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Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Emily K. Sandoz

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Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology

Emily K. Sandoz, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She graduated with a Master’s Degree in Experimental Psychology from UL Lafayette, and went on to earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Mississippi. Emily is the director of the Louisiana Contextual Science Research Group (LCSRG). The mission of the LCSRG is “to support the personal and professional development of its affiliates through training scientific inquiry and activities in keeping with the Contextual Behavioral Science (CBS) model, and in doing so, to make our own small contribution to the alleviation of human suffering.” Much of the LCSRG’s recent work focuses on the application of Relational Frame Theory and the psychological flexibility model to understanding the many challenges facing university students. The psychological flexibility model suggests that much of students’ suffering is attributable to their efforts to manage painful experiences like self-doubt, fear, and shame at a cost to the meaning and vitality in their lives. RFT is a behavior analytic theory that explains how it is that pain and subsequent inflexibility develops, and how flexibility might be learned. Emily recently received a Louisiana Board of Regents Research Competitiveness Subprogram grant to support an investigation of the verbal learning processes underlying body image flexibility. Emily is the co-author of three books, five chapters and three articles on RFT and the psychological flexibility model and serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science. Emily has provided twenty training workshops in five countries for mental health professionals hoping to apply this work in their practice.