Trauma is pervasive and can have enduring effects across the lifespan. Emotion regulation promotes recovery. 

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Dr. Messman is reviewing applications for new graduate students, to enter 2022-2023. Allocations for graduate student lines are not yet finalized. 


In our laboratory, we study how exposure to interpersonal trauma across the lifespan (e.g., child maltreatment, sexual assault) is associated with the development of self-regulation. We examine how maladaptive coping strategies (e.g., substance misuse, risky sexual behavior) impacts PTSD and complex clinical presentations, and how these symptoms may increase risk and vulnerability among survivors. We focus on emotion regulation because it is a primary mechanism that underlies resilience in trauma survivors. Emotion regulation is malleable, making it a good target for intervention. We examine factors related to emotion regulation that increase vulnerability, such as shame, and variables that may promote resilience, such as mindfulness and self-compassion. Additional interests involve examining trauma-sensitive mindfulness, meditation and yoga.

-Terri L. Messman, Lab Director


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