The Strength of Self-Acceptance

Theory, Practice and Research

  • Michael E. Bernard

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Theory and Research

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Louis Hoffman, Abraham J. Lopez, Michael Moats
      Pages 3-17
    3. Daniel David, Steven Jay Lynn, Lama Surya Das
      Pages 19-38
    4. Stevan Lars Nielsen, Aurora Szentagotai, Oana A. Gavita, Viorel Lupu
      Pages 39-64
    5. Albert Ellis
      Pages 65-72
    6. Tami Jeffcoat, Steven C. Hayes
      Pages 73-92
    7. Tom G. Patterson, Stephen Joseph
      Pages 93-106
    8. Aurora Szentagotai, Daniel David
      Pages 121-137
    9. Martha J. Falkenstein, David A. F. Haaga
      Pages 139-151
  3. Practice

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 153-153
    2. Michael E. Bernard, Ann Vernon, Mark Terjesen, Robyn Kurasaki
      Pages 155-192
    3. Oana Alexandra Gavita, Raymond DiGiuseppe, Daniel David
      Pages 193-214
    4. Michael S. Broder
      Pages 215-227
    5. Monica O’Kelly
      Pages 229-246
    6. Jennifer A. Gregg
      Pages 247-262
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 281-288

About this book


The rationale for this book is the exploration of how different theories (e.g., humanistic, cognitive-behavioral), theologies (e.g., Christianity, Buddhism) and therapies (e.g., REBT, CBT, ACT) view self-acceptance as a catalyst for the alleviation of emotional misery as well as an energizer supporting growth towards happiness and fulfillment.

 An additional rationale for this book is the desire to see self-acceptance recognized in the field of positive psychology as a fundamental character strength contributing to flourishing.

Divided between theory and practice, The Strength of Self-Acceptance assembles current research  and seminal theory on self-acceptance both as scientific construct and as character strength in one lucid, well-documented reference.

An expert panel of international scholars and practitioners examines links between self-acceptance and related concepts such as self-esteem, self-awareness, acceptance of others, and happiness.

Specific areas for practice include parenting, education, relationships, women's and older people's issues, and chronic illness, as well as guidelines for developing self-acceptance in therapy with all clients, and for measuring client progress. Throughout, self-acceptance is revealed not merely as a desirable state, but one essential to positive development and fulfillment. Included in the coverage:

  • What Maslow, Rogers and May have to say about self-acceptance
  • Albert Ellis and Steven Hayes present their views
  • Buddhist radical acceptance and the willingness to experience and accept whatever is taking place in the moment
  • How Christian scripture through the lessons of Jesus Christ teaches that sin does not reduce human worth
  • The human biological propensity for self-depreciation and the importance of teaching unconditional self-acceptance
  • Ways to measure self-acceptance.
  • Classroom and counselling strategies for teaching self-acceptance to young people.
  • Self-acceptance as an integral component of comprehensive mental health programsThe importance of social interest and responsibility in the encouragement of self-acceptance
  • Compassionate self-acceptance and the aging process

 The Strength of Self-Acceptance offers a profound understanding of the nuances of self-acceptance to scholars in theology, psychology, counseling, and psychotherapy. In addition, the book should have an immediate impact on the work of counselors, clinicians and therapists.


Measuring and characterizing unconditional self-acceptance Self-Acceptance and Happiness Self-Acceptance and Psychological Flexibility Self-Acceptance and Self-Esteem Self-Acceptance and aging Self-Acceptance and raising children Self-Acceptance and self-compassion Self-Acceptance and successful relationships Self-Acceptance and the education of young people Self-Acceptance and women Self-Acceptance in Buddhism Self-Acceptance in Christian Theology Self-Acceptance in Humanistic Psychology and Psychotherapy

Editors and affiliations

  • Michael E. Bernard
    • 1
  1. 1., Melbourne Graduate School of EducationUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Behavioral Science
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4614-6805-9
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4614-6806-6
  • Buy this book on publisher's site