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"May you live all the days of your life." - Jonathan Swift

ACT at Duke

What's Happening 

In 2023-2024

Download the latest newsletter! Winter '23


ACT of Carolinas Gets a Reboot!


ACT Carolinas is an affiliate of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of ACBS. Past, present, and future members are invited to share their input as a group of ACT Carolinas members work to reinvigorate the sub-chapter. Please complete the Interests and Needs Survey to provide your feedback or get involved!


ACT at Duke

Monthly Community Discussion Group

Students and Practitioners in NC are invited to participate.

Learn more here

Current Research Grants!

Randomized clinical trial testing "iACT" for eating disorders in type 1 diabetes (funded by JDRF)

FlexED: A digital, gamified ACT-based early intervention for eating disorders (funded by NIMH)

For more information about our studies, including eligibility criteria, contact Dottie:

     Latest Publications from the Lab:

         Merwin, R. M., Dmitrieva, N. O., Moskovich, A. A., Warnick, J. L., Goebel-Fabbri, A. E., & Darling, K. E. (2024). Profiles of disordered eating behaviour in type 1 diabetes using the DEPS-R and behaviour and glycaemic outcomes in a real-life setting. Diabetic Medicine: a Journal of the British Diabetic Association, e15314-e15314.

         Merwin, R. M., Nikolaou, P., Moskovich, A. A., Babyak, M., Smith, P. J., & Karekla, M. (2023). Change in body image flexibility and correspondence with outcomes in a digital early intervention for eating disorders based on acceptance and commitment therapy. Body Image, 44, 131-135.

        Onnink, C. M., Konstantinidou, Y., Moskovich, A. A., Karekla, M. K., & Merwin, R. M. (2022). Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) for eating disorders: A systematic review of intervention studies and call to action. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 26, 11-28.


ACT at Duke

ACT at Duke is a program of  research, clinical services and professional training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and contextual behavioral science. 


This site is a resource for:

• Individuals interested in receiving ACT therapy.

• Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, psychiatry residents, psychology interns, and other professionals interested in receiving ACT training.

​• Students and fellows interested in ACT-relevant research experience.

• Professionals interested in ACT-informed research collaborations.

ACT at Duke was founded by Dr. Rhonda Merwin in 2011. Dr. Merwin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center, a Peer-Reviewed ACT Trainer and a Licensed Psychologist.



Program Highlights

Therapists specializing in ACT

ACT at Duke offers individual therapy for adults and adolescents with a variety of presenting problems (e.g., anxiety, depression). Practitioners specialize in ACT, but are broadly trained in evidence-based practices and have additional expertise in eating disorders, psychological issues in  type 1 diabetes and other endocrine disorders, and functional assessment of child behavior problems and parent training.


ACT at Duke provides professional training in ACT and contextual behavioral science, relational frame theory (RFT) and clinical behavior analysis at the beginner, immediate and advanced levels. Continuing education credits are offered for most events.

Research to help alleviate human suffering

ACT at Duke has an active research program with both basic and applied studies. Research focuses on difficulties in self-regulation (or the inability to use signals arising from the body to meet needs) and emphasizes contextually sensitive  assessment and intervention, often using mobile technology.

& Community
In the media

ACT at Duke gives back by offering a monthly community discussion group for NC students and providers. Individuals interested in participating are encouraged to complete the interest form.


ACT at Duke is also partnered with ACT Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Association of Contextual Behavioral Science and AHEC to bring cost effective workshops and other training events to the community. Check out the latest offering!

ACT for Anorexia Nervosa: A Guide for Clinicians is available in hard and soft back, and as an e-book. This book was written by Rhonda Merwin in collaboration with Dr. Nancy Zucker, Director of the Duke Center for Eating Disorders and Dr. Kelly Wilson, Co-Founder of ACT.

This book will be available in Russian and Portuguese. 


Dr. Merwin discusses the book and ACT for restrictive eating and weight loss in a recent episode of Psychologists Off the Clock with host Diana Hill, PhD. 

And PsychWire ASK

Dr. Rhonda Merwin with colleague Dr. Patrick Smith featured in 

Exercise Boosts the Brain – and Mental Health, The Washington Post, February 2022.

Exercise Boosts the Brain – and Mental Health, Smithsonian Magazine, February 2022.

Walking: The World’s Oldest Wonder Drug, AARP, March/April 2023.​


Dr. Rhonda Merwin speaks with NIDDK about eating disorders in diabetes and ACT in a recent interview on the Diabetes Discoveries and Practice Blog.

Dr. Rhonda Merwin and Dr. Steve Hayes discuss using ACT to cope with the pandemic in a recent Forbes article. Check it out here.


Dr. Rhonda Merwin is quoted in several recent articles that raise awareness about eating disorders. Check them out here:

When Did Food Become the Enemy?

Could Social Media's 'Healthy Food' Focus Be Contributing to a Little-Known Eating Disorder?

Are Eating Disorders Actually Rare? 

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