Donald K. Freedheim Student Development Paper Award


The Donald K. Freedheim Student Development Award for the best paper on psychotherapy theory, practice, or research.

Funding Specifics

Cash prize of $500 for the winner.

Benefits of Applying

  • Cash prize.
  • Enhance your curriculum vitae and gain national recognition.
  • Certificate and check presented at the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy Awards Ceremony at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association.
  • Abstract will be published in the Psychotherapy Bulletin, the official publication of the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy.

Proposal Requirements

  • Papers must be based on work conducted by the first author. The paper must be written, and award application be submitted, no more than two years post-graduate degree. Papers can be based on (but are not restricted to) a Masters thesis or a doctoral dissertation.
  • Papers should be in APA style, not to exceed 25 pages in length (including tables, figures, and references) and should not list the authors’ names or academic affiliations.
  • Please include a title page as part of a separate attached MS-Word or PDF document so that the papers can be judged “blind.” This page can include authors’ names and academic affiliations.
  • Also include a cover letter as part of a separate attached MS-Word or PDF document. The cover letter should attest that the paper is based on work that the first author conducted while in graduate school. It should also include the first author’s mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address.
  • All applicants must be members of the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy. Join the Society here.
  • Applicant must specify for which award he/she is applying. Applicants can submit multiple papers for awards, but an individual paper may only be submitted for a single award.
  • Papers that have been published will be considered, but submissions should be in final manuscript format (such as a word document).

Submission Process & Deadline

Submission Process: Email materials to Lei Sun, Chair, Student Development Committee. E-mail:

Submission Deadline: April 1


Donald K. Freedheim Student Development Paper Award

2020 Recipient: Lauren M. Lipner

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

Author: Lauren Lipner
Institution: Adelphi University

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.

Paper Abstract: 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.

Donald K. Freedheim Student Development Paper Award

Previous Winners

2019-João Francisco Barreto, University of Porto, Portugal, "Mentalizing Countertransference? A Model for Research on the Elaboration of Countertransference Experience in Psychotherapy."

2018-Brian TaeHyuk Keum, University of Maryland-College Park, "Group- and Individual- Level Self-Stigma Reductions in Promoting Psychological Help-Seeking Attitudes among College Students in Helping Skills Courses"

2017 – Melanie Love, Teachers College, Columbia University, "Dishonesty and Self-Concealment in Psychotherapy"

2016 – Amanda Zold, UAA-UAF, “Clients’ Perceptions of Personal Psychotherapy for Therapists”

2015 – Marilyn A. Cornish, PhD, paper completed during doctoral studies at Iowa State University, “Working Through Past Wrongdoing: Examination of a Self-Forgiveness Counseling Intervention”

2014 – Jenny H. Lotterman, Teachers College, Columbia University, “Erotic Feelings Toward the Therapist: A Relational Perspective”

2013 – Alexey Tolchinsky, George Washington University, “Acute Trauma In Adulthood in The Context of Childhood Traumatic Experiences”

2012 – Rebecca M. Ametrano, University of Massachusetts -Amherst, “Patient Outcome Expectations and Credibility Beliefs as Predictors of the Alliance and Treatment Outcome”

2011 – Jenelle Slavin-Mulford, MA, The Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies, Adelphi University ”Therapeutic Interventions Related to Outcome in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy for Anxiety Disorder Patients”

2010 – Rebecca Stewart

2009 – no award given

2008 – Joshua K Swift, MS, Oklahoma State University, The Impact of Client Treatment Preferences on Outcome: A Meta-Analysis

2007 – Jesse A Metzger, Teachers College, Columbia University, “The Relationship Between Patients’ Representations of Therapists and Parents”

2006 – LaTanya A. Carter, M.A., Michigan State University

2005 – LaRicka R. Wingate

2003 and 2004 – No awards given

2002 – Susan S Woodhouse

2001 – Mary L. Malik, U of California, Santa Barbara

2000 – Jonathan Mohr, U. of Maryland, College Park

1999 – Georgios K Lampropoulos

1994 – 1st Place: Benjamin Johnson, Yale University

Hon. Mention: William A Hoganm Indiana State U

Jessica Beth Londa, Vanderbilt U.

William KJ. Lamb, U.C. Berkeley

1991 – 1st Place: Steven Herman, Rutgers U. “Therapist-client similarity as a predictor of psychotherapy outcome”

2nd Place: Maureen Corbet, U of Maryland. “A brief history of research on the process of individual psychotherapy”