Physician & Psychotherapist

Dr Russ Harris, M.B.B.S., is a physician and psychotherapist, working in private practice in Melbourne, Australia. He graduated in medicine from the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England, in 1989, and emigrated to Australia in 1991.  As a GP, he became increasingly interested in the psychological aspects of health and wellbeing, and increasingly disenchanted with writing prescriptions. Ultimately this interest led to a career change – from medical practitioner to therapist.

Since 2005, Russ has run over 800 two-day workshops and provided ACT training for over 80,000 health professionals. He has authored four ACT textbooks (ACT Made Simple, Trauma Focused ACT, Getting Unstuck in ACT, ACT Questions & Answers), and six ACT-based self-help books (The Happiness Trap, The Reality Slap, The Confidence Gap, ACT with Love, The Weight Escape, and The Happiness Trap Pocketbook). His best-known book, The Happiness Trap, has sold over one million copies worldwide, with translations into over 30 languages. (To download the opening chapter, click here.)

In 2015 Russ created an ACT protocol for the World Health Organisation, for use in refugee camps. The WHO have now published 3 RCTs based on this protocol, showing that it not only significantly reduces depression and PTSD but also prevents the onset of mental health disorders in those at high risk. Russ also wrote and designed a cartoon-based book for the WHO (based on ACT) called ‘Doing What Matters In Times of Stress’; on the WHO website, this is now their most commonly downloaded mental health resource.