John P. Forsyth

Picture of John Forsyth

Professor of Psychology
Director, Anxiety Disorders Research Program
University at Albany, State University of New York
Department of Psychology
Social Sciences 399
1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222
Ph: 518-442-4862
Fax: 518-442-4867

Download Dr. Forsyth's Curriculum Vitae

About John:

JOHN P. 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 received his B.A. in psychology from Providence College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from West Virginia University. He did his pre-doctoral internship training at the University of Mississippi Medical Center Jackson VAMC Consortium, where he served as Chief Psychology Resident within the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior. His journey is described here.

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. In 2000 he received the B. F. Skinner New Researcher Award from Division 25 of the American Psychological Association for innovative and important behavioral research by a new investigator. In 1999, he was the recipient of the Dissertation Award from the Society for a Science for Clinical Psychology for excellence in research. In 1996 he was awarded the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy. Upon completion of his graduate training, West Virginia University recognized his scholarly contributions to behavioral science with the Don Hake Award.

He is past Associate Editor of Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry and the Behavior Therapist, and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Anxiety Disorders, Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, Cognitive & Behavioral Practice and the Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy. He functioned as a contributing Editor of a two-part special anniversary issue of the journal Behavior Therapy titled Thirty Years of Behavior Therapy: Promises Kept, Promises Unfulfilled (vol 28, 3; 28, 4).

He has authored and co-authored over 70 articles, four books (many of which appear also in Dutch, German, Korean, Polish), several book chapters, routinely leads professional workshops on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and has presented numerous papers at professional meetings. He is the author of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Anxiety Disorders: A Practitioner's Treatment Guide to Using Mindfulness, Acceptance, and Value-Based Behavior Change Strategies, a guide for professionals using ACT with their anxious clients. He is also the author of two self-help books, The Mindfulness & Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety: A Guide to Breaking Free from Anxiety, Phobias & Worry Using Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, and ACT on Life, Not on Anger: The New Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Approach to Problem Anger. His most recent book, Your Life on Purpose: How to Find What Matters and Create the Life You Want, is written for a general audience. This new book, like the others, is informed by ACT and tackles questions on how to move with the inevitable barriers that show up as we go forward and live a value-guided life.

Dr. Forsyth's research, some of which has been funded by NIMH and more recently by the Department of Defense, focuses on restoring lives that are not working by getting at the root of human suffering. 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. He and his lab group are doing this from a contextual, behavioral perspective, with an eye on how emotion regulation feeds and maintains suffering. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Relational Frame Theory are approaches that we think offer a way to unpack this suffering and help people move forward on the path toward creating a more vital life.

He routinely teaches Abnormal Psychology (undergraduate level), Introduction to Clinical Psychology: The Scientist-Practitioner (graduate level), and provides clinical supervision at the University at Albany's Psychological Services Center. In 2006, Dr. Forsyth was recognized for his teaching with two awards -- the University at Albany Excellence in Teaching Award and the State University of New York Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. John also serves as a senior consulting Editor for the ACT book series with New Harbinger and is a member of the teaching faculty at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck NY.  John is also a highly sought after ACT trainer and regularly offers professional workshops and training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

John spends his free time writing, hiking, camping, Telemark skiing (though not often enough), and fly fishing in the Adirondacks and Maine. He also enjoys playing guitar and Irish fiddle, and spending quality time with his children.

Current Project(s):

A list of projects that John is supervising can be seen on our Research Page.

Representative Publications and Presentations:

* denotes student author

*Acheson, D. A., Forsyth, J. P., & *Moses, E. (2012). Interoceptive conditioning and panic disorder-II: An experimental evaluation of multiple contingency arrangements. Behavior Therapy, 43, 174-189.

*Herzberg, K. N., *Sheppard, S. C., Forsyth, J. P., Credé, M., Earleywine, M., & Eifert, G. H. (2012, April 9). The Believability of Anxious Feelings and Thoughts Questionnaire (BAFT): A Psychometric Evaluation of Cognitive Fusion in a Nonclinical and Highly Anxious Community Sample. Psychological Assessment. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0027782

Eifert, G. H., Forsyth, J. P. (2011). The application of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to problem anger. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 18, 241-250.

*VanDam, N., *Sheppard, S., Forsyth, J. P., & Earleywine, M. (2011). Self-Compassion is a better predictor than mindfulness of symptom severity and quality of life in mixed anxiety and depression. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 25, 123-130.

*Sheppard, S. C., Forsyth, J. P., Hickling, E. J., & *Bianchi, J. (2010). A novel application of ACT to psychosocial problems associated with Multiple Sclerosis: Results from a half-day workshop intervention. International Journal of MS Care, 12, 200-206.

Cisler, J. M., Olatunji, B. O., Feldner, M. T., & Forsyth, J. P. (2009). Emotion regulation and the anxiety disorders: an integrative review. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 16, 68-82.

Eifert, G. H., Forsyth, J. P., Arch, J., Espejo, N., Keller, M., && Langer, D. (2009). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for anxiety disorders: Three case studies exemplifying a unified treatment protocol. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 16, 368–385.

Forsyth, J. P., & *Sheppard, S. C. (2009). Behavior therapy and behavior analysis: Overview and third generation perspectives. In. D. C. S. Richard S. K. Huprich (Eds.), Clinical psychology: Assessment, treatment, and research (pp. 249-280). New York: Elsevier.