New therapy methods researched by Dr. Michael Twohig might present part of the solution to the mental health issues Utah and the world are experiencing. When imagining psychotherapy, most people picture a medical clinic with a therapist sitting across from them in a number of weekly sessions where they can speak about anything they want. But, in the same way most things in the world are advancing, so too is psychotherapy. Dr. Twohig is part of a research group that focuses on ways to address the massive clinical need that exists within Utah and the world. Over many years of research and clinical work, his research group has learned that what a person thinks or feels is much less important than how they react to those events. The researchers are using novel types of therapy that teach clients to mindfully step back from their thoughts and feelings, see them for what they are—just events in our bodies—and choose to keep moving in valued directions while compassionately holding those thoughts. Research on Dr. Twohig’s treatment of anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders, as well as problematic pornography use and other issues will be presented as examples of this work. Finally, with relevance to the great need for competent therapists and the limited number in Utah, Dr. Twohig will present on how this type of therapy has been successfully delivered over the internet on devices such as Skype or Facetime, and without a therapist via website, mobile apps or through bibliotherapy.
About Dr. Twohig
Michael P. Twohig, Ph.D. is the co-director of the USU ACT Research Group, a licensed psychologist in the state of Utah, and a Professor of Psychology at Utah State University.
He received his B.A. and M.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, his Ph.D. from the University of Nevada, Reno, and completed his clinical internship at the University of British Columbia Hospital.
He is past-President of the Association of Contextual Behavioral Science, the organization most associated with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). His research focuses on the use of ACT across a variety of clinical presentations with an emphasis on obsessive compulsive and related disorders. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and multiple books. His research has been funded through multiple sources including the National Institute of Mental Health.