Steven C. Hayes
Steven C. Hayes (born 1948) is Nevada Foundation Professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. He is known for an analysis of human language and cognition (Relational Frame Theory), and its application to various psychological difficulties (his work on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy).
Hayes' work is somewhat controversial, and in 2006 was the subject of a lengthy story in Time magazine, as well as related stories in the popular media around the world including Salon.com, the Brazilian news magazine Veja, the German magazine Emotion, O: The Oprah Magazine, and other such outlets. His popular book Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life, rose to #20 on the Amazon.com list of all books in early 2006, and became the #1 self-help book in the US for a month, for a time outselling "Harry Potter" on Amazon.
What seems to be most controversial, at least in the popular media (as is shown by the title of the piece in Time: "Happiness Isn't Normal"), is his claim that pain is ubiquitous and dominantly linked to normal language processes rather than an abnormality. This has in particular placed Acceptance and Commitment Therapy somewhat at odds with mainstream Cognitive Behavior Therapy and empirical clinical psychology, despite the fact that Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is a form of behavioral and cognitive therapy.
A number of similar methods have recently emerged in cognitive behavior therapy, however, including Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy, suggesting that there is an ongoing struggle between traditional and new methods (Hayes, 2004). There are indications that these differences are narrowing over time as support for the key role of psychological flexibility is found in traditional cognitive behavior therapy, and as acceptance, mindfulness, and values enter into mainstream CBT (Hayes et al., 2011),
Hayes has been President of Division 25 of the American Psychological Association, of the American Association of Applied and Preventive Psychology, the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy (now known as the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies), and the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. He was the first Secretary-Treasurer of the American Psychological Society (now known as the Association for Psychological Science), which he helped form. An author of 38 books and 550 articles, in 1992 he was listed by the Institute for Scientific Information as the 30th "highest impact" psychologist in the world during 1986-1990 based on the citation impact of his writings during that period.
He has been married three times and has four children.
- Hayes, S. C., Barnes-Holmes, D., & Roche, B. (Eds.). (2001). Relational Frame Theory: A Post-Skinnerian account of human language and cognition. New York: Plenum Press. ISBN 0-306-46600-7
- Hayes, S. C. (2004). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Relational Frame Theory, and the third wave of behavior therapy. Behavior Therapy, 35, 639-665. doi: 10.1016/S0005-7894(04)80013-3
- Hayes, S. C., Villatte, M., Levin, M. & Hildebrandt, M. (2011). Open, aware, and active: Contextual approaches as an emerging trend in the behavioral and cognitive therapies. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 7,141-168. doi: 10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-032210-104449
- Hayes, Steven C.; Spencer Smith (2005). Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life: The New Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. New Harbinger Publications. ISBN 1-57224-425-9.
- Hayes, Steven C.; Kirk D. Strosahl; Kelly G. Wilson (2011). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Second Edition: The Process and Practice of Mindful Change (2nd ed.). Guilford Press. ISBN 978-1-60918-962-4.
- Hayes, Steven C.; Victoria M. Follette; Marsha M. Linehan (2011). Mindfulness and Acceptance: Expanding the Cognitive-Behavioral Tradition. Guilford Press. ISBN 978-1-60918-989-1.