Psychotherapy Bulletin

Psychotherapy Bulletin

2020 Student Paper Award Winners

Student Diversity Award

Brien J. Goodwin is a sixth-year PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who is starting his pre-doctoral internship this fall at the Institute of Living. His Master’s thesis examined the association between early-treatment patient motivational language and proximal treatment outcomes. His dissertation examines in-session interpersonal micro-processes that differentiate therapy dyads known to possess high versus low relational attunement. Other projects have focused on corrective experiences in psychotherapy, existential isolation, resistance, patient preferences, patient outcome expectation, cultural processes, and mediators of the alliance-outcome association. His clinical interests include context-responsive individual, family, and group psychotherapy in inpatient and forensic settings with people of all ages. His empirical and conceptual work has been disseminated in peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, and professional conferences.

Abstract: Extending the Context-Responsive Psychotherapy Integration Framework to Cultural Processes in Psychotherapy

Psychotherapist competence in attending to cultural processes has long been considered an ingredient of successful treatment. Although some research findings support a positive association between clinician multicultural competence (MCC) and client improvement, others suggest that MCC may not be a skill that therapists uniformly acquire and then stably maintain. Rather, MCC is likely more fluid and contextualized, potentially rendering within- therapist variability across their patients and within-dyad variability across different moments in a given case. With such variability in perceptions and actual behavioral manifestations of
therapist MCC, it may be important for clinicians to heed contextual markers that call for flexibility and evidence-informed responsivity. To this end, we extend Constantino, Boswell, Bernecker, and Castonguay’s (2013) context-responsive psychotherapy integration (CRPI) framework, a pantheoretical, if-then approach to responding to common clinical process markers with modular, evidence-based therapeutic strategies. Specifically, we present a therapy case supporting that clients’ social and cultural identities can serve as both specific client contexts in themselves, and also as unique factors that may influence other important therapeutic contexts (e.g., lowered client outcome expectation, alliance ruptures, client change ambivalence/resistance to treatment) that require context-relevant therapist responsivity. With this case, we provide examples of both successful responsivity and missed opportunities.

Donald K. Freedheim Student Development Award

Lauren M. Lipner graduated from Adelphi University with her Ph.D. in clinical psychology in May 2020, after completing her pre-doctoral internship at Pennsylvania Hospital/University of Pennsylvania Health System. At Adelphi, she worked under the mentorship of Dr. J.C. Muran, and worked closely with Dr. Catherine Eubanks, Dr. Jeremy Safran, Dr. Bernard Gorman and Dr. Jacques Barber to develop her research interests in methodological inquiries into the identification of ruptures in therapeutic alliance. She recently began her post-doctoral research fellowship at the Brief Psychotherapy Research Program at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City.

Abstract: Operationalizing Alliance Rupture-Repair Events Using Control Chart Methods

This study aimed to determine how control charts - a form of line graphs - can be implemented in psychotherapy research to determine rupture-repair episodes that are predictive of outcome. There is currently no standard in psychotherapy research with regard to how to use control charts to identify rupture-repair events. Control charts were generated for each patient (N = 73) using patient-rated Working Alliance Inventory (WAI) scores obtained at the end of every session in a 30-session therapy protocol of either brief relational therapy (BRT) or cognitive
behavioral therapy (CBT). Various cutoff points were used to identify rupture and repair based on each dyad’s control chart. Coded rupture-repair episodes were correlated with outcome measures to assess for predictive validity. Conservative criteria for identifying ruptures, and less conservative definitions of rupture repair, led to the identification of rupture processes that were predictive of therapeutic outcome. The results of these analyses provide preliminary support for the utility of control charts in psychotherapy research for the identification of rupture repair events that are predictive of psychotherapy outcome.

Jeffrey E. Barnett Psychotherapy Research Paper Award

Nicholas Morrison is a postdoctoral fellow at the VA Boston Healthcare System. In 2010, Dr. Morrison graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a BA in Psychology with highest honors. His senior honors thesis qualitatively examined therapeutic alliance researchers’ perspectives on alliance-centered training practices. Subsequently, he worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator and Diagnostic Interviewer in the Pediatric Psychopharmacology and Adult ADHD Clinical and Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. In 2012, Dr. Morrison returned to UMass Amherst for graduate study, and completed his predoctoral clinical internship at SUNY Upstate Medical University. Dr. Morrison's research program centers on psychotherapy process, outcome, and integration, and relies heavily on qualitative methods. His master’s thesis expanded on his earlier research by examining the state of current alliance training practices in clinical and counseling psychology programs across the United States and Canada, and his doctoral dissertation focused on examining the trustworthiness of consensual qualitative research (CQR) findings. He currently strives to integrate his research, teaching, and clinical work on fellowship.

Abstract: The State of Therapeutic Alliance Training in Clinical and Counseling Psychology Graduate Programs

Nicholas Morrison is a postdoctoral fellow at the VA Boston Healthcare System. In 2010, Dr. Morrison graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a BA in Psychology with highest honors. His senior honors thesis qualitatively examined therapeutic alliance researchers’ perspectives on alliance-centered training practices. Subsequently, he worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator and Diagnostic Interviewer in the Pediatric Psychopharmacology and Adult ADHD Clinical and Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. In 2012, Dr. Morrison returned to UMass Amherst for graduate study, and completed his predoctoral clinical internship at SUNY Upstate Medical University. Dr. Morrison's research program centers on psychotherapy process, outcome, and integration, and relies heavily on qualitative methods. His master’s thesis expanded on his earlier research by examining the state of current alliance training practices in clinical and counseling psychology programs across the United States and Canada, and his doctoral dissertation focused on examining the trustworthiness of consensual qualitative research (CQR) findings. He currently strives to integrate his research, teaching, and clinical work on fellowship.

Mathilda B. Canter Education and Training Award

Yun Garrison is a first-generation immigrant who landed in the United States to become a psychologist. She recently finished her pre-doctoral internship in Health Services Psychology at Colorado State University Health Network. After obtaining her Ph.D. degree in the University of Iowa’s APA-accredited Counseling Psychology program, she joined Bates College as an Assistant Professor of Psychology. She also works as a clinician at Psychology Specialists of Maine working with community members. Her research is centered on how dominant ideologies and systemic oppression (e.g., racism, classism, native-speakerism) are related to psychological/vocational outcomes among people of color, immigrants, and working-class community members.

Abstract: Linguistic Minority International Counseling Psychology Trainees’ Experiences in Clinical
Supervision

The present study aims to identify helpful and hindering supervisory experiences from the perspectives of international counseling psychology doctoral trainees with a focus on English-specific sociolinguistic issues in clinical settings. Specifically, the current research is underpinned by a strengths-based perspective to recognize these students’ challenges, strengths, and growth that are often overlooked by a deficits-based approach (e.g., native-speakerism). Twenty participants who self-identified as international, non-native English-speaking, and counseling psychology doctoral trainees in the United States participated in a one-on-one interview and online survey. The present study used a mixed method research design (concept mapping methodology) and identified four clusters of perceived sociolinguistic experiences related to English in clinical settings, seven clusters of perceived helpful supervisory events, and seven clusters of perceived hindering supervisory events. Implications for clinical supervision, training, and advocacy, and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Student Excellence in Practice Award

Shawntell N. Pace, M.Ed. (she/her/hers) is a rising second-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at The University of Georgia under the tutelage of Dr. Linda F. Campbell. She received her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from The University of Georgia. Additionally, she received her master’s in Higher Education Administration and her bachelor’s in Radio, Television, and Film both from Auburn University. Currently, she is a doctoral-level clinician at UGA’s Center for Counseling and Personal Evaluation and Mercy Health Center, a community-based agency serving individuals who are uninsured. This fall, she will be serving as a graduate practicum intern at Emory University working on the Nia Project at Grady Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Her research interests center around healing racial trauma and how race-based experiences impact the physical and mental health of people of African descent and Chamorro (e.g. indigenous people of the Micronesian Islands) descent and healing racial trauma. Aside from her clinical work and research, Shawntell serves as the Social Justice Chair of UGA’s Counseling Psychological Student Association, the Chair of the Georgia Psychological Association Graduate Students Committee, and the Communication and Public Relations Coordinator for Division 17 of the American Psychological Association.

Student Excellence in Teaching/Mentorship Award

Justin Hillman is a 4th  year doctoral student in Counseling Psychology at the University of Maryland College Park, working under the mentorship of Dennis M. Kivlighan, Jr. His research interests include psychotherapy process and outcome, with a focus on attachment processes and the therapeutic relationship. For his master’s thesis, he examined the relationship between the development of clients’ attachment to their therapist and treatment outcomes in psychodynamic psychotherapy. Additionally, he is interested in how therapists engage their clients in the here-and-now to facilitate interpersonal change with skills like immediacy. Justin has supported studies of deliberate practice for immediacy and is currently developing a measure to assess barriers to using immediacy. He is passionate about psychodynamic and interpersonal approaches to therapy, and currently conducts open-ended psychotherapy on externship at the Maryland Psychotherapy Clinic and Research Lab. As a graduate teaching assistant, he enjoys incorporating interpersonal approaches into his teaching style. He has served as primary instructor for undergraduate coursework on peer counseling skills and mental health advocacy, and as a lab instructor for graduate level helping skills training.

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