ACT at Duke is a program of basic and applied research, clinical services and professional training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) led by Dr. Rhonda Merwin.

This site is a resource for:

• Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, psychiatry residents, psychology interns, and other professionals interested in receiving in-depth training in the application of ACT

• Students and fellows interested in establishing research experience in ACT and underlying processes

• Professionals interested in ACT-informed research collaborations

• Individuals interested in receiving ACT-based treatment


​​Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a contemporary cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) grounded in functional contextualism. ACT has demonstrated promise in treating a wide array of psychological issues and is considered a transdiagnostic therapy, meaning it can be used with many different diagnoses.

ACT is based on the premise that human verbal abilities (or language) interfere(s) with doing what would be effective given one’s chosen values. That is, rather than behave flexibly and effectively, we are over-attached to the content of our thoughts, or only work to eliminate painful thoughts and feelings. This is often at the expense of what we care about most in our lives.

ACT uses acceptance and mindfulness to disrupt the problematic aspects of language so that individuals may live fully in the present moment, and chose action based on their deeply held personal values. The ability to have thoughts and feelings, fully and without defense, while moving in a valued direction is the goal of ACT and described as psychological flexibility.