Online Trauma Training
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Master Clinician Session - Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Post Traumatic Problems in Living (Master Clinician Video, 1.5 Credits)

with Sonja Batten, PhD

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Many individuals who suffer with post traumatic stress following acts of terror, war, disaster and violence struggle to regain their pre-trauma lives. Once held personal values are often lost to disbelief and pain. They are also lost to the efforts and desire to avoid traumatic memories, painful feelings and unwanted thoughts. This loss, plus the avoidance strategies themselves, can have a powerful negative impact on individuals diagnosed with PTSD and other trauma related disorders.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is an intervention that targets avoidance by addressing problematic control strategies; and by promoting acceptance of internal experience through practices of willingness and being present in the current moment. Additionally, ACT explicitly explores valued living and works with clients to regain lost values by engaging in behavior change that is consistent with those values. ACT is a structured intervention that applies mindfulness and behavioral techniques in the treatment of PTSD. Although the research with ACT and the treatment of PTSD is young in its development, it is promising. By clinical case example, the workshop will illustrate the flexible application of the core components of ACT and explore case formulation for treatment.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe why ACT is a particular salient therapy for treating PTSD
  • Identify treatment scenarios in which ACT is appropriate
  • Explain the utility of ACT as both a stand-alone treatment and an addition to other forms of treatment
  • Analyze how suppression and avoidance actually exacerbate PTSD symptomology
  • Outline ways in which ACT adds to the field of PTSD treatment, including differences and similarities to other forms of treatment
  • Describe the “Hexaflex” model and identify its points
  • Internalize an understanding of how to utilize the Hexaflex within the context of treatment


Sonja Batten, PhD is a psychologist who currently works on mental health policy for the Department of Veterans Affairs and who has published several papers on using mindfulness in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder. Dr. Batten is a recognized expert in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).