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Are you thriving, or simply surviving?

The Reality Slap is the latest book by Dr Russ Harris, and it aims to help you find fulfillment when life takes an unexpected turn – be that an unexpected divorce, the death of a loved one, or the loss of a job. Based on the scientifically proven, mindfulness-based approach called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), The Reality Slap promises to teach you “how to cope effectively when life hurts: not just how to survive, but how to thrive.”

One of Australia’s leading trainers in ACT, Dr Harris gained a popular following when he released the international bestseller, The Happiness Trap, which introduced mindfulness skills, and taught readers to rise above their fears, doubts and insecurities.

With The Reality Slap, Harris focuses more specifically on how we handle the situations that ‘slap’ us in the face.

“The reality slap hurts. We don’t expect it, we don’t like it, and we definitely don’t want it,” Harris writes in his introduction to the self-help book. More importantly, however, Harris reinforces that the event that causes our rude awakening is only the beginning. “What comes next is much harder. For once the slap wakes us up, we then face the gap.”

Through this book, Harris offers tools and techniques to help us cross the ‘reality gap’: to move away from the life we have and towards the life we really want, whilst navigating painful feelings of envy, jealousy, disappointment, shock, grief and sadness.

As a medical practitioner and psychotherapist, Harris himself is no stranger to a dose of reality. But his experience does not come through treating patients. As Harris explains in the book, his own ‘slap’ came when, two years after the birth of his son, his “beautiful baby” was diagnosed with autism.

“My world crumbled,” Harris writes, remembering the diagnosis. “I have never felt such pain in all of my life.”

Harris has used this personal experience to introduce a strategy that is designed to help you deal with your own ‘reality gap’. Encompassing four stages, The Reality Slap is structured around each of the four steps: hold yourself kindly; drop the anchor; take a stand; and find the treasure.

The book is packed with practical exercises and realistic examples that the reader can relate to. So, if you’re in the midst of turbulent times, or if you simply want to gain a better handle on your own life, this book will not only help you survive, it will help you thrive.

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About the Author

Lizzy has more than ten years’ experience in the print and digital publishing arena and is the Editor at Single File. Having moved from the UK to Australia in 2008, Lizzy has worked for a number of leading publishers in Sydney and has particular expertise in the health, wellness and travel markets. If you have any questions for Lizzy, you can send them across by email to

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