The Five Hurdles to Happiness: And the Mindful Path to Overcoming Them by Mitch Abblett (Author)


A practical approach to becoming aware of the “five hindrances”–the negative qualities that inhibit living the awakened life–and to breaking free of them in order to live more mindfully, effectively, compassionately.

Five obstacles stand in between you and true happiness. What are they and how can you overcome them? Buddhist traditions teach that there are five negative qualities, or hindrances, that inhibit people from living an awakened life.

Here, Mitch Abblett gives this teaching a modern, secular interpretation and helps you identify the hurdles that are blocking your contentment—desire, hostility, sluggishness, worry, and doubt—and how you can take your first steps to overcoming them. Combining traditional wisdom with contemporary psychology and using examples from his psychotherapy practice, Abblett uses the hurdles as a frame for engaging you in a process of contemplating your own life and learning to lean into your experience rather than merely repeating bad habits. By doing this, you can break free from the hurdles and live more mindfully, effectively, and compassionately.


Dr. Mitch Abblett is a clinical psychologist, author, consultant and speaker. As a clinician, his services focus on work with children, teens, parents, families and adults with whom he creates solutions for a range of concerns or desired growth areas. A clinician in the Boston area for over 15 years, he brings a wealth of clinical experience from various settings (hospitals, outpatient clinics, residential facilities and therapeutic schools) to his practice. For 11 years he served as the Clinical Director of the Manville School at Judge Baker Children’s Center in Boston – a Harvard-affiliated therapeutic school program for children and adolescents with emotional, behavioral and learning difficulties. He has also served as the Executive Director of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy.

As a consultant and speaker, Dr. Abblett empowers changes clients through collaborative, tailored interventions. His consultative and training work focuses on mindfulness, compassion and value-driven action and empowering clients to communicate skillfully and authentically. He improves clients’ school and work effectiveness, reduces the effects of stress, and increases skills for health self-management and daily productivity. Dr. Abblett’s writing includes a mindfulness-based book for clinicians (The Heat of the Moment: Mindful Management of Difficult Clients; WW Norton & Co.), Mindfulness for Teen Depression and Helping Your Angry Teen (both with New Harbinger), five decks of mindfulness practice cards such as Growing Mindful: A Deck of Mindfulness Practices for All Ages: PESI Publishing). His upcoming book, The Five Hurdles to Happiness-and the Mindful Path to Overcoming Them will be released by Shambhala Publications in August 2018. He also blogs regarding mindfulness applications in family and relationships on Mindful.org.

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