Spotlight: Doctoral student published in newsletter
Psychology doctoral candidate Lara Barbir was published in the “Positive Psychology: Theory and Application” summer 2016 issue.
The article, titled “Positive Psychology and Trauma: Understanding and Enhancing Posttraumatic Growth,” centers on the use of positive psychology, which is the study of what makes people thrive and flourish in the treatment of post-traumatic stress reactions.
Barbir’s research focuses on which factors help contribute to positive growth following adversity.
“I think that furthering our understanding of post-traumatic growth and how we can enhance interventions that promote this will provide a more complete picture and thus contribute to greater outcomes for those who engage in treatment,” said Barbir.
“Post-traumatic growth has also been found to be preventative of suicidal thoughts and also provides a ‘shield’ – in the sense that one is more psychologically prepared to face adversity,” Barbir continued. “This is particularly relevant for combat veterans who are deployed multiple times.”
Barbir’s published article follows a topic similar to her dissertation, titled “Posttraumatic Growth in Combat Veterans: The Roles of Mindfulness and Experiential Avoidance.”
As part of Barbir’s studies, her current clinical practicum is at the Salem Veteran Affairs Medical Center (VAMC). Barbir has three different rotations at the VAMC, which are in behavioral medicine, neuropsychology and primary care-mental health integration.
Barbir credits Radford University for preparing her for the rotations.
“Part of our curriculum requires that we take coursework in personality assessment, cognitive assessment, neuropsychological assessment and health psychology,” Barbir said. “Additionally, we have a practicum class where we consult with one another on cases, which provides a great off-site support network and also facilitates my growth in learning about my colleagues' experiences in their different sites.”
Through her work at the VAMC and on her dissertation, Barbir hopes to work with veterans following the completion of her PsyD program at Radford University.