Experimental Blog Entry: Do not wash . . .

Dedicated to the people I serve, I have enjoyed providing psychotherapy and mental health care through the practice of evidence-based cognitive and behavioral therapy for two full decades. My solo private practice offers an elegant, relaxed and entirely confidential setting for the effective realization of vital personal change.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Treatment for Depression, Anxiety and Panic
Seattle Mental Health Therapist: Psychotherapist and Psychologist Referrals
Private Counselor: Learn Self-Regulation of Your Mood, Emotion and Behavior

Sorting for Self as Context Video

For those who are interested, I just posted a "Sorting" video here [[]] in the Glossary section of the ACT by Numbers website.

Sorting refers to, "Noticing the difference between five-senses experiencing and mental experiencing; and noticing the difference between moving toward and moving away." The sorting is done from a distanced, self-as-context point of view.

Just email me if you have questions.

Take care,


Update to the PTSD IOP at Togus

Hi Folks,

Attached you will find a pdf for the new IOP format. This adjustment shows our moving "The Press Box View" from Thursday to Tuesday in light of program evaluation data showing we needed to ramp up self as context.

Take Care,


Kevin L. Polk, Ph.D.
PTSD IOP, Togus, Maine

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New Matrix Design

Hi Folks,

Over on he [[]] website (ACT for Personal Growth and Development) I posted a new Matrix design.

The big change is over on the Values side. Now a line goes from the Self (III) to a chosen value. A dotted line is a planned action, then the line can be made solid after the valued action is done.

The multiple lines over on the Toward (Values) side represents widening choices of actions toward values. The single line on the Away side represents restricted choices on the away side.

Take care,


Values in ACT

I am currently reading The Art and Science of Valuing in Psychotherapy by Dahl, et al. Thus far (about halfway through it), it has been very accessible and engaging. It provides a nice synopsis of RFT as well as the basic tenets of ACT and does well to clarify different types of cognitive fusion, which would seem to be a helpful way of conceptualizing fusion with clients (or with ourselves). I would recommend this book to anyone interested in ACT, though like with most ACT books, it is highly advisable to read the original ACT book (Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 1999) before you do so.

ACBS Spotlight: Bridging the RFT - Clinical Process Gap

As the CBS community gears up for the 8th World Conference in Reno, NV in June, there has been talk of how this year, the community is focusing on how we can make further strides in translational research and not only learn how to talk to others doing work of interest to us, but also to seek out ways to collaborate. Our mission: Find new ways to alleviate human suffering, stretch our intellect and reach for new questions and new ways of answering them, and learn from the tools developed by others.

Lesson 1: Moving Toward Unconditional Curiosity

Dear Colleagues:

Upcoming Webinar Announcement

Lesson 1: Moving Toward Unconditional Curiosity

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 4 to 5:30pm EST

This is a one-time Webinar lasting 1.5 hours.
Fee is $20.00
Register at:
You can pay with any credit or debit card.
After registering you will receive a PayPal invoice for the fee,
however, you don't need a PayPal account.

Oops! Yes, There is Values-Based Tuition for the Webinar

A couple of people have asked if "Values-Based" tuition is in effect for the upcoming Webinar starting Feb. 3. (They asked because I managed to forget to mention it.)

Yes, $125.00 is the suggested amount, but anyone can pay what he can afford combined with what she thinks is right.

I also fixed this in the announcements.

Take care,


Beginning ACT Lessons and Developing Improvisation Skills for working with Trauma Memories: Kevin Polk, Ph.D.

Beginning ACT Lessons and Developing Improvisation Skills for working with Trauma Memories: Kevin Polk, Ph.D.

A four-session Webinar February 3, 10, 17, and 24, 2010 (Wednesdays) at 4pm Eastern Time USA

Limit of 10 participants. Suggested tuition is $125.00 (However, Values-Based tuition is in effect. That means pay what you can afford and what you think it right.)
Sessions will be recorded and available for download for paid participants.

Sign Up Here: Just email Kevin at [[]]

protocol for ACT and cancer

I am applying for a research fellowship to study depression in cancer populations. I was wondering if anyone knows how I might get access to the ACT protocol that Branstetter et al. (2004) used in their study that demonstrated ACT was effective in reducing psychological distress for terminal cancer patients.

Eileen Delaney

Presentación en la Sociedad Argentina de Psicotrauma

En adjunto está la presentación que se dio en el "Curso de Especialización en situaciones críticas individuales y colectivas "de la Sociedad Argentina. Primera presentación del modelo!
Se agradece cualquier feedback...

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ACBS Spotlight: Transforming the Function of Healthy Eating with the Food Dudes

Obesity is an increasing problem in the developed world for adults, and sadly, children as well. While numerous factors play a part in weight problems, from a behavioral science perspective, the importance of healthy eating behavior patterns in combatting this epidemic is clear.

Musings on Japanese Concept of "Ba" - the Arrow of Circumstance

Whether we sit alone or sit together, we sit in the ba. “Ba” is Japanese for a circumstance of a shared space: “what I feel now is not in me, but in the ba” (1).

Life is movement. There is no movement without friction. This friction you feel when you sit (meditatively) alone is the feel of the internal circumstance that is moving through you. This friction you feel when you sit (socially) together with another is the feel of the external circumstance that is moving past you. It’s the feel of the ba – feel it and put it back, back into the River of Circumstance.

ACBS Spotlight: Nurturing Environments - Bringing Behavioral Science into the Culture

For 25 years Tony Biglan of Oregon Research Institute (and long-time ACBS member) has been diligently working to bring behavioral science to the area of prevention with the purpose of building well-being at a societal level. With such initiatives as changing public policy to increase safety behaviors (such as seatbealt wearing), preventing smoking, preventing and addressing risky behavior in youth, Tony and countless others have sought ways to move closer to a more real "Walden Two" for children and adults.

ACBS Spotlight: Recent Grant Activity

There are new grants hitting all over the world in the ACT/RFT arena. Today I want to point out two recently awarded grants that we know about.

  • [[|Andrew Gloster]] has been awarded a grant from the German government. The title of the project is (paraphrased from the German): What Should We Do When CBT for Panic/Agoraphobia Fails: ACT! The goal is to test whether ACT can help those patients who are categorized as non-responders following an intense course of CBT.

ACT in New England #11: October 2009

Click [[|here]] for working links.
Click [[|here]] for printable version.
Click [[|here]] to subscribe.

ACT in New England List
Mailing #11: October 2009

1. Welcome
2. ACT Trainings in New England
3. ACT at ABCT in NYC
4. Online Survey on ACT Interests
5. Start planning for Reno!

Addendum: Subscribe/Unsubscribe Links & Info


Does anyone know of any workshops or presentations happening in Minniapolis or in Toronto Canada or Winnipeg Canada in 2010


The Psychological Flexibility Warm Up on YouTube

Hi folks,

I created a video of me doing the psychological flexibility warmup. It's the set up for the Matrix.


If you can rate it and leave a comment, that would be great.

You can even sign up for updates. I will be posting the Values exercise soon.

Also, The Psychological Flexibility Blog is at:


Sign up to Follow the blog to receive the lessons as I update them.



The Psychological Flexibility Newsletter

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.

More writing tips for psychologists - webcasts on "reader sensitivity"

What's it take to be a good writer for popular audiences? How about a strangely named skill called "reader sensitivity"?

On my writing tips blog, I've created 4 linked webcasts explaining this skill and how to nurture it. Comments welcome! Here's the link:

[[|Webcast: How to develop “reader sensitivity”]]

TWO WORKDAYS (English version)

After the salute to the sun, the Monk lighted the incense bar, sat down in the lotus position and shut down his eyelids in searching of the inner emptyness that brings the power of the subtle cosmical energy. He inhaled... one, two, three, four... and exhaled the air out of his lungs, while trying to become one with the Absolute.

DOS JORNADAS (Spanish version)


Tras el saludo al sol, el gurú prendió la barra de incienso, adoptó la postura del loto y entrecerró los párpados. Buscó el vacío de su mente para, así, llenarse con el poder de las energías sutiles del cosmos. Inspiró…un, dos, tres, cuatro, y espiró el aire de sus pulmones; inspiró… un, dos, tres, cuatro… y espiró procurando disolver el contenido de su pensamiento para llegar a hacerse uno con el todo absoluto.

La matrice en français

Ceux d'entre vous qui sont familiers avec le modèle développé par Kevin Polk, Jerold Hambright et Mark Webster pourront être interessés par ces deux images de la matrice traduites en français.
La première est la matrice avec les 4 quadrants, la seconde représente la même matrice avec un spirale ajoutée côté lutte représentant comment on peut se retrouvé coincé dans la lutte contre pour trouver des solutions à sa souffrance.

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dental phobia

Hi guys. I am interested in devising a specific ACT / Mindfulness protocol for treatment of dental phobia. I would like some advice re any literature re treatment efficacy (if any) in this specific domain or any other input. At this stage I am obtaining advice from dentists regarding patient profiles and specific symptoms - the problem appears to be more problematic with children and/or adults having more complex dental work. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers from sunny but hot Queensland Australia

Faire Face à la Souffrance, Choisir la vie plutôt que la lutte avec la Thérapie d'Acceptation et d'Engagement

[img_assist|nid=4378|title=|desc=|link=url|url=|align=left|width=222|height=320]Mon premier livre (et le premier livre en français présentant l'ACT) publié par les éditions Retz sort en librairie le 7 Septembre 2009.

Extrait de la Quatrième de Couverture:

Case conceptualization (in spanish)

Here is a spanish translation of the Lilis & Luoma's "Case conceptualization form" (is in the book and also in Luoma's website). Any suggestions will be welcome. Hope you like it!


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The Matrix Webinar will be Recorded

Hi Folks,

Several people were wondering if the Matrix Webinar will be recorded. Thanks to the creativity of Bob D., I will be taping the webinars so they can be played back at a later date. So if you can't make the 4pm Eastern time slot, then you can listen at a later time.

You can sign up for the webinar at [[]]

The webinar starts Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at 4pm Eastern.

The fee is very flexible.

Join us if you can.

Take Care,


Illustrations ACT/New ACT illustrations

Le dessinateur Marc Lizano qui a réalisé les belles illustrations de mon livre "Faire Face à la Souffrance" Retz, Paris 2009 les a posté sur son blog. Un avant-goût de l'ouvrage.
Check out the beautiful illustrations for my upcoming French ACT Self-Help book, "Faire Face à la Souffrance" Retz, Paris 2009!

A Brief ACT Presentation Using the Matrix


Attached is a draft of a write-up of a brief Introduction to ACT presentation I do based on The Matrix. I also attached the handout for the presentation called MatrixLifeManual.ppt

As always, email me with any questions.

Take Care,


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the nature of suffering

circa winter of 2004...

overheard in the salt lake city airport:

a man talking on his cell phone saying, "yeah, I'm in Idaho again. They always seem to send me through Idaho."

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