The University of Nevada, Reno Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is federally funded at $231,000.00 annually
Faculty Mentor: Dr. William O'Donohue
Research Topic: Quality Improvement of Therapeutic Sessions for Victims of Sexual Assault
Abstract (1/5/09): Human interaction is an activity that fosters well-being in one's life. This is a factor that can be generalized across the board; human-to-human interaction is essential for individuals to thrive. The ability to understand human-to-human interaction is key to how people form relationships. More importantly, the way in which interpersonal relationships enhance or detract from one's life is the dimension that needs to be examined. Taking into consideration the importance of relationships, it is necessary to examine the way some individuals engage in deviant behavior, crossing the lines of what is "acceptable" and/or "normal" behavior. Social relationships possess the ability to have either a positive or negative impact on a person's life. Therefore, a good question to ask is how do people overcome the negative impact a bad relationship can have on their lives?
In the life changing case of sexual assault, a victim must make the difficult decision to seek treatment for their symptoms, a period in which he/she may feel as if they have little choice concerning the treatment delivery. The standard of psychotherapy delivery is a weekly, individual one-hour session, though little research has indicated that this is the best treatment modality for all clients. Similarly, few studies have examined what form of treatment clients would most prefer, if a choice were available to them (i.e., self-help books, group therapy, couples therapy, etc.). Currently, clients seen at the Victims of Crime Treatment Center, located on the University of Nevada, Reno's campus, typically receive weekly, individual therapy. A questionnaire was developed to assess victims' satisfaction level and preferences regarding their individual treatment. As a result of this study, the Victims of Crime Treatment Center will be able to make imperative improvements to the services provided to victims. Overall, as a result of this study, therapists will gain some insight on how exactly mental health professionals and researchers can provide optimal services to victims of sexual assault.
New Scholar: Fall 2007
Graduated With Baccalaureate Degree: Spring 2009
Masters or Doctoral Program Update: Graduated from the Counseling & Educational Psychology MFT masters program at University of Nevada, Reno, May, 2011. Accepted into the Counseling Psychology Ph.D. Program at Washington State University fall, 2011.