University at Albany, SUNY - John Forsyth (ACT/RFT; PhD; USA)

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Our lab -- the Anxiety Disorders Research Program (ADRP) -- focuses on the science and practical application of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and related mindfulness-based traditions to understand, prevent, and alleviate anxiety disorders and related forms of human suffering; applications of self-help and telehealth to expand the reach and impact of psychosocial interventions; using experimental psychopathology to unpack ACT processes [i.e., acceptance/experiential avoidance] that may potentiate human suffering and point to its successful alleviation. 

More broadly, we aim to understand processes that transform normal human thoughts and painful emotions into life shattering problems associated with anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and even problem anger. We focus on these problems to understand human suffering, not as ends in themselves.

The ADRP laboratory has an explicit process-oriented translational focus. Everyone in the lab is involved in basic and applied treatment-oriented research with subclinical and clinical populations.

We struggle intensely with philosophical and conceptual issues and make efforts to integrate this activity with our basic and applied work.

Students are treated as junior colleagues. This is the model. This is the model that paved the way for the early success of behavior therapy. It is a model that is reflected in the collective lab values statement (see attached below) that we, as a group, have developed.

To date, we have focused on understanding the role of excessive thought and emotion regulation in the development, maintenance, and treatment of anxiety disorders. Included here are studies on how emotion regulation transforms normal fear learning and other experiential processes into clinical problems, the measurement of experiential avoidance, acceptance, and defusion. We have assisted with a multisite collaborative project (the UCLA-Albany Study; see Arch et al., Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology) testing our unified treatment protocol -- ACT for Anxiety Disorders -- vs. standard CBT for persons suffering from anxiety disorders.  We have completed two large clinical trials evaluating The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety when used in a pure self-help context (writing up the papers now).  We have also contributed to measurement development (e.g., The Believability of Anxious Feels and Thoughts Questionnaire -- a measure of cognitive fusion; see Herzberg et al., Psychological Assessment).  There are many other current projects underway, specifically evaluating fusion/defusion using the IRAP and the relation between mindfulness and values.

Our lab also routinely provides ACT consultation and both brief and intensive ACT professional training workshops for professionals interested in learning more about ACT. For additional information please contact Dr. John P. Forsyth (via his website) or at the following address:

John P. Forsyth, Ph.D.  Professor of Psychology,  University at Albany, SUNY Department of Psychology, SS399 1400 Washington Avenue Albany, NY 12222 U.S.A. Ph: (518) 442-4862 Fax: (518) 442-4867 Email: forsyth@albany.edu

Relevant Links:

Dr. Forsyth's Offical Website

Dr. Forsyth's Research Lab - The Anxiety Disorders Research Program 

University at Albany, Psychology Department

ACT for Anxiety Disorders OnLine Research

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