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Training Psychological Flexibility in Relationships: a one session conflict management intervention using Limbic Regulation, The ACT Matrix, and Heart-Centered Values

  • 23 May 2016
  • 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM (PDT)
  • UCSF / Mt. Zion Hospital, 1600 Divisidero, San Francisco, CA, Room 3805


  • This event is a no-fee event. But please RSVP to let the speaker know how many attendees to anticipate.

Registration is closed

presented by: Beth Lee, MA, MFTI, Chapter President
What you will learn:
  • Get  partners unstuck during conflict resolution and moving in the direction of their chosen values
  • Help partners to notice what hooks them – unwanted thoughts, feelings, and sensation – derailing connection, meaningful discourse, and behavioral commitment negotiations.
  • Apply the ACT Matrix to  partners-based conflict management,  radically reducing the blame-and-shame phase of the interaction.
  • Acquire a tool that helps clients quickly identify their values associated with the source of conflict.
  •  Learn three quick and accessible techniques you can teach your clients to help them move out of defensiveness and back into compassionate connection using limbic regulation techniques borrowed from Urban Tantra.
In the last several years I have been actively blending the Gottman Method of healing relationships with ACT methodologies.  As a Level 3 Gottman therapist, I am grateful for the core library of interventions Drs John and Julie Gottman have crafted over 30 years of research and clinical practice.  My work with ACT takes this method to a whole new level, filling many of the gaps in the Gottman Method.
And yet a significant gap still remained.
How to overcome the neurological impact of defensive escalation on the executive brain functions when partners are trying to manage a conflict situation.  Especially a Gridlocked Issue – one that arises from a difference in the partners’ core values pertinent to an issue they struggle with.

Wow. That last paragraph was a doozey. Let me try again.

When partners are preparing to resolve an issue, old patterns of hurt and defensiveness can neurologically drop them out of their most compassionate, creative, and problem solving brain (the prefrontal cortex). Perspective taking, psychological flexibility, concept of mind, and compassion go out the window once rising cortisol, adrenaline, and  norepinephrine flood the system.   Using limbic regulation techniques  designed to enhance present moment awareness between partners common in the Urban Tantra communities, I discovered a way to neurologically set the stage for a really productive ACT Matrix session designed to move them into committed action and behavioral agreements. Even when they may not be fully aligned on pertinent core values.
Want to learn how to do this simple but useful intervention from start to finish?   Come to our May 23 Chapter meeting!  I will teach both the intervention and explain the underlying clinical rational, then we will practice the techniques together. Fun!

Beth Lee, MA, MFTI  |

  Helping individuals, couples and parents fall in love again; with life, each other, and their children.


Working in a San Francisco private practice, I  provide thoughtful, targeted therapy based upon the most current research into what helps, and what doesn't.   Using ACT as my primary treatment modality for individuals, I also apply Gottman Methodology when working with partners in relationship.   I help clients identify where deficits, patterned inflexible responding, conflicts between their values and others' values, or the baggage of past experiences may be negatively impacting the quality of their lives, their relationships to partners, coworkers, family, friends, and their children.  Together we explore alternatives to the behaviors that brought them to where they are now, and develop new competencies and ways of being in the world that lead to a more balanced, effective, and satisfying life.
      In additional to relationship work, I help later life parents weather the toddler, teen and emerging adult years with their kids while growing (rather than exhausting) their partnership stores of connection, intimacy, and trust. I have deep experience  in the unique challenges of multicultural, blended families, and families of non-traditional configurations.
     I have a special interest in working with people experiencing the intersections of cultures and relationship, and the impacts of being a Third Culture Kid (

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