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Anxiety in Daily Life

For a full account of the study, please review the Informed Consent document.

In short, we examined the daily impact of therapy techniques used for anxious problems, including mindfulness meditation and values clarification, over a two-week time frame. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of these techniques on a day-to-day basis in an anxious population.

  • Many studies suggest that practicing various forms of mindfulness and values work may lead to emotional, psychological, physical, and behavioral improvements for individuals that suffer from anxiety.
  • Most prior research has used a simple pre-assessment / post-assessment design that requires participants to judge and report on their experiences retroactively. Several researchers propose that people experience difficulty reporting on their experiences of several days prior.
  • These difficulties hamper researcher’s ability to accurately distinguish the ongoing effects of therapeutic techniques and the course of anxiety symptoms. Our goal is to harness the power of newer technologies to allow participants to provide a timelier, and hopefully accurate, report of their daily experiences.

Evidence suggests that these techniques help people live more balanced and fulfilling lives. However, everyone is unique, and we don’t know exactly what might be good for each individual. Thus, our main goal was to learn something about how these techniques are helpful on a day-to-day basis, and who they are helpful for.

Participants attended a training session during which they created an account on this website, consented to participate, completed some surveys and learned the techniques. Then, we asked them to practice the techniques for the next 14 days and tell us about their experience by completing short, daily surveys on their computer, phone, or tablet. Finally, we asked that they complete one more large survey at home from their personal computer.

In exchange for their time completing the surveys, participants earned up to 4 hours worth of participant pool credit, up to $20 in cash, and up to 20 raffle entries to win 1 of 3 $200.00 Amazon.com gift cards in our final drawing!

Mindful Practices in Daily Life

For a full account of the study, please review the Informed Consent document.

In short, we examined the daily impact of practicing mindfulness over a two-week time frame in the student population. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of mindful practices on a day-to-day basis.

  • Many studies suggest that practicing various forms of mindfulness may lead to emotional, psychological, physical, and behavioral improvements.
  • Most prior research has used a simple pre-assessment / post-assessment design that requires participants to judge and report on their experiences retroactively. Several researchers propose that people experience difficulty reporting on their experiences of several days prior.
  • These difficulties hamper researcher’s ability to accurately distinguish the ongoing effects of practices such as mindful-based exercises. Our goal was to harness the power of newer technologies, including internet-based assessment platforms and smartphone access, to allow participants to provide a timelier, and hopefully accurate, report of their experience using mindful practices.

Evidence suggests that mindful techniques help people live more balanced and fulfilling lives. However, everyone is unique, and we don’t know exactly what might be good for each individual. Thus, our main goal was to learn something about how mindful-based practices are helpful on a day-to-day basis, and who they are helpful for.

Participants attended a training session where they created an account on this website, consented to participate, completed some surveys and learned the technique. Then, we asked them to practice the technique for the next 14 days and tell us about their experience by completing short, daily surveys on their computer, phone, or tablet. Finally, they completed one more large survey from their personal computer.

In exchange for their time completing the surveys, participants could earn up to 5 hours worth of participant pool credit and up to 20 raffle entries to win up to $150.00 in our final drawing!

The Staff

Christopher R. Berghoff, M.A.

Mr. Berghoff is the Principal Investigator of the Anxiety in Daily Life and Mindful Practices in Daily Life projects. He designed and coded MyMindfulDays.com and is responsible for participant recruitment, data collection, management, and analysis, compliance with study protocols, and preparation of professional presentations and written reports for publication.

Mr. Berghoff is a Doctoral Candidate in the University at Albany Clinical Psychology graduate program. He has employed Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and other CBT techniques in his clinical work in VA, college, hospital, and other community settings. His research, grounded in a contextual-behavioral framework, focuses on processes that lead to the alleviation of human suffering, including meditation and mindfulness-based techniques, acceptance, and value-guided behavior change. He will complete his APA accredited pre-doctoral internship July 1, 2015 at the University of Mississippi Medical Center/ VA Consortium in Jackson, MS.

John P. Forsyth, Ph.D.

Dr. Forsyth is the co-Principal Investigator and faculty advisor of the Mindful Practices in Daily Life and Anxiety in Daily Life projects. He is responsible for compliance with the study protocol and will assist with data analysis and preparation of professional presentations and written reports for publication

Dr. Forsyth is Professor of Psychology at the University at Albany, SUNY, and Faculty Director of the Anxiety Disorders Research Program (ADRP) in Albany, NY. He has received several national and international awards for his scholarly work in the areas of behavior analysis and therapy, anxiety disorders, and experimental psychopathology. He has authored and co-authored over 70 articles, four books, several book chapters, and routinely leads professional and public workshops on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. His research program, spanning basic experimental psychopathology and treatment-oriented research, aims to elucidate processes that move people from a normal to a disordered experience of anxiety and fear and how to alter such processes in therapy.

Research Assistants

We have a dedicated and hard working group of undergraduate students and bachelor-degree holding individuals that assist in our research program. In fact, we would be hard pressed to accomplish a fraction of our work without the help of our assistants. You'll find them doing everything in our program, from basic clerical work like answering the phone and reviewing the latest literature, to helping design new projects, conducting experiments, and preparing conference presentations and other publications. Please view our current and former research assistants at our lab website

The ADRP

Our studies are run out of the Anxiety Disorders Research Program (ADRP), located at the University at Albany, State University of New York.

The ADRP is an active and vibrant lab that strives to contribute to the professional knowledge base through various activities. We in the ADRP are dedicated to using scientific know how, with a focus on anxiety disorders, to understand and ameliorate human suffering. We have basic and applied lines of research underway that are framed within an approach known as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT, said as one word). We are addressing variables and processes that feed and maintain anxious suffering and researching how best to alleviate that suffering, within the framework of ACT.

We routinely provide training and clinical workshops for mental health professionals of all levels who are interested in learning about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). In addition, we occasionally hold workshops for the general public that focus on applying ACT principles to your own experience in the service of living a personally meaningful, value directed life. In addition, members of the general public at times attend our professional-oriented workshops, with our annual 5-dayOmega retreat being particularly popular with professionals and the public alike.

Visit the UAlbany-hosted ADRP Website to learn more about our family, our research, upcoming workshops, and how to apply to be a research assistant or work with us as a graduate student in the Department of Psychology!

Technologies

My Mindful Days is built using open source technologies and code. Some of the major technologies are listed below. Please Contact Us if you have any questions about conducting a similar research project using our tools, or if you believe we have failed to provide proper credit to you.

PHP Logo

We have implemented server-side processing of content to help make your experience interactive, personalized, and secure. Most of this functionality is provided through the use of PHP.

Visit the PHP website to learn more about what PHP can do for your site.

MySQL Logo

MySQL is a powerful and freely available database program that allows us to collect and temporarily store your personal information and survey responses. MySQL is available on the majority of web hosting providers

Visit the MySQL website to download the free, community version, or take a look at the documentation to learn more about the capabilities.

jQuery Mobile Logo

Our mobile site is built on the jQuery Mobile framework, which allows us to support many handheld devices without requiring downloads of apps. jQuery Mobile offers progressive enhancement, themeable design, and touch screen integration.

Visit the jQuery Mobile website to learn more about these capabilities or to see the entire range of jQuery technologies available.

LimeSurvey Logo

LimeSurvey is the only viable, open source PHP-based survey software that we are aware of. Although we have worked with several surveying partners in the past, and have found each to have wonderful support, performance, and options, LimeSurvey offers a robust platform to build surveys and manage data at no cost.

Visit the LimeSurvey homepage to view documentation and download the software. LimeSurvey is also available as an additional installation by most web hosting companies.