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Training Session: Acceptance-based Behavioral Treatment for Weight Control

Stratton Hall, Room 260
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104


Evan Forman, PhD

Evan Forman, PhD

Evan Forman received his BA from Cornell University and his PhD from the University of Rochester. He completed clinical internships and fellowships at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, the University of Pennsylvania and the Beck Institute. Currently he serves as professor of Psychology and WELL Center Director. He has interests in the development, evaluation and dissemination of innovative behavioral and technology-based interventions for health behavior change.

Stephanie Manasse, PhD

Stephanie Manasse, PhD

Stephanie Manasse, PhD, received her bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Drexel University. She has also received training in the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania and the Stanford University Eating Disorders Research Program. She is the Director of the Child and Adolescent Program at the WELL Center. She is interested in developing novel treatments for adolescents and adults with eating disorders and utilizing novel assessment methods to identify cognitive and affective maintenance factors of binge eating pathology. Her ongoing projects aim to develop a virtual reality based inhibitory control training for reducing binge eating and using psychophysiology to identify predictors of outcome from treatment for adolescent eating disorders.


  • Students: $200
  • Post-Docs: $400
  • Professionals: $700 (50% discount for Drexel University staff and faculty)


Stephanie Manasse, PhD (

Training Description

Specific behavioral changes dramatically reduce the incidence and consequences of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and other diseases and conditions. Effective interventions are challenging to develop, especially those that promote long-term maintenance of behavior change. Individuals who initially succeed at health-related behavior change often find that their success is eventually eroded by profound biological (e.g., innate preferences for palatable foods) and environmental influences (e.g., a built environment that limits lifestyle activity).

The science of behavior change is rapidly evolving, and emerging research is revealing that distress tolerance, mindful decision making, and commitment to valued behavior may be necessary for lifestyle modification. These psychological processes are integrated into innovative behavior therapies, i.e., acceptance-based treatments, which include acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). Acceptance-based approaches have demonstrated promise when applied to areas such as weight control, physical activity promotion, and dietary change.

This one-day training workshop will provide an in-depth consideration of the theoretical principles underpinning the acceptance-based behavioral approach. Empirical support from several randomized controlled trials will be reviewed. Five dimensions of clinical application to behavioral medicine also will be highlighted: acceptance (ability to tolerate unpleasant internal experiences, such as urges, fatigue, anxiety), willingness (ability to choose valued actions even if they produce or maintain unpleasant internal states), defusion (ability to appreciate thoughts and feelings for what they are and therefore to uncouple internal experiences from behaviors), mindful decision making (nonjudgmental awareness of experiences and moment-by-moment choices), and values clarification (clarity of the personal values that motivate behavior). The presenters will use the workbooks they’ve authored ("Effective Weight Loss: An Acceptance-Based Behavioral Approach"), live demonstration and video to depict how experiential exercises, metaphors, and at-home exercises can be used to most effectively teach these skills.