Congrats, David!

David Cregg, Ph.D. was recently awarded the Top Dissertation Award from the International Positive Psychology Association for his dissertation entitled, “Healing Through Helping: An Experimental Investigation of Kindness, Social Activities, and Reappraisal as Well-Being Interventions”. Congratulations, David! We are so proud!

New award winners!

Briana Brownlow, Ph.D. was recently awarded the Outstanding Student Diversity Research Award from the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology! This award is intended to recognize an individual who has made exceptional and unusually advanced theoretical or clinical contributions to diversity in clinical science. Congrats, Briana!

Matthew Southward, Ph.D. was recently awarded the Early Career Investigator Award from NASSPD. This award recognizes an individual whose work shows an emerging trajectory of professional and scientific productivity, and through his early contributions has increased our understanding of personality and personality disorders or their treatment. Congrats, Matt!

Master’s Completion!

Congratulations to Kassidie on successfully completing and defending her Master’s thesis, “Emotion Control, Psychopathology, and Race”!

New Publication!

Don’t miss new publication! Congrats Dr. Cheavens & Whitney!

Hope Therapy
Cheavens, J. S. & Whitted, W. M.


Research over the past three decades has established that hope is related to positive outcomes. Hope therapy was originally developed to optimize successful goals pursuits by increasing hopeful thought. Here, we briefly review the current state of hope therapy research and offer directions for future investigations. We note that hope therapy has been adapted to be delivered in different formats, by providers from various professional backgrounds, and to participants presenting with a variety of chronic health conditions. We suggest there is a need to reach a consensus about what characterizes hope therapy. Further, we note the need for well-designed trials to test potential mechanisms of change. We believe that these future directions will result in a more efficacious hope therapy that can be widely disseminated.

Successful Master’s Thesis Defense!

Congratulations to Daniel on successfully defending his Master’s thesis, “Investigating the Role of Coping Skill Use on Treatment Outcomes in a Brief, Self-Guided, CBT Skills-Based Intervention.”

New publication

Don’t miss our alum’s recent publication! Congrats, Briana!

How Racism “Gets Under the Skin”: An Examination of the Physical- and Mental-Health Costs of Culturally Compelled Coping

Briana N. Brownlow


Historically and contemporarily, Black Americans have been compelled to use effortful coping styles characterized by high behavioral and emotional restraint in the face of systematic racism. Lynch and colleagues have previously conceptualized a class of regulatory strategies—overcontrolled coping—characterized by emotional suppression, hypervigilance for threat, and high distress tolerance, which bear close analogy to coping styles frequently used among individuals facing chronic racial stress. However, given the inherent culture of racism in the United States, engaging in highly controlled coping strategies is often necessitated and adaptive, at least in the short term. Thus, for Black Americans this class of coping strategies is conceptualized as culturally compelled coping rather than overcontrolled coping. In the current article, I offer a critical examination of the literature and introduce a novel theoretical model—culturally compelled coping—that culturally translates selected components of Lynch’s model. Cultural translation refers to considering how the meaning, function, and consequences of using overcontrolled coping strategies changes when considering how Black Americans exist and cope within a culture of systematic racism. Importantly, this model may offer broad implications for future research and treatment by contextualizing emotion regulation as a central mechanism, partially answering how racism “gets under the skin” and affects the health of Black Americans.

Welcome New Lab Members!

MAPS lab is starting off the 2022-2023 academic year by welcoming two new graduate students into the lab! Welcome Cameryn and Ally!


Cameryn Cooley

Cameryn joined the MAPS lab in 2022 after graduating from New York University in 2020 where she earned her bachelors in psychology with a triple minor. After graduation, Cameryn worked at the Mood and Personality Disorder Research Program at the Icahn School of Medicine and the Bronx VA. Cameryn worked on projects related to affective instability, emotional granularity, cognitive reappraisal by distancing, and social decision-making. In specific, she worked closely with people who have BPD. Her interests now lie in researching how those who have trouble regulating their emotions interact in social situations and to specifically look at this topic with diversity in mind. You can contact Cameryn at


Ally Heiland

Ally joined the MAPS lab in 2022 after graduating from the University of Arkansas in 2020 with her bachelors in psychology. Ally worked in foster care administration following graduation while also working on research projects related to personality functioning, emotion, self-control failure, and distress tolerance at the University of Arkansas. Her current research interests generally involve transdiagnostic mechanisms underlying personality pathology and emotion dysregulation, with a specific interest in BPD and optimizing treatment outcomes. Contact Ally at

Congratulations Ph.D. Graduates!

Time to celebrate three MAPS lab graduates! Congratulations Briana, Kristen, and Sara! These three are headed to postdoctoral positions at Duke University Medical Center, VA Milwaukee, and VA Ann Arbor. We will miss their presence in the lab, but we are so excited for the next chapters of their bright careers!

Summer Research Opportunities Program Student 2022

Congratulations Joi Artis, current undergraduate student at Hampton University, on successfully completing the Summer Research Opportunities Program! Joi worked hard this summer on her project and presented a talk titled, “The Relationship Between Social Media Use and Anxiety and Depression.” We had such a great time working with her on this project over the summer!

2022 Ray Travel Award for Service and Scholarship

Congratulations to Elana for winning the 2022 Ray Travel Award for Service and Scholarship! Elana is very active in the community and the university! Elana served as a student representative for the clinical area in the psychology department, she is on the leadership team of the DEI committee, worked for a local animal shelter, and was on the leadership team of the CCBBI student group! Her hard work is serving her well and contributing greatly to the communities she is involved in. We are so proud!