with Sonja Batten, PhD
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.
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).