DUMC Box 3842

Duke Clinics, 40 Duke Medicine Circle

3rd Floor, Purple Zone, Suite 3700
Durham, NC 27710
Tel: 919-681-7231

© 2014 by ACT at Duke 

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Phone: 919-681-7231


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This page contains an archive of news, announcements, home page updates, and past events. Check it out!
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Featured Announcements


ACT at Duke Takes on Washington, DC

The ACT at Duke team was active at two regional conferences on the same weekend!

October 20, 2017

MAC-ACBS 2017 Conference

Using ACT and CBS to Promote
Psychological and Physical Well Being
ACT at Duke Presentations:

Keynote: ACT and Difficulties in Self-Regulation

Dr. Rhonda Merwin

Workshop: "But I have to challenge that!" - Increasing Therapist Flexibility in the Presence of Compelling Content

Dr. Ashley Moskovich & Lisa Honeycutt, LPC

Student Posters:

A Systematic Review of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for the Treatment of Eating Disorders

Dissertations Across the Globe

ACT at Duke, International

February 01, 2017

It isn't every day that one gets called to travel across the globe to serve on a dissertation committee; however, that is exactly what happened when Dr. Rhonda Merwin agreed to work with Patrisia Nikolaou on her dissertation for the University of Cypress. Patrisia developed AcceptMe, a Digital Gamified Prevention Program Based on Acceptance and Committment Therapy. Results were promising and the program might have a place at Duke University - stay tuned! 

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Getting the "411" on Diabetes and Mental Health from ACT at Duke


     As part of the series, "What's the 411: Diabetes and Mental Health," ACT at Duke presented information for individuals with diabetes, and the providers who work alongside them. 

     The presentation focused on the ways that stigmatizing thoughts and feelings that are prevalent in our culture impact individuals directly and impede their ability to hold these thoughts lightly, especially in the face of this challenging disease.

     We also addressed the latest research regarding diabetes and mental health, including the likelihood of individuals with diabetes to be misdiagnosed with depression when they could be suffering from the extremely common experience of diabetes distress.

    Lastly, we emphasized the need for individuals with diabetes to engage in self-compassion and increase their awareness of when they are using language that emphasizes evaluation as opposed to information. For example, saying "my A1c is bad," is different from saying, descriptively, "my A1c is 8.1" or "my A1c is above my target range."  

Durham County Health and Human Services

Durham, NC

Feedback from presentation:

"Thank you again for the information you shared with us this morning. Your training was powerful in many ways. I appreciated the practical nature of your presentation as I documented interventions that I can begin to utilize with patients starting today. I also appreciated your exercises in empathy."


"Your presentation was really great and the participants really enjoyed it. People gave really great feedback on the surveys, particularly about how they’re going to try to view their glucose numbers as just facts and not as judgments and try to practice more self-compassion. Mental health isn’t something we talk about enough and I’m going to make an effort to discuss it more with the people I see."


Past Team Page Information


Where are they Now?

Jennifer Kuo

July 31, 2014

Jennifer came to the ACT at Duke team in July of 2013. She was interested in research experience and relocated to join the team. She served as a reseach assistant on the The Diabetes Food and Mood Study from 2013-2014. She is now at Ohio State University completing her PhD in psychology.


Jennifer received her Bachelor's degree from University of Maryland, College Park, and completed an internship with  the Food and Drug Administration, before joining the Duke team. Jennifer was an invaluable member of our team and we had no doubt that she would succeed in obtaining a position at a prestigious PhD program and do meaningful work in the area of health psychology. 


Congratulations, Jennifer! We can't wait to see what the future holds for you!

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A list of past trainings can also be found here.

Featured Research


Featured Community Consultation News


Announcements from the Research Lab

iOmit: Reducing Underutilization of Insulin in Type 1 Diabetes (R21 DK106603, PI: Merwin). This treatment development project translates findings on the real-time precursors and correlates of intentional insulin omission among individuals with type 1 diabetes (R01 DK089329, PI: Merwin) into an ACT-based treatment augmented with mobile health technology. 

The target population is individuals with type 1 diabetes with eating and weight concerns. This treatment is now called, iACT. 

This study is closed for new enrollment. Final results will be available mid-2019.

New Projects
Hunger and Hormones Study
Duke Psychiatry Research Incentive and Development Program (PRIDe) Award

This project examines disruptions in interoceptive awareness and appetite regulation among individuals with type 1 diabetes who omit insulin for weight control.

ACT for Resident Burnout  
Duke Academy of Health Professions Education and Academic Development (Duke AHEAD)
This project tests whether an ACT workshop for psychiatry residents reduces burnout and improves patient care.
     Created by Rikke Kjelgaard
"The rejection of our common fate makes us strangers to each other. The election of that fate, in love, reveals us as one body."
- Sebastian Moore.
This powerful video depicts what it means to be human; the commonality of our suffering and the near universal fear  that we "are not enough."  

Featured Reading



Dr. Brown and Dr. Hooper recently published an article on relational frame theory (RFT) in the New Scientist--a weekly popular science magazine  with  a large following (~1 million in online readership). 

"If RFT is correct, Skinner was right after all – sort of. Language is learned, although not quite 

as he originally conceived it. We don’t need innate abilities such as universal grammar to account 

for language generativity. Instead it is the product of a learned, generalised – and uniquely human – 

ability to respond to simple relationships between stimuli. We take it for granted, but it is 

arguably what makes us human."

                            Spoken Rules 

Collaborations with Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates in Boston 


ACT at Duke has teamed up with Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, Atrius Health to provide quality training and treatment in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Last year, Dr. Elisabeth Morray, launched a new Behavioral Health Fellowship. She directs the program that includes 8 fellows who receive specialized training in evidence-based practices, including ACT. In January 2019, we provided 3 1/2 days of intensive didactic and experiential training for the 8 fellows and 30 local providers.


Participant Feedback:

"The explanation of ACT and philosophy was very clear. I felt connected to the treatment philosophy and it aligns with how I conceptualize treatment. I left feeling really excited to learn more (even read half an ACT textbook over the weekend b/c I was excited!)."


"The real plays were very helpful in conceptualizing what an ACT-therapist stance looks like and how it can “feel” in the room"


"Practicing exercises during the training helped to learn the nuances on how they can work [be applied] in session."