Involvement in all stages of the research process

I maintain an active research lab with ongoing projects at all stages of development with the support of a large group of students and internal/external research assistants. As a result of these activates, my students have the opportunity to engage in all levels of the research process. This allows students to understand how the planning and execution of research are reflected in the analysis of data and dissemination of results, and hopefully gets them excited about psychotherapy research for many years to come.
 
I scaffold student experiences so that newer and more junior students begin with clearly structured tasks (typically related to observer-codings of therapy data) supervised by more experienced research students.  As students gain skills and understanding about the research process, they move into roles which involve active literature review, and collection of data.
 
I am similarly able to support a range of student engagement in psychodynamic process research more generally. Newer and more junior students typically hear about research projects led by me or a more advanced student.  In turn, advanced students are encouraged to formulate research questions which can be addressed by existing data, accelerating their ability to develop conference presentation proposals and manuscripts for publication. There are many exciting events and conferences related to psychotherapy research and training, that I encourage the students to participate in (e.g. SPR, SEPI, DIv39, APsaA). When students are interested, I help them prepare for conference posters, presentations and journal submissions.

I would describe my mentorship style as collaborative, flexible, supportive and maybe a bit over-excited at times. If the student feels comfortable, I am happy to let them get on with the tasks at hand unless they don’t meet agreed deadlines or reach out to me. That said, it is important to me to be available to students any time/any day and to build a collaborative relationship as two professionals working together during graduate training and beyond. As with many things in life, students get out of the lab as much as they put in. Psychotherapy process coding can be time-consuming but very clinically relevant and rewarding. In return for the work in the lab, I offer many psychotherapy process related training opportunities and continuously apply for grants in order to secure financial reimbursement for the students’ hard work in the lab. I am timely in my replies and reviews of drafts, and aim to get back to students within a few days. I create opportunities for co-authorship on presentations and manuscripts, and often reach out to the student when I find relevant papers or conferences on their specific topic. I very much enjoy working with and learning from students, especially because they challenge my assumptions and current viewpoints. While I am continually learning and growing from my students, I am confident that my lab provides an environment which meaningfully facilitates the academic and professional growth of my students.

Mentoring Style

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Process Lab

Katie Aafjes-van Doorn, DClinPsy

Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology

Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology

katie.aafjes@yu.edu

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