Michael Constantino, professor of clinical psychology and director of the department of psychological and brain sciences’ graduate program, has been voted president-elect of the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy, a division of the American Psychological Association. His term as president-elect will begin in 2017 and as president in 2018. This will be Constantino’s second time serving as president of a professional organization; he was president of the North American Society for Psychotherapy Research from 2013-2015.
He says, “I am honored to be entrusted to serve the division in this important role, and I will strive to uphold the long tradition of successful Division 29 [psychotherapy] leadership. Among my initiatives, I will develop work groups to translate cutting edge research findings into newer psychotherapy training molds, and create platforms to tout ‘disruptive innovations’ that extend the reach of psychosocial services. I hope that such endeavors will amplify Division 29’s vital voice in psychotherapy theory, research, practice and training.”
Constantino’s research focuses on identifying and understanding patient, therapist and relational processes that influence psychosocial treatments for adult patients, and on the development, systematization, integration, testing and dissemination of effective psychotherapeutic interventions. Constantino’s Psychotherapy Research Lab uses complementary research designs including quantitative process research, experimental outcome trials, meta-analyses, qualitative analyses and lab-based clinical analogue studies.
Most recently, with colleagues at York and Ryerson universities in Toronto, he reported results of a five-year, randomized clinical trial of a new combined treatment approach for severe generalized anxiety disorder. The work suggests that integrating motivational interviewing with cognitive behavioral therapy improves long-term patient improvement rates better than CBT alone. Constantino and colleagues were also recently awarded $1.7 million in funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) for a study on improving mental health care by scientifically matching patient needs to clinical providers’ strengths.
Constantino has received a number of international awards including the American Psychological Foundation’s 2007 Division 29 (psychotherapy) Early Career Award, the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration’s 2007 New Researcher Award and the Society for Psychotherapy Research’s 2010 Outstanding Early Career Achievement Award. In 2009, he was honored with fellow status in the American Psychological Association Division 29 and in 2013 received its Distinguished Publication of Psychotherapy Research Award.