USM Summer

Health Psychology Institute


Program Details:

June 24- 26, 2015 - Live 3-day Institute - PSY 390 (22418)

June 24- July 17,  2015 - Online Version* PSY 390 (22919)

*Live lectures will be captured and made available for distance students to view for a 3-week period. The academic requirements are the same as for the Live Institute. Also available for non-credit/CEUs.

The Health Psychology Institute will be held at the Joel and Linda Abromson Community Education Center on USM's Portland Campus. Presentations take place in the 500 seat, climate-controlled Hannaford Lecture Hall. The institutes are led by USM Psychology Professor William Gayton, Ph.D. who, over the past 25+ years, has been instrumental in the creation, promotion, and execution of these intense and fascinating educational programs.

The Institutes consist of three-day intensive classes (Wednesday-Friday) for college students seeking academic credit or for community professionals seeking certification and professional development opportunities. The Institutes offer CEU's for teachers requiring recertification, as well as for participants seeking Board of Psychology or Social Work CEU's.

The educational focus of these unique programs is to bring together a tremendous team of academic experts to facilitate a discussion of theory and practice. The Institutes are intended to appeal to students across all disciplines as well as mental health practitioners, health care professionals, physicians, physical therapists, nurses, psychologists, counselors, social workers, human service workers, coaches, athletic directors, and athletes.

Open to all majors, no prerequisites.

Return to top



Wednesday, June 24

  • Registration and Check-in: 8:30-9:00am
  • Introduction and Welcome: 9:15-9:30am
    William Gayton, Ph.D., University of Southern Maine
    Karin Pires, USM Summer
  • Lunch, Woodbury Campus Center:12:00pm-1:00pm
  • Afternoon Sessions: 1:00pm-3:30pm  
    • Family Rhythms & the Blues: A Family Oriented Approach to Bereavement
      Deborah Taylor, Ph.D., Central Maine Medical Center

Thursday, June 25

  • Morning Session- 9:30am-12:00pm
    • My Family Makes Me Sick: Understanding the Impact of the Family on Health
      Deborah Taylor, Ph.D., Central Maine Medical Center
  • Lunch, Woodbury Campus Center: 12:00pm-1:00pm  
  • Afternoon Session: 1:00pm-3:30pm

Friday, June 26

  • Morning Session: 9:30am-12:00pm
    • An Overview of Evidence-based Obesity Management Strategies in Children and Adolescents
      Ric G. Steele, Jr., Ph.D., University of Kansas
  • Lunch, Woodbury Campus Center: 12:00pm-1:00pm  
  • Afternoon Session: 1:00pm-3:30pm
    • Willpower Engineering: Strategies for Winning the War Between Will and Want
      Steve Levinson, Ph.D., Behavioral Dynamics, Inc.
  • Closing Comments: 3:30pm-4:00pm
    William F. Gayton, Ph.D., University of Southern Maine  

Return to top


Faculty Bios:

  • Steve Levinson, Ph.D.
    Steve Levinson, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist; author and inventor who has devoted much of his career to understanding why people so often fail to follow through on their own good intentions.  Levinson, with co-author Pete Greider, wrote Following Through, a book that examines "the great disconnect" between good intentions and behavior. First published in 1998, Following Through set forth a provocative theory and bold solutions that continue to attract international attention, praise and extensive media exposure including appearances by Levinson on ABC TV 20/20 and BBC radio. Levinson is also the inventor of the MotivAider®, a simple personal electronic device that enables people of all ages to make desired changes in their own behavior and habits.  The device is used at the Mayo Clinic and in the healthcare, education, business and sports industries in 49 countries.  Levinson earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Queens College of the City University of New York and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Rochester (1973). He served as director of an innovative rural mental health program in Minnesota for over thirty five years.  Levinson is currently president of Behavioral Dynamics, Inc., the Minnesota company he co-founded in 1987 to develop, manufacture, and market the MotivAider® and support its users worldwide.

  • Christine L. B. Selby, Ph.D
    Christine Selby, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Husson University, United States, and she is a licensed psychologist who maintains a part-time private practice. Dr. Selby received her Master's in Athletic Counseling from Springfield College in 1994 and subsequently received her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of North Texas in 2000. She is a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist with the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals and is a Certified Consultant with the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. Christine has published primarily in the area of eating disorders in athletes for largely non-academic audiences. She has also presented locally and nationally on eating disorders and related topics at professional conferences and to allied professionals who work directly with those dealing with eating disorders and related concerns. She is the author of Chilling Out: The Psychology of Relaxation.
  • Rebecca Shelby, Ph.D.
    Rebecca Shelby, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University and the Director of Education and Training for the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program.  Dr. Shelby is a member of the Duke Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program and the Duke Pain Prevention and Treatment Research Program.  Dr. Shelby completed her graduate training in clinical psychology at the Ohio State University and her clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University.  Her research focuses on developing and evaluating behavioral interventions for cancer patients, management of cancer pain and treatment side effects, and improving adherence to recommended care.  Dr. Shelby’s current research includes a study examining the factors that impact mammography adherence in breast cancer survivors, the development and evaluation of a self-regulation based intervention for improving adherence to recommended care in breast cancer survivors, and evaluation of a pain coping skills intervention for persistent pain following breast surgery.  Dr. Shelby serves on the Duke clinical psychology internship faculty and supervises clinical psychology interns and clinical psychology graduate practicum students completing clinical rotations as part of the Duke Cancer Patient Support Program.  Dr. Shelby is involved in a number of collaborative projects.  She is an instructor for the From Cancer to Health Training Institute at the Ohio State University and serves on the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Sexual Function domain committee.
  • Deborah Taylor, Ph.D.
    Deborah Taylor, Ph.D., received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a subspecialty in health psychology from the University of Kansas in 1985, and subsequently completed a postdoctoral internship at Ohio State University Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship in chronic and cancer pain, she returned to Ohio State University Hospital to direct a psychology consultation service for hospitalized medical patients. A native Mainer and a graduate of the University of Southern Maine, Taylor was very pleased to return to her home state in 1992 to join the faculty of the Central Maine Medical Center Family Practice Residency Program where she serves as the director of Behavioral medicine to primary care physician trainees, and continues to pursue her special interest in providing clinical care to patients with medical illness and/or chronic pain conditions. Taylor’s research interests focus on the psychological impact of illness, pain, and disability on the patient and their family/support system.

  • Ric G. Steele Ph.D.
    Ric G. Steele Ph.D. Is Professor & Director, Clinical Child Psychology Program at the University of Kansas.  Dr. Steele’s current research is focused on the correlates and treatment of pediatric obesity and the promotion of weight-related health and quality of life. Supported by both state and federal grants, his research team has been developing and examining the efficacy and effectiveness of a behaviorally based group treatment for pediatric obesity (Positively Fit). Results from the RCT indicate that Positively Fit is a promising intervention, with positive changes in children’s BMI at one year post-treatment. Dr. Steele and his team are also interested in more systemic interventions for obesity.  Specifically, with state and private grants, they have developed and evaluated Child Health Matters, an online tutorial to enhance school nurses’ communications with families about weight-related health, nutrition, and physical activity. Beyond these grant-funded projects, Steele’s team has various ongoing projects exploring the associations among health-related quality of life, physical activity, and  psychosocial variables such as perceived competence, peer victimization, and body dissatisfaction.  For more information about Dr. Steele’s research lab, please visit the Pediatric Health Promotion and Maintenance website.

Return to top



Registration opens March 2, 2015.

  • For Academic Credit- Students may register via MaineStreet or by calling (207) 780-5900. Visit Summer Registration Information for further details on specific dates. Students taking summer courses for credit are subject to the standard University of Southern Maine tuition and fees.

  • For Non-credit/Continuing Education Units - Please call us at (207) 780-5900.

Return to top


Tuition & Fees:

Prices include basic registration, some course materials, continental breakfasts, beverage breaks and lunch Wednesday through Friday. Catered lunches will be served from Noon - 1:00 p.m. in the Woodbury Campus Center. Vegetarian lunch options will be readily available at all times. If you have special dietary needs, please inform us in advance and accommodations can be made for your particular needs.

Academic Credit 3 undergraduate credits

  • In-state: $759*
  • Out-of-state: $1,995*

*Plus mandatory university fees

Please note: A special course fee for the Institute will also be assessed.  The fee differs for the on-campus and online versions.  This fee helps offset the costs of food, materials, course capture/web hosting, and those associated with the multiple guest presenters.

Noncredit/Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

  • Full Live Institute: $475
  • Full Online Institute: $395

Register online for the non-credit option or call 207-780-5900 for assistance.
(Please note, you'll be asked to set-up an account when registering online)

Return to top


Academic Credit:

Students seeking three (3) undergraduate academic credits will be expected to:

  • Attend all sessions of the three-day institute (attendance is taken by staff each "live" day for on-campus participants; streamed presentation viewing is monitored for online participants)
  • Acquire and read the assigned textbook of the particular institute
  • Write a reaction paper to both the required textbook and all institute speakers
  • Complete a take-home essay exam, which will be given out the last day of the institute

The textbook will be available at the USM bookstore located on the Portland campus two weeks prior to the start of the institute. The textbook does not need to be purchased prior to the institute.

Institutes can be repeated for credit each year, as the content varies each summer they are offered. Students may also take more than one Institute per summer.

Return to top


Continuing Education Units:

Continuing Education Units for the Psychology Institutes are available for a wide range of professionals. If you are interested in CEUs, you must register as a noncredit participant and follow the guidelines below.

  • Psychologists:  Approved for category 1 CEUs. For a full institute, you will be awarded 15 contact hours.  For verification purposes, attendance is taken daily at the institute.

  • Teachers: Approved by the Maine Department of Education/Professional Development Center.  For a full institute, you will be awarded 15 contact hours.  You must attend all sessions of the institute and fill out the CEU form you receive on the first day.  Develop a 1-2 page reaction paper (professional growth statement) detailing how the information gained is pertinent to your career and return it with the CEU form to the Summer Session Office for processing.

  • Social Workers, Counselors, Nurses, etc.:  CEUs do not require pre-approval, but you must determine that the material covered is relevant to your work in order for the CEUs to be accepted for your relicensure. For a full institute, you will be awarded 15 contact hours.  For verification purposes, attendance is taken daily at the institute.

Register online for the non-credit option or call 207-780-5900 for assistance.
(Please note, you'll be asked to set-up an account when registering online)

Return to top