Clinical Affective Sciences Lab - CASL

Clinical Affective Sciences Lab - CASL Research Lab Welcome to the Clinical Affective Sciences Laboratory (CASL)! In our lab, we conduct research on a variety of topics related to emotion regulation problems, with a specific focus on individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and their key features (e.g., self-harm).

Using self-report and psychophysiological measures, we seek to understand differences in how individuals experience their emotions. We evaluate how emotions affect behavior and cognitions, such as learning and problem solving performance. We also investigate the effects of different types of emotion regulation skills and strategies, as well as the ways in which particular treatment strategies work to help people who struggle with emotion regulation problems.

Operating as usual

We are so proud of CASL alum HIldy, who is working as a behavioral health specialist while continuing her research
09/30/2020

We are so proud of CASL alum HIldy, who is working as a behavioral health specialist while continuing her research

Introducing our latest Alumni Spotlight on Hildy Wen ‘17! Learn about her career as an Independent Researcher; and Behavioral Health Specialist at Melrose Wakefield Healthcare

Undergraduate Degree:
Major-Psychology, Minor-Education, Provost Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Summary of Position:
As an Independent Researcher, my work includes writing the IRB proposal, participant recruitment, data collection and analysis, and manuscript preparation. I’ve recently been collaborating with Dr. Katherine Dixon-Gordon to examine the relationship between Maladaptive Daydreaming (MD) traits, emotion dysregulation and other psychological difficulties, and with Dr. Eli Somer to examine the association between depression and Maladaptive daydreaming factors on positive and negative emotions.

As a Behavioral Health Specialist, my role is to integrate mental healthcare in Primary Care offices. I work with patients to cope with mental health issues while helping them to connect with additional resources to aid their recovery.

Future Goals:
Future goals include Maladaptive Daydreaming research, teaching and writing poetry.

What do you love most about this career path?
Because Maladaptive Daydreaming is such an unknown and under-researched condition, there’s a lot of gratification in knowing that this work is helping a lot of people learn more about what they are going through. I also love the feeling of creating new knowledge, and the thrill of looking through the results knowing that I’m the first person to know what I am knowing!

How did UMass and/or Psychological and Brain Sciences help prepare you?
From the Provost Undergraduate Research Fellowship, to my work as a research assistant in the Clinical Affective Science Lab, to the support Dr. Metevier offered as an advisor, the Psychology department at UMass gave me the opportunities and tools to chase my dream of becoming an MD researcher. Under the mentorship of Dr. Dixon-Gordon, I was able to run a study on MD, Personality Disorder traits, and emotion regulation difficulties, which I would later present as a poster at the ISSPD conference in Germany. This unforgettable experience was the first step in my MD research journey.

Tips for Current Undergrads:
Know what you want and don’t be afraid to ask for it.

Especially in a field like psychology where options are so vast and diverse, it’s important to know what you’re looking for, from both your experiences here now and what you want for your future. Once you’ve figured out what you want, don’t let self-doubt stop you from taking that extra step and asking for it. This applies to your career, as well as every other aspect in your life. Recognize what you deserve, but don’t forget to work hard to deserve it.

UMass Psychological Services Center is providing low-cost evidence-based treatments via telehealth, including a full dia...
05/30/2020

UMass Psychological Services Center is providing low-cost evidence-based treatments via telehealth, including a full dialectical behavior therapy program. #ImTrainedImHere #dbt

Update from the UMass Amherst Psychological Services Center: The PSC has been conducting tele-therapy for existing clients since campus closed in March. Beginning June 1, the PSC will begin to conduct new phone screens for potential new clients. Student therapists will schedule Zoom therapy appointments during regular PSC hours. Our Adult therapy team, Child/Adolescent team, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Team, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) team will all open to new clients as space in student therapists' schedules allow.

The PSC is a training clinic for clinical psychology graduate students overseen by faculty supervisors of the program. Learn more about the PSC: https://www.umass.edu/psc/

Check out Katie Dixon-Gordon’s co-authored book on Dialectical Behavior Therapy, in stores now! https://m.barnesandnoble...
05/19/2020
Dialectical Behavior Therapy|Paperback

Check out Katie Dixon-Gordon’s co-authored book on Dialectical Behavior Therapy, in stores now! https://m.barnesandnoble.com/w/dialectical-behavior-therapy-alexander-l-chapman-phd/1134271315

This book reviews the theoretical underpinnings and practice of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), a treatment developed by Marsha Linehan to help complex clients, such as suicidal individuals and those with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and related problems. DBT has proven to be...

Congratulations to Nate Fitzgerald and Anne Neary for their successful honor's thesis defenses! Even through Zoom, their...
04/27/2020

Congratulations to Nate Fitzgerald and Anne Neary for their successful honor's thesis defenses! Even through Zoom, their presentations wowed. We can't wait to see what's next for our students!

04/27/2020
NSF Award Search: Award#2026922 - RAPID: A Multi-Level Analysis of Social and Behavioral Responses to COVID-19

We are grateful for National Science Foundation (NSF) support in understanding social and behavioral responses to COVID-19 with our newly-launched project in collaboration with Drs. Brian Lickel, Ezra Markowitz, Allecia Reid. Stay tuned for our first wave of results. https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=2026922&HistoricalAwards=false

ABSTRACT The COVID-19 outbreak represents a rapidly unfolding and important challenge to the United States and to the world at large with the potential for significant social and economic impact. Non-pharmaceutical interventions were implemented as part of a broader effort to slow the spread of the....

CASL traveled to Atlanta for the ISITDBT conference and the #ABCT2019 conference. ✈️ Conferences are such a great way to...
11/27/2019

CASL traveled to Atlanta for the ISITDBT conference and the #ABCT2019 conference. ✈️ Conferences are such a great way to stay updated on exciting new #clinicalresearch

@ABCTNow presentation by Drs. Gratz, Chapman, Herr, Cheavens, and Katie Dixon-Gordon on interpersonal and emotional proc...
11/23/2019

@ABCTNow presentation by Drs. Gratz, Chapman, Herr, Cheavens, and Katie Dixon-Gordon on interpersonal and emotional processes in BPD

A fascinating group of findings about emotions and interpersonal implications for folks with BPD features were presented at this afternoon’s symposium: “Extending Research on the Interrelation of Interpersonal and Emotional Dysfunction Within Borderline Personality Disorder.” #ABCT2019

Our young research assistant is ready for his first ISITDBT conference and Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Ther...
10/22/2019

Our young research assistant is ready for his first ISITDBT conference and Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) conference next month!

If you're a current/recent student in the Western Mass area and looking to make some extra cash, check out our ACES stud...
07/30/2019

If you're a current/recent student in the Western Mass area and looking to make some extra cash, check out our ACES study!

Exciting work by Katie Dixon-Gordon Linda Isbell Karen Kalmakis Elizabeth Schoenfeld Bill Soares and Elle Waite!
07/30/2019

Exciting work by Katie Dixon-Gordon Linda Isbell Karen Kalmakis Elizabeth Schoenfeld Bill Soares and Elle Waite!

In this study, Katherine Dixon-Gordon Psychological and Brain Sciences - UMASS Amherst); Karen Kalmakis, NP University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Nursing; Linda Isbell (psychological & brain sciences); William Soares (emergency medicine, UMass Medical School, at Baystate ); Elizabeth Schoenfeld (emergency medicine, UMass Medical School, Baystate) will identify disparities in health care provision to substance users in the ED, and examine the role of provider attitudes about substance misuse, training, and resources in these disparities.

Congratulations to CASL doctoral student MK Oakley on her graduation day! Very proud adviser and lab fam today.
05/10/2019

Congratulations to CASL doctoral student MK Oakley on her graduation day! Very proud adviser and lab fam today.

Western Mass folks - consider letting folks know about this research study!
05/09/2019

Western Mass folks - consider letting folks know about this research study!

Volunteers wanted for a research study! Email [email protected] or call (413) 354-0053 for more information.

Volunteers wanted for a research study! Email caslab@psych.umass.edu or call (413) 354-0053 for more information.
05/07/2019

Volunteers wanted for a research study! Email [email protected] or call (413) 354-0053 for more information.

Congratulations to Pat McGonigal former CASL honor's student! A paper based on his honor's thesis was recently published...
08/14/2018
An open trial of an anger management treatment in a correctional facility: preliminary effectiveness and predictors of response

Congratulations to Pat McGonigal former CASL honor's student! A paper based on his honor's thesis was recently published: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14789949.2018.1508483

We found preliminary support for reductions in anger among male inmates following a widely used anger intervention. Improvements in emotion regulation strategies predicted post-intervention anger
.

(2018). An open trial of an anger management treatment in a correctional facility: preliminary effectiveness and predictors of response. The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology. Ahead of Print.

An exciting show of posters at the undergraduate research conference by Clinical Affective Sciences Lab - CASL students ...
04/27/2018

An exciting show of posters at the undergraduate research conference by Clinical Affective Sciences Lab - CASL students Caroline Ball, Ilhan Braxton, Lauren Harnedy, and Thaine Smith! Congratulations everyone!

Congratulations to Clinical Affective Sciences Lab - CASL honor's students Thaine Smith and Caroline Ball for successful...
04/27/2018

Congratulations to Clinical Affective Sciences Lab - CASL honor's students Thaine Smith and Caroline Ball for successful thesis defenses!

Amidst the debates, it's useful to see what a bunch of smart scientists have to say about firearms and suicide.
03/01/2018

Amidst the debates, it's useful to see what a bunch of smart scientists have to say about firearms and suicide.

We've just released our statement on Firearms and Suicide. You can view the entire statement here:http://www.suicidology.org/Portals/14/FirearmStatementFinal.pdf

02/23/2018

Congratulations Psychological and Brain Sciences - UMASS Amherst clinical doctoral students for their 100% match rate! And congrats to CASL student MK Oakley for matching to a great site!

Volunteers wanted for a research study! Email caslab@psych.umass.edu or call (413) 354-0053 for more information.
12/20/2017

Volunteers wanted for a research study! Email [email protected] or call (413) 354-0053 for more information.

Very proud of CASL student Colten Karnedy for successfully defending his Master's thesis! Congratulations Colten!
12/08/2017

Very proud of CASL student Colten Karnedy for successfully defending his Master's thesis! Congratulations Colten!

DBT Strategic Planning Meeting 2017
11/29/2017

DBT Strategic Planning Meeting 2017

Clinical Affective Sciences Lab - CASL
11/27/2017

Clinical Affective Sciences Lab - CASL

Clinical Affective Sciences Lab - CASL
03/16/2017

Clinical Affective Sciences Lab - CASL

Clinical Affective Sciences Lab - CASL's cover photo
10/10/2016

Clinical Affective Sciences Lab - CASL's cover photo

CASL Outings
10/10/2016

CASL Outings

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Tobin Hall (Rooms 303G, I, And K)
Amherst, MA
01003

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