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Graduate Programs in Psychology

Pepperdine Applied Research Center

Positive Psychology Research Lab

In Dr. Hall's Positive Psychology Dissertation lab, teams of three doctoral students and their master's student research assistants explore and have explored several interest areas involving the PARC research database, including: therapists', clients' and supervisors' use of strengths in assessment and psychotherapy (e.g., post-traumatic growth, meaning making, coping, resilience, hope, social support, cultural worldviews, religiosity/spirituality, humor, gratitude, validation, acceptance) in psychotherapy with diverse populations, including adults exposed to trauma, violence and maltreatment as well as emerging adults generally. Eager to share our clinically relevant findings with the community, we have published and presented our work at local and national conferences.

Past and Current Teams

  • Threats to Physical Integrity Team - Graduated May 2013
    • On humor and healing: A qualitative analysis of trainee therapists’ responses to expressions of humor in clients who have experienced trauma. Rebecca Dragosits
    • Expressions of cultural worldview in psychotherapy with clients who have experienced trauma: A qualitative study from a terror management theory perspective. Christopher Ogle
    • Trainee therapists’ responses to expressions of social support: A qualitative analysis of psychotherapy with clients who have experienced threats to physical integrity. Celine Hunt
  • Posttraumatic Growth Team - Graduated May 2012:
    • How trainee therapists in the initial sessions of therapy respond to clients’ expressions of traumatic experiences. Howells, Christopher
    • Exploring ways in which trainee therapists address autonomy when working with culturally diverse clients who have experienced trauma: A qualitative analysis of an aspect of posttraumatic growth theory. Khatchadourian, Ani
    • Examining trainee therapists’ use of Calhoun and Tedeschi’s recommended counseling strategies for facilitating posttraumatic growth in psychotherapy: A qualitative analysis. Renee Sloane
  • Trauma Discussion Team - Graduated May 2011:
    • Repairing ruptures within the context of trauma discussion to trainee therapists: Relationship to therapeutic alliance - Karina G. Campos, Psy.D.
    • Understanding the association between the timing and depth of discussion of traumatic material and the stages of change - Lauren DesJardins, Psy.D.
    • Examining the occurrence of verbal and non-verbal positive emotional expression during discussion of interpersonal trauma in psychotherapy: A case study - Whitney Dicterow, Psy.D.
  • Hope, Coping and Meaning Making Team - Graduated 2010:
    • A qualitative analysis of client expressions of meaning in psychotherapy, as seen from a positive psychology perspective - Alexander Bacher, Psy.D.
    • A content analysis of client hope in psychotherapy sessions - Stacie Cooper, Psy.D.
    • A content analysis of client coping in psychotherapy sessions - Josina Grassi Moak, Psy.D.

      SJ final oral

CURRENT TEAMS
  • Psychotherapy with Trauma Survivors Team - Analyzing Data Sept. 2013
    • Trainee therapists responses to the discussion of trauma in therapy. Courtney Bancroft
    • Student therapists' use of self-disclosure with clients who have experienced trauma. Krista Kircanski
    • Qualitative analysis of expressions of gratitude in clients who have experienced trauma. Roxy Zarrabi
  • Emerging Adulthood Team - Currently writing literature reviews
    • How student therapists facilitate emotion regulation through acceptance with emerging adults. Lauren Ford
    • Themes expressed by emerging adults in psychotherapy. Brian Louie
    • Qualitative expressions of ethnic identity in psychotherapy with emerging adults. Karyn Riel
  • Therapist’s use of reflection with trauma survivors. Joshua Lapin

  • Those who work with the PARC database have been joined in the lab by other students exploring issues related to positive psychology and forensic psychology, including:
    • Dumain (Huh), Kathy. The relationship between optimism and runaway behavior in adolescents in the juvenile justice system.
    • Predolin (Carusone), Jennifer. A positive psychology approach to understanding police officers' stress experiences and coping strategies: A qualitative investigation.
    • Tangeman, Keegan. Self-efficacy in incarcerated male adolescents.

Presentations and Publications:

  1. Zarrabi, R., & Hall, S. R., (2013, Aug.). Expressions of gratitude in psychotherapy with trauma survivors. Poster presentation at the American Psychological Association Convention (Division 29), Honolulu, HI.

  2. Crespi-Hunt, C., & Hall, S. R., (2012, Oct.). Identifying social support expressions in therapy with a Salvadorian trauma survivor. Poster presentation accepted at the 12th Annual Diversity Challenge: What to Do About Race and Culture and Violence. Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture. Boston, MA.
  3. Crespi-Hunt, C., & Hall, S. R., (2012, Aug.). Expressions of social support in the therapy of trauma survivors. Poster presentation accepted at the American Psychological Association Convention (Division 56), Orlando, FL.
  4. Sloane-Alas, R., & Hall, S. R., (2012, Aug.). Do trainee therapists facilitate posttraumatic growth in clients who have experienced trauma? Poster presentation accepted at the American Psychological Association Convention (Division 56), Orlando, FL.
  5. Hall, S. R., & Wiedeman, L. (2012, Jan.). Trainee therapists’ perceptions of the helpfulness of the Brief Multidimensional Measure of Religiousness/Spirituality in counseling. Paper presentation at the Hawaii International Conference on Education.
  6. Tangeman, K., & Hall, S. R. (2011). Self-efficacy in incarcerated adolescents: The role of family and social supports. Child & Youth Services, 32 (1), 39-55.
  7. Khatchadourian, A., & Hall, S. R. (2010, Oct.). Addressing autonomy when working to promote posttraumatic growth with culturally diverse psychotherapy clients. Poster presentation accepted at the Los Angeles County Psychological Association Convention, Culver City, CA.
  8. Sloane, R., & Hall, S. R. (2010, Oct.). Examining Trainee Therapists’ use of Calhoun and Tedeschi’s Recommendations for Facilitating Posttraumatic Growth in Psychotherapy: A Qualitative Analysis. Poster presentation accepted at the Los Angeles County Psychological Association Convention, Culver City, CA.
  9. Predolin (Carusone), J. & Hall, S. R. (2008, October). Understanding police officers' stress experiences and coping strategies. Poster presented at the Los Angeles County Psychological Association Conference, Los Angeles, CA.
  10. Carusone, J. G., & Hall, S. R. (2006, August). A positive psychological approach to understanding police officers' stress experiences and coping strategies: A qualitative investigation. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Convention, New Orleans, LA.
  11. Anderson, C. (2005, July). Spiritual coping among adolescents in treatment for sexual abuse. Paper presented at the Faculty Scholars Conference, Malibu, CA.

The Culture and Trauma Research Lab conducts research on the cultural context of traumas such as partner abuse, human trafficking, genocide, and racism, and the role of spirituality in the recovery process.