My research focuses on understanding and treatment of anxiety and depression. I am especially fascinated by the ways non-verbal cues and ordinary social rebuffs combine to maintain social anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. I take a multi-method approach by measuring phenomenological, cognitive, behavioral, and biological indices of emotional responses.
I am also interested in developing and testing effective treatments, and understanding the mechanisms behind their effectiveness. Together with collaborators, I have examined the efficacy of cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic interventions for social anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorders.
Why are some people acutely uncomfortable in the presence of others? What makes it difficult for us to recover from interpersonal rejection?
What makes "being looked down upon" so painful?
Is pain from social rejection different from pain from a physical harm?
Can we train ourselves to face our critics with more calmly?
The power of non-verbal cues: We examine individuals' reactions to emotionally charged facial expressions and postures using cognitive, behavioral, and brain imaging techniques.
The pain of social rejection: We look at subjective, cognitive, and hormonal indices of reactivity to understand the dynamics of emotional reaction to social stress.