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Web-Based Acceptance & Commitment Therapy for College Students

07/26/2016

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Dr. Mike LevinWeb-based intervention is found to improve students’ mental health — a newly published study in the Behavior Modification journal shows Dr. Michael Levin tackling a range of psychological issues using innovative technology.

 

USU’s Dr. Michael Levin is staying at the forefront of technology and wellness by using apps and web-based programs to help students improve their mental health. In a randomized controlled study published on July 20, 2016 in Behavior Modification, the development and testing of a variety of mobile apps and websites are shown to help students learn Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT).

This therapy focuses on teaching broadly applicable skills, such as being more aware and engaged. It can help students to open up, become more mindful, and do what matters most to them. In Dr. Levin’s newly published study, web and mobile-based programs were used to test whether ACT could improve a variety of mental health issues at once. Indeed, this pilot program was found to improve students’ mental health—including issues such as anxiety, depression, and academic concerns.

Dr. Levin and his team are currently working to create shorter, more targeted sessions to help students learn a specific skill and immediately try it in their lives. ACT has been shown to alleviate depression, anxiety, and many other problems. “One of my goals is to help people to use these resources,” said Dr. Levin. “If you're unsure if you need it or if it would be helpful, I recommend just giving it a try and seeing if it makes a difference for you.”

 

5 Ways to Get Started

Dr. Levin’s lab is currently running a clinical trial to test out the program. Look under “participating research” to try out the website or to sign up for studies: www.usucbs.com

Learn cognitive behavior therapy skills to prevent and cope with depression at Mood Gym, one of the most well-tested sites mental health sites: https://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome

Check out this free ACT Coach app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/act-coach/id804247934?mt=8 or, this commercial app called ACT Companion: http://www.actcompanion.com/.

USU's counseling and psychological services http://counseling.usu.edu/ are an excellent primary source for mental health services for students.

Dr. Levin also recommends two ACT self-help books:
https://www.amazon.com/Mindfulness-Acceptance-Workbook-Anxiety-Commitment/dp/162625334X
https://www.amazon.com/Get-Your-Mind-Into-Life/dp/1572244259

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