The Psychological Flexibility Newsletter

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Hello Folks:

Just checking in to let you folks on the email list about upcoming training events. Also, my friend and colleague, Benjamin Schoendorff, just published the first French language ACT book. You can see it at


I will be facilitating a “new” Webinar in October called

Working with Trauma Memories using the Matrix.

This four-session Webinar will be held on Tuesdays at 4pm EST USA, October 6, 13, 20, and 27.

Working with trauma memories is what I do the most with the Matrix. I have been working with clients with trauma memories (PTSD) for 20+ years. I have used Stress Inoculation Training (SIT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Psychodynamic Therapy, Systems Therapy, EMDR, Prolonged Exposure (PE) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I have found that the Matrix (and ACT) allows me to flexibly put the core elements of those therapies to work in a simple, sustainable therapy that almost all clients (over 90%) will stick with and benefit from.

Below I have posted a meta-analysis study that shows just that; all bona fide therapies for PTSD work. The question becomes, if all of these bona fide treatments are working with PTSD, then what are core processes at work? It is my opinion that it’s the combination of the Self As Context (comprehensive distancing) “view,” plus collaboration toward valued life directions.

Even though other therapies work, a huge benefit of ACT is that it is much easier to do and sustain that the other therapies. (At least that’s my opinion.)

The Trauma Memories Webinar will be about how you can quickly set up the Matrix, establish collaboration, and work on getting a client with trauma memories to blend five senses experiencing with mental experiencing while moving toward values. The client is then in a much better position to learn what works for increasing valued living.

Email if you are interested in this Webinar, or if you prefer, you can sign up at


The fee for the Webinar is set by you from 1 to $125.00. I trust that you will pay what you can afford.

For anyone who pays the full price of $125.00 I will send you a free copy of my DVD, “Surfing Your Stress to Success.” The DVD is a little dated (iView instead of the Matrix), but people tell me it’s still good to watch.

I will be recording each class and posting it for those who can’t make this time.


Wednesdays at 4pm: Collaborative Psychological Flexibility with the Matrix:

This Webinar is running through December of 2009. You can join it at any time. The Webinar is a series of four repeating sessions. We start anew with Session 1 Wednesday, September 9, 2009. The fee is very flexible, you name your fee from 1 to $125.00. You can sign up at:


I record each session and post it for your later listening pleasure. (Well, at least I hope it’s a pleasure.)

Individual Training: I do individual consulting as much as my schedule allows. I consult regarding individual, groups, couples, programs, and doing presentations. The fee for individual coaching sessions is $125.00 per hour.

The Psychological Flexibility Podcast:

I will have the first podcast ready this week.


The relative efficacy of bona fide psychotherapies for treating
post-traumatic stress disorder: A meta-analysis of direct comparisons
Steven G. Benish !, Zac E. Imel, Bruce E. Wampold

Psychotherapy has been found to be an effective treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but meta-analyses have yielded inconsistent results on relative efficacy of psychotherapies in the treatment of PTSD. The present meta-analysis controlled for potential confounds in previous PTSD meta-analyses by including only bona fide psychotherapies, avoiding categorization of psychotherapy treatments, and using direct comparison studies only. The primary analysis revealed that effect sizes were homogenously distributed around zero for measures of PTSD symptomology, and for all measures of psychological functioning, indicating that there were no differences between psychotherapies. Additionally, the upper bound of the true effect size between PTSD psychotherapies was quite small. The results suggest that despite strong evidence of psychotherapy efficaciousness vis-à-vis no treatment or common factor controls, bona fide psychotherapies produce equivalent benefits for patients with PTSD.

© 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

This article has created a lot of discussions regarding the “core processes” at work across therapies for PTSD.

As always, if you have any questions, just drop me an email.

Take Care,


Kevin L. Polk, Ph.D.
The Psychological Flexibility Podcast