Positive Relationships and Effective Interventions Lab

The Positive Relationships and Effective Interventions Lab is a counseling psychology research group directed by Marilyn Cornish, Ph.D. Other members of the lab range from undergraduate counseling minors to doctoral students in counseling psychology.  A core interest in the lab is psychotherapy process and outcome, with interests branching out to other types of positive relationships and effective interventions.

Positive Relationships with Self and Others

A good working relationship between the counselor and client is a cornerstone of effective psychotherapy. Counseling psychologists are interested in promoting positive intrapersonal and interpersonal wellbeing (that is, positive relationships with oneself and with others). Current positive relationships projects include:

  • Attachment, Forgiveness of Self and Others, and Wellbeing
  • Experiences of Black Men (PI: LaJae Coleman)
  • Family and Relationships Study (PI: Cassandra Grey)
  • Forgiveness and Wellbeing in People with Spinal Cord Injury
  • Outness, Concealment & Relationship Satisfaction in LGB People (PI: Edward Ballester)
  • Reflecting on Interpersonal Relationships (PI: Christine Chason)
  • Self-Forgiveness and Interpersonal Functioning
  • Self- and Other-Forgiveness in Romantic Relationships
  • Trait Responses to Interpersonal Offenses (TRIO) Scale Development
Effective Interventions: Counseling, Supervision, and Teaching

How do we best work with psychotherapy clients, counseling trainees, and students in higher education? How do we encourage potential clients to seek help? Members of our research team have projects to identify effective interventions for counselors, supervisors, and educators. Current effective intervention projects include:

  • Counseling Trainee Responses to Clinical Regrets
  • Current Status of Multicultural Undergraduate Psychology Education (PI: LaVarius Harris)
  • Experiences of Black Graduate Students at Predominately White Institutions (PI: Kayla Phillips)
  • Events Related to Race and Ethnicity in Group Counseling
  • Self-Forgiveness Counseling for Substance Abuse
Current Dissertations Directed by Dr. Cornish

Students advised by Dr. Cornish develop a dissertation study on a topic of interest to them and within the realm of positive relationships and effective interventions (broadly defined). Current dissertation projects include:

  • Kat Cler: Relations Between Choking Under Pressure and Sleep on a Cognitive Task in College Students
  • Melisa Martinez: Social Aspects of Religiosity & Discrimination in the Latinx Community: A Qualitative Study in the Deep South
  • Mary Anne Messer: Teaching Diversity: An Exploration of the Experiences of Instructors Teaching Diversity Courses to Counselors and Psychologists
  • Graham Morris: Mental Health Labels and Their Effects on Public Stigma among College Students
  • Kayla Phillips: The Association Between Race Based Traumatic Stress and Academic Self Efficacy as Moderated by Tailored Social Support in Black and African-American Students
Recent Publications including Student Lab Members

(Student authors marked with an asterisk)

Cornish, M. A., Griffin, B. G., & *Morris, G. W. (Accepted). Promotion of self-forgiveness. In E. L. Worthington, Jr., & N. G. Wade (Eds.), Handbook of Forgiveness (2nd ed.). Routledge.

Cornish, M. A., Guyll, M., Wade, N. G., Lannin, D. G., Madon, S., & *Chason, K. C. (2018). Does empathy necessarily lead to greater forgiveness? An experimental examination. Current Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s12144-018-9816-8

Cornish, M. A., Woodyatt, L., *Morris, G., & *Conroy, A., & *Townsdin, J. (2018). Self-forgiveness, self-exoneration, and self-condemnation: Individual differences associated with three patterns of responding to interpersonal offenses. Personality and Individual Differences, 129, 43-53. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2018.03.003

Cornish, M. A., Lannin, D. G., Wade, N. G., & *Martinez, M. (2017). Can use of positive religious coping predict greater distress? An examination of Army soldiers on deployment. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 64, 302-309. doi: 10.1037/cou0000200

Cornish, M. A., Wade, N. G., & *Cikara, A. (2017). Self-forgiveness in individual psychotherapy: Therapeutic models and counseling outcomes. In L. Woodyatt, E. L. Worthington, Jr., M. Wenzel, & B. G. Griffin (Eds.), Handbook of the psychology of self-forgiveness (pp.163-177). Cham, Switzerland: Springer International.

Recent Presentations including Student Lab Members

(Student authors marked with an asterisk)

Cornish, M. A., *Grey, C., & *Rossi, C. (2019, August). Adult attachment, forgiveness of self & other, and personal & relational wellbeing. Poster presented at the 127th annual convention of the American Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Cornish, M. A., Meyer, J. M., *Harris, L., & Hunter, E. A. (2019, August). Forgiveness and wellbeing in individuals with spinal cord injury: Exploration of potential mediators. Poster presented at the 127th annual convention of the American Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

*Grey, C. J., Cornish, M. A., Ray, G. E., & *Horton, A. J. (2019, August). Confirmatory factor analysis of the McGill Friendship Questionnaire for romantic partners. Poster presented at the 127th annual convention of the American Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

*Grey, C., Cornish, M. A., & Ray, G. E., (2018, August). The link between personal relationships’ quality, satisfaction, and interparental conflict. Poster presented at the 126th annual convention of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA.

*Harris, L., *Grey, C., *Ballester, E., & Cornish, M. A. (2018, August). What to do when client microaggressions are directed at identities not held by the therapist? Conversation hour presented at the 126th annual convention of the American Psychological Association, San Franscisco, CA.

*Harris, L., *Chason, C., *Townsdin, J., & Cornish, M. (2018, August). Undergraduate psychology education: A multicultural training review. Poster presented at the 126th annual convention of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA.

*Phillips, K., *Harris, L., Cornish, M., & *Horton, A. (2018, August). Black graduate students’ experiences at a predominately White institution. Poster presented at the 126th annual convention of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA.

*Harris, L., *Chason, C., *Townsdin, J., & Cornish, M. A. (2017, March). Multi-cultural education: A review of undergraduate psychology curriculums. Paper presented at the College of Liberal Arts Diversity Research Symposium, Auburn, AL