Director

Dr. Joshua Rash

His CV can be found here.

Follow him on Researchgate and Google Scholar

Research Coordinator

Name: Laura Harris-Lane, MSc
Position in lab: Research Coordinator
Duration in lab: May 2021-Present
Background and Training: I completed my Bachelor of Science (Hons) and Master of Science in Experimental Psychology at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Supervised by Dr. Nick Harris, my master’s thesis assessed cannabis use perceptions among young adults in Canada shortly before cannabis was legalized for non-medical use. After completing my masters, I worked as a research analyst with Eastern Health for two years before joining the MUN Behavioural Medicine Centre in May 2021.
Research Focus: Clinical Psychology; System-Level Change; Access to Care; Behaviour Change
Research Project: I am primarily working on the CIHR-funded “Digitizing Stepped Mental Healthcare” project in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. Sub-projects of this larger initiative include evaluating: 1) change in knowledge, clinical decision-making, and provider attitudes after completing the Stepped Care 2.0 and One-at-a-Time Therapy courses; 2) the implementation process in the three provinces; 3) the change management process among leadership, providers, and staff; 4) client outcomes; and 5) healthcare system outcomes.
Funding: Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Graduate Students

Name: Emily Saunders
Position in lab: Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student (PsyD)
Duration in lab: Sept 2017-Present
Background and Training: I am a graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral program at MUN and I am currently completing my residency in the Saskatoon and Area Psychology Residency Program. I received my Bachelor of Arts (Hons) at Queen’s University, where I examined the impact of personality on the effectiveness of self-esteem maintenance techniques. Following my undergraduate degree, I spent two years working in Dr. Janice Kuo’s Borderline Personality Disorder & Emotion Processing Laboratory at Ryerson University where I assisted on studies examining the efficacy of emotion regulation strategies in reducing distressing emotions.

Research Focus: Clinical Psychology; Evidence Based Treatment; Access to Care
Research Project: I am currently working as a research assistant on a systematic review of the qualitative evidence regarding barriers and facilitators of healthcare provider uptake of clinical practice guideline recommendations for the management of common mental health concerns. For my doctoral dissertation, I am building a contextual picture of maternal wellbeing in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) and examining the complex relationships between maternal mental health and utilization of healthcare services in NL.
Funding: School of Graduate Studies Doctoral Fellowship and Graduate Assistantships (2017 -2020); MUN President’s Doctoral Student Investment Fund (2017 – 2019); Janeway Foundation Research Grant (2018).

Name: Sam Scurrey, MASc, B.A. (Hons)
Position in lab: Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student (PsyD)
Duration in lab: July 2018-Present
Background and Training: I obtained my B.A (hons) at Memorial University (MUN), at which time I conducted a secondary analysis, exploring the link between negative interpersonal relationships and body mass index, under the supervision of Dr. Ken Fowler. With the desire to conduct more clinical work, I obtained a student undergraduate research award to work as a research assistant at the Sleep, Health & Wellness Lab, under Dr. Sheila Garland. At that time, I conducted a secondary analysis of the prevalence and predictors of poor sleep among individuals with multiple sclerosis. I continued my education, by completing the Masters of Applied Psychological Science program at MUN, under the supervision of Dr. Garland. During my masters, I took on a lead role in recruiting and conducting assessments with patients diagnosed with cancer, investigating the effects of cancer treatment on insomnia and cognitive dysfunction. Specifically, for my masters’ thesis, I evaluated the experience of rural individuals with prostate and breast cancer participating in research via telehealth.
Research Focus: Health Psychology; Binge Eating Disorder
Research Project: I am currently working as the research coordinator on a prospective single-cohort study of pre-surgical psychosocial predictors of outcomes following bariatric surgery. For my doctoral dissertation, I will be screening individuals for binge eating disorder at pre-surgery, to conduct a qualitative analysis of their weight loss experience at 6-months post-surgery.
Funding: School of Graduate Studies Doctoral Fellowship and Graduate Assistantships ($14,732 per annum)
Women’s Association of Memorial University Master’s Scholarship ($1,200) (2016-2017); School of Graduate Studies Masters Fellowship and Graduate Assistantships ($10,232 per annum) (2016-2018); Student Undergraduate Research Award (SURA) ($7,385) (2016); The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Undergraduate Student Research Award (NSERC USRA) ($6,650) (2016), declined offer; The Canadian Federation of University Women St. John’s Undergraduate Bursary ($1,000) (2015); Student Undergraduate Research Award (SURA) ($6,650) (2015)

Name: Elizabeth Wallack, MSc. Med. (CH)
Position in lab: Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student (PsyD)
Duration in lab: Sept 2019-Present
Background and Training: Elizabeth previously worked at the Recovery and Performance Laboratory, L.A. Miller Centre, St. John’s NL. The ReP lab conducts intervention research focused on neuroplasticity, recovery, and exercise physiology for post stroke patients and people living with multiple sclerosis. Special areas of interest include interventions for individuals with high levels of impairment and older adults.
Elizabeth has a Masters of Science in Medicine, Community Health and Humanities. Elizabeth also has past work experience in the non-profit sector, as well as planning academic conferences and community events. Elizabeth also has a passion for community service, taking an active role in her community as a volunteer for causes related to dementia and caregiver support.

Research Focus: Health Psychology; Rehabilitation
Research Project: The focus of Elizabeth’s dissertation research will examine Heart Rate Variability to evaluate the effectiveness of three stress reduction interventions in collaboration with Duke University’s Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research.
Funding: Duke University Endowment Fund

Name: Kaitlyn Mahon, MSc
Position in lab: Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student (PsyD)
Duration in lab: Sept 2019-Present
Background and Training: I completed a Bachelor of Science (Hons) and MSc at MUN. During my masters I was supervised by Dr. Sheila Garland, where my research focused on examining the financial impact of cancer in young adults across Canada. During this time I was also involved in research studies evaluating cognitive impairment and sleep quality in cancer survivors.

Research Focus: Clinical Psychology; Access to care
Research Project: My current research focuses on evaluating whether mental health providers can be trained to competence in delivering stepped mental healthcare.
Funding: Canadian Institutes of Health Research grant support.

Name: Julie Dwyer, BA(Hon), MSc
Position in lab: Experimental Psychology Doctoral Student
Duration in lab: Sept 2021-Present
Background and Training: I obtained my B.A (hons) at Memorial University, where my research examined the relationship between worry, mindfulness and self-management under the supervision of Dr. Peter Mezo. I subsequently completed a graduate program in Clinical Epidemiology through the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial. I worked in the MIRIAM lab (Memorial Institute of Research Interventions in Anxiety and Mood disorder) as well as the Recovery and Performance Lab before moving to Scotland. I completed a MSc in Clinical Psychology under the supervision of Dr. David Gillanders at the University of Edinburgh. My research explored mindfulness-based interventions for anxiety, and the relationship between our implicit and explicit beliefs surrounding worry. I have worked at Eastern Health for the last 5 years in a variety of programs including the early psychosis program at the Waterford, inpatient rehabilitation at the Miller Centre as well as the Centre for Pain and Disability Management (CPDM).

Research Focus: Health Psychology; Pain management
Research Project: My interest in pain emerged from my time working at the CPDM, and this will be the focus of my doctoral research.

Name: Anastasia Mekhael, BSc (Hon)
Position in lab: Experimental Psychology Graduate Student
Duration in lab: Sept 2020-Present
Background and Training: Anastasia graduated with an Honours Bachelor’s in psychology from York University in Toronto and has worked broadly in the areas of emotion regulation, mental health and pain. She has a keen interest in client behaviour change and emotion transformation using Emotion Focused Therapy. She is also interested in motivating health behaviour change and innovative clinical trials.  Ana hopes to eventually become a clinical psychologist and incorporate her training in EFT and working with pain populations into her practice.

Research Focus: Health Psychology; Pain Management
Research Project: A systematic review investigating the relationship between oxytocin and chronic pain across the lifespan and she is also coordinating a multi-site clinical trial in the lab.
Funding: Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Undergraduate Students

Name: Alesha King
Position in lab: Undergraduate Honours student.
Duration in lab: Jan 2021-Present
Background and Training: I initially joined the MUN Behaviour Medicine team volunteering with the Internet Therapy for Depression Trial (INTEREST). I will now be looking at the effectiveness of healthcare provider training in digitizing stepped mental healthcare as part of my honour’s thesis project.

Research Focus: Clinical Psychology
Research Project: Understanding healthcare provider experiences with “Introduction to Stepped Care 2.0” and “One-at-a-Time Counseling.”
Funding: Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Research Assistants

Name: Sarah Fitzgerald, BSc(Hon)
Position in lab: Research Assistant
Duration in lab: Apr 2019-Present
Background and Training: In the winter of 2020 I worked under the supervision of Dr. Joshua Rash to complete a report on the implementation of Stepped Care 2.0 using behaviour change management strategies. In the Spring of 2020, I completed a training workshop in the management of chronic pain and depression and began working with the Internet Therapy for Depression Trial (INTEREST). In May of 2021 I completed a Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree with a major in Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Rash at Memorial University of Newfoundland. My honours thesis comprised of a systematic review, highlighting the barriers and facilitators of using guideline-based care for the treatment of common mental illnesses.

Research Focus: Psychosomatic Psychiatry, Clinical Psychology, Chronic Pain. Research interests include: Factors that prevent and facilitate the effective management of chronic disease and mental illness; the relationship between chronic disease and mental illness with a focus on how this knowledge can enhance our understanding of disease progression, etiology, and prognosis; improvement and implementation of health policies and practices that improve standard of care; clinical inertia; provider’s prescribing and referral practices and the use of behaviour change techniques within a medical domain.
Research Project: A systematic review of healthcare provider adoption of recommendations made by clinical practice guidelines for the management of common mental illnesses; Healthcare provider knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes regarding opioids for chronic non-cancer pain in North America: A systematic review; Training mental healthcare providers in New Brunswick in “one at a time therapy” and “stepped mental healthcare”; and Barriers and facilitators of healthcare provider uptake of clinical practice guideline recommendations for the management of common mental health concerns: A qualitative evidence synthesis using the theoretical domains framework.

Funding: Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Alumni

Graduate

Vanessa Strong (2017 – 2021)

Louise Bell (2018-2020)

Michael Asamoah-Boaheng (2018-2019)

Oluwatosin Badejo (2018-2019)

David Garcia (2018-2019)

Mohammad Hossain (2018-2019)

Undergraduate

Jennifer Bent (2020-2021)

Hannah Kenny (2020-2021)

Sarah Fitzgerald (2020-2021)

Rebecca Rideout (2019-2020)

Sarah Abbott (2019-2020)

Alice Chen (2018-2019)

Lucas Walters (2018-2019)

Brittany Flood (2017-2018)