness therapy to clients with addictive behavior problems, I highly recommend Wilson’s Mindfulness for Two. As stated in the preface, “If you're offended by me speaking directly to you, or if you're unwilling to sit with hard things, both your own and your clients', this book isn't for you.”  But for those readers who are wanting to know how to be more mindful in their therapy practice and to learn how to help their clients be more aware in the present moment, this book is definitely for you.

—G. Alan Marlatt, Ph.D., professor of psychology and director of the Addictive Behaviors Research Center at the University of Washington

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