Cognitive flexibility as a key factor in the conceptualization and treatment of PTSD

Jeremy S. Joseph, John C. Moring, Lindsay M. Bira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This paper presents a narrative review of psychological treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that foster cognitive flexibility. A literature search identifying all peer-reviewed studies that have been published in English resulted in 28 reports on a range of interventions. After a brief introduction to cognitive flexibility (CF), a review of all relevant studies is provided. Overall, there is some evidence for CF playing an important role in recovery from PTSD. However, very few studies include specific measures of CF and fewer still make use of statistical strategies that identify the impact of change in CF on symptom improvement, limiting the conclusions that can be drawn from their results. Given the mixed findings, future research that incorporates objective and self-report measures of CF along with appropriate statistical methods is warranted. Suggestions for optimizing change in CF during treatment for PTSD, such as incorporating mindfulness skills, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-192
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Psychiatry Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


  • Cognitive flexibility
  • Mindfulness
  • PTSD
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Psychological flexibility
  • Therapeutic outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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