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Research Updates

May 22, 2014

At MiSPP, we encourage students, faculty, and staff to engage in research activities. The research involved may be independent or as part of a team and may result in publication or presentation. The following activities are currently underway at MiSPP:

  • Dr. Ryan Blackstock (Core Faculty) has developed and prototyped a deck of cards called Encounter. The goal of the cards is to help clinicians and clients during a group session. The open ended statements or directives on each card encourage self-disclosure in several areas such as identity, beliefs, values, feelings, memories, etc. The cards can be used in session as a type of warm-up activity; helping group members become more involved and interested in one another while enhancing group cohesion. 

  • Dr. Jill Castro (Clinical Training Administrator) participated as an expert panelist on WDET’s The Craig Fahle Show discussing the topic of making sense of violence and trauma among youth (April 15, 2014). The interview can be heard here.

  • Dr. Ronda Diegel (Adjunct Faculty) published an article in the Spring 2014 issue of Yoga Therapy Today entitled, “A Year of Yoga: A Year of Trauma Recovery.”

  • Jessica Dluzynski (PsyD I), Katherine Lewitzke (PsyD II), Matthew Kadrich (PsyD II), and Debra Kenjorski (MA) participated in a program titled “May Day: A Call for Help” with 8th graders at East Middle School in Farmington Hills, MI. The event, held May 30, was part of an effort to increase awareness about mental health and dealing with depression.

  • Timothy Franke (PsyD III) is currently working as a research assistant in collaboration with Dr. Margaret E. Gnegy and Dr. Emily Jutkiewicz of the University of Michigan Pharmacology Department. The team is investigating the effects of a specific PKC Beta inhibitor on amphetamine mediated dopamine efflux.

  • Melanie Ho (PsyD I) and Priscilla Zoma (PsyD I) presented a poster session entitled, “Inter-family relationships and the factors influencing the family system,” at the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters in February 2014.

  • Troy Piwowarski (PsyD IV) was recently published as a co-author of a chapter in the 2nd edition of The Handbook of Humanistic Psychology (2014). The chapter is on existential-humanistic teaching models, and Troy wrote the section on the qualitative research he completed for the Existential-Humanistic Institute’s certificate program.

  • Troy Piwowarski (PsyD IV) has been working on a book that is about to go to print. Ambiguity of Suffering, written with Nader Shabahangi, explores Freud’s bio-medical assumptions, and offers an alternative perspective on human suffering and existence, based on Heidegger’s ontological perspective. The chapter Troy helped most with is an epilogue that helps to explain how these ideas can be applied to the clinical sphere.

  • Dr. Marjie Scott (Adjunct Faculty) is currently interviewing men and women over the age of 65 about retirement choices.

  • Dr. Dustin Shepler (Core Faculty), Melanie Ho (PsyD I), Priscilla Zoma (PsyD I), and Chris Bober (PsyD I) will present their research, “Face-to-face vs. online interviewing: Perceptions of empathy, competence, and alliance” in a poster session at the APA Convention in August 2014.

  • Dr. Dustin Shepler (Core Faculty), Melanie Ho (PsyD I), Priscilla Zoma (PsyD I), and Jessica Dluzynski (PsyD I) will present their research, “Online therapy: Where we are and where we need to go” in a poster session at the APA Convention in August 2014.

  • Dr. David St. John (Core Faculty) will participate as a panel presenter in the discussion, “A colorblind privilege in humanistic-existential psychology” at the APA Convention in August 2014.

  • Dr. David St. John (Core Faculty) will participate as a panel presenter in the discussion, “The ecopsychological self – A model and measure” at the APA Convention in August 2014.