Dr. Steven Hayes, a Foundation Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada, has researched language and cognition and is best known for his theories on acceptance, mindfulness, and values. His life’s work has focused on behavioral analysis, the nature of human language, and how these apply to the understanding and lessening of human suffering. Dr. Hayes has developed multiple tools that address psychological problems and solutions.
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As someone who has suffered from a panic disorder, Dr. Hayes understands how disabling the condition can become. It took a 40-year journey to learn how to carry the pain of his past. He was able to find a way forward and learned from his experience to become a respected psychology professor and author who is renowned for his work in the treatment of psychological disorders.
Dr. Hayes uses the concepts of being open, aware, and actively engaged in the processing of negative feelings. He teaches people how to be open cognitively and emotionally, allowing emotions to come and go. His clients learn how to allocate attention in a flexible, fluid, and voluntary way, in his words; “How to shift, stick, broaden, or narrow” various emotions. Being actively engaged is the third tool for handling problematic feelings.
After more than 5,000 studies and eight hundred randomized trials, Dr. Hayes learned what is important in achieving mental health. He reviewed the data and evidence and distilled them down to a small manageable set of skills to help those hindered by negative emotional feelings learn how to control them. These are the tools that develop mindfulness, acceptance, and values and lead to learning how to live life in the best way.
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Episode also available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/30PvU9C