Welcome to the start of the Spring 2022 semester! With the University COVID-19 vaccination requirement and extensive coronavirus testing, students have returned to campus and classes are being held in-person. We are all grateful for the step forward towards normalcy.
PBS faculty, staff, and students have been busy! In this newsletter we spotlight current research and celebrate some of our recent awards and accomplishments. We are also happy to announce our graduate students have a new lounge and their offices have new furniture. Pictures of the transformation can be seen below.
Please take a moment to send us your news. Alumni, read about fellow UMass graduates in our Spotlight on Alumni series and contribute your story to offer valuable career advice to current students. Also, stop by our Alumni pages to tell us about your latest accomplishments or to share your favorite UMass memory. Current students, check out our Instagram @umass.pbs and tell us how it feels to be back together again at #umassPBS. We'll see you at graduation!
The Advisors, Faculty, and Staff of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
Working through life challenges using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Featuring the work of Assistant Professor Bruna Martins-Klein
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a treatment that may prove beneficial to individuals that are not seeing results with CBT. It can be helpful for changes in life that prove to be trying such as handling grief or loss, transitioning to a new role like parent or caregiver, or managing pain. ACT shares some common themes with CBT but relies on a unique idea that there are some things that we can't change, and for those situations, it’s possible to change our attitude towards these struggles.
Read full article
Research examines the role of psychotherapists in treatment effectiveness
UMass Amherst study may lead to more personalized clinical training
New research at the University of Massachusetts Amherst shows that different psychotherapists use common treatment processes to varying benefits for patients.
The findings, published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, ultimately may lead to more personalized clinical practices and trainings for therapists to help maximize their therapeutic impact and improve patient outcomes.
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Studying the psychology of political divides
Mackenzie Smith '22 combines psychology and political science in her research, which she presented at her field’s most prestigious conference.
Mackenzie Smith, 2021 UMass Amherst Rising Researcher, has long been fascinated by how people make decisions and so she chose to major in both psychology and political science at UMass Amherst. “The two fields go hand-in-hand,” she says. “Politics is all about people and how they interact and why—it’s very psychological. I think everyone in politics would benefit from psychology courses.”
Read full article
Spotlight on Alumni
Find out how these bright alumni found their calling
Kevin McGrath '13
Product Designer at 2U
Christine Brydges '11, MS
UX Researcher at Noom
Graduate Student Office Update
This spring semester, graduate students received a much needed upgrade to their office furniture and student lounge. Old furniture from Tobin Hall's inception in the 1970s was replaced with brand-new functional and ergonomic pieces. We want to to thank our staff members for their hard work in making this happen! See full article and gallery