I am a native of Detroit and attended Wayne State University as an undergraduate, majoring in both Psychology and Biology. I attended the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Florida in Gainesville from 1985 until 1990, when I received the Ph.D. I completed a pre-doctoral clinical psychology internship (1989 – 1990) at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, and a post-doctoral fellowship (1990 - 1991) at the University of Michigan. I have been a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Wayne State University since 1991.
I am a licensed clinical psychologist in Michigan and maintained a small practice for many years until I became the Director of Clinical Training in the Department (in 2005). I enjoy teaching and mentoring graduate students, and have graduated 38 Ph.D. students. I also conduct clinical supervision at our in-house training clinic and develop and test novel therapy interventions with students in my lab.
As one who studies "disclosure," I also value it highly. So, I'll disclose that I am married, a father of four sons (identical twins born in 1990, and sons born in 1992 and 1994), try to play soccer, get injured often, and sing in a Methodist church contemporary group (tenor)
Research Interest/Area of Expertise
My primary scholarly interests are on emotions, stress, and physical health. Much of the research that my students, colleagues, and I conduct involves developing and testing emotion-focused interventions to reduce stress and improve health. For example, we have examined in numerous studies the effects of written or verbal emotional disclosure. More recently, we have been testing variations of "Emotional Awareness and Expression Therapy" on people who have centralized psychosomatic conditions, such as fibromyalgia, headaches, chronic musculoskeletal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and pelvic pain. We are demonstrating that directly targeting unresolved stress, trauma, and psychological conflict is very helpful to at some patients with these conditions. We also are interested in individual differences in emotional abilities and deficits, such as the personality construct of alexithymia, and how such individual differences influence responses to our interventions.
Education – Degrees, Licenses, Certifications
- Ph.D., 1990, University of Florida (Department of Clinical and Health Psychology)
- B.S. (2), Psychology and Biology, 1985, Wayne State University
- Licensed Psychologist (Michigan)
Awards and Grants
Co-investigator. R61 MH111935. "Effects of THC on retention of memory for fear extinction learning in PTSD." National Institute of Mental Health, 2/24/2017 - 12/31/2018; Total costs: $1,438,000. (Christine Rabinak, PI).
Co-investigator. Grant #952: “Psychological treatment for people with chronic pain and mood and anxiety disorders.” Ethel and James Flinn Foundation, 1/1/2016 – 12/31/2017; Total costs: $200,000. (Eugene Schoener, PI).
Co-investigator. D40HP26873-01-00: “Graduate Psychology Education Program.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Health Resources and Services Administration, 7/1/2014 – 6/30/2016; Total costs: $373,743. (Douglas Barnett, PI).
Co-investigator. R21 AT007939: “Preliminary test of an integrative intervention to alleviate chronic pain and improve quality of life.” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, 8/1/2014 – 7/31/2016; Total costs: $404,950. (Annmarie Cano, PI).
Principal Investigator. R01AR057808: “Emotional exposure and cognitive behavioral therapies for fibromyalgia.” National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases, 8/15/2010 – 6/30/2015; Total costs: $3,373,353.
Site Principal Investigator. R01AR057047: “Anger suppression and expression among chronic pain patients.” National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases, 4/2010 – 3/2014; Total costs to Wayne State: $920,458. (John Burns, Rush University Medical Center, is PI of primary grant).
Co-investigator. R01 MH085793: “Health in Iraqi refugees: Importance of post-displacement social stressors.” National Institute of Mental Health, 7/1/2010 – 2/28/2015; Total costs: $2,641,514. (Bengt Arnetz, PI).
Co-investigator. “Chronic pain study.” Southeast Michigan Community Alliance, 4/1/2013 – 9/31/2013. Total costs: $30,000. (Gene Schoener, PI).
Co-investigator. R34 MH086943: “Imagery-based trauma-resiliency training for urban police.” National Institute of Mental Health, 8/2009 – 5/2012; Total costs: $679,718. (Bengt Arnetz, PI).
Co-investigator. R21 HL097191: “Perceived fairness and biological stress reactivity.” National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 8/15/2010 – 4/30/2012; Total costs: $418,000. (Todd Lucas, PI).
Co-investigator. “Real-time psychosocial assessment and cardiovascular reactions: Application of an interactive wireless data collection system.” Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research, 1/2009 – 12/2011; Total costs: 2,100,000 Swedish Kroner. (Bengt Arnetz, PI).
Principal Investigator. “Minority Supplement Award to accompany R01 AR049059, “Disclosure and skills training for rheumatoid arthritis.” National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases, 8/2004 – 5/2007; Total costs: $121,339.
Principal Investigator. R01 AR049059: “Disclosure and skills training for rheumatoid arthritis.” National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases, 8/2004 – 5/2009; Total costs: $ 2,646,682.
The following is taken from my NIH Biosketch: Contributions to Science
Total publications: N = 136 (through August 2017)
Complete List of Publications in My Bibliography:
1. Health correlates of emotional awareness and expression. My students, colleagues and I have published several dozen studies on alexithymia (a deficit in emotional awareness and expression) and other emotional processes, relating them to measures of clinical interest using cross-sectional, laboratory, and daily assessment methods. We have reported how these emotional processes relate to chronic pain, mental health, sleep, smoking and other cardiac risk factors, physiological reactivity to stressors, pathological gambling, symptom awareness in cardiac disease, social support, health care utilization, disease biomarkers, and many other outcomes. Much of this work is included in a major review of pain and emotion (d, below). This body of work has demonstrated that limited emotional awareness and the lack of emotional expression are risk factors for poor mental and physical health.
a. Lumley, M.A., Gustavson, B.J., Partridge, T., & Labouvie-Vief, G. (2005). Assessing alexithymia and related emotional ability constructs via multiple methods: Interrelationships among measures. Emotion, 5, 329-342.
b. Lumley, M.A., Neely, L.C., & Burger, A.J. (2007). Assessing alexithymia in the medical setting: Implications for understanding and treating health problems. Journal of Personality Assessment, 89, 1-17. PMCID: PMC2931418
c. van Middendorp, H., Lumley, M.A., Moerbeek, J., Jacobs, J.W., Bijlsma, J.W., & Geenen, R. (2010). Effects of anger and anger regulation styles on pain in daily life of women with fibromyalgia: a diary study. European Journal of Pain, 14, 176-182. PMID: 19375966
d. Lumley, M.A., Cohen, J.L., Borszcz, G.S., Cano, A., Radcliffe, A., Porter, L., Schubiner, H., & Keefe, F.J. (2011). Pain and emotion: A biopsychosocial review of recent research. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 67, 1-27. PMCID: PMC3152687
2. Experimental research on emotional disclosure. The correlational research above suggests that impaired emotional awareness and expression harm health. To test causality, I have conducted over 10 controlled experiments on the health effects of privately writing or speaking about stress or trauma (emotional disclosure) in populations with chronic pain or unresolved stress, supported by funding from the Arthritis Foundation and a NIAMS R01. These studies test whether the simple technique of disclosing / expressing about stress and emotions is adaptive, and for whom this technique is most effective. We have demonstrated that: a) people have often experienced stressors but have not disclosed or resolved them; b) encouraging private disclosure has positive but small health benefits; and c) this technique tends to work best for those people who have the ability to use it effectively. We reviewed this literature for chronic pain populations (d, below).
a. Gillis, M.E., Lumley, M.A., Mosley-Williams, A., Leisen, J.C.C., & Roehrs, T.A. (2006). The health effects of at-home written emotional disclosure in fibromyalgia. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 32, 135-146. PMCID: PMC2935262
b. Lumley, M.A., Leisen, J.C.C., Partridge, R.T., Meyer, T.M., Radcliffe, A.M., Macklem, D.J., Naoum, L., Cohen, J.L., Lasichak, L.M., Lubetsky, M.R., Mosley-Williams, A.D., & Granda, J.L. (2011). Does emotional disclosure about stress improve health in rheumatoid arthritis? Randomized, controlled trials of written and spoken disclosure. PAIN, 152, 866-877. PMCID: PMC3065513
c. Slavin-Spenny, O.M., Cohen, J.L., Oberleitner, L.M., & Lumley, M.A. (2011). The effects of different methods of emotional disclosure: Differentiating post-traumatic growth from stress symptoms. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 67, 993-1007. PMCID: PMC3525957
d. Lumley, M.A., Sklar, E.R., & Carty, J.N. (2012). Emotional disclosure interventions for chronic pain: From the laboratory to the clinic. Translational Behavioral Medicine: Practice, Policy, Research, 2, 73-81. PMCID: PMC3419371
3. Contrasting and integrating emotional disclosure and cognitive-behavioral therapies. Although emotional disclosure is often viewed as a stand-alone, self-help technique, my students and I have advanced the literature on disclosure in several ways. We have studied: a) how disclosure compares to other emotion regulation techniques taught by therapists (e.g., relaxation training, assertiveness training, coping skills training); b) whether disclosure can be enhanced by therapist guidance (face-to-face, through written feedback, or via instant messaging); and c) whether larger effects are obtained if disclosure is integrated with cognitive behavioral therapy. These studies have been conducted in various chronic pain and other populations, and supported by a NIAMS R01 grant to test the independent and combined effects of emotional disclosure and coping skills training among 264 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (d, below). We have found that training in specific skills generally surpasses the benefits of private emotional disclosure, and that providing guidance to writers has limited additional benefits.
a. D’Souza, P.J., Lumley, M.A., Kraft, C., & Dooley, J. (2008). Relaxation training and written emotional disclosure for tension or migraine headaches: A randomized, controlled trial. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 36, 21-32. PMCID: PMC2931412
b. Tavakoli, S., Lumley, M.A., Hijazi, A., Slavin-Spenny, O., & Parris, G. (2009). Effects of assertiveness training and expressive writing on acculturative stress in international students: A randomized trial. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56, 590-596.
c. Beyer, J.A., Lumley, M.A., Latsch, D.A., Oberleitner, L.M.S., Carty, J.N., & Radcliffe, A.M. (2014). Computer-based written emotional disclosure: The effects of advance or real-time guidance and moderation by Big 5 personality traits. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping, 27, 477-493. PMCID: PMC4067474
d. Lumley, M.A., Keefe, F.J., et al. (2014). The effects of written emotional disclosure and coping skills training in rheumatoid arthritis: A randomized clinical trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 82, 644-658. PMCID: PMC4115002.
4. Developing and testing emotional exposure and processing therapies. Many patients with pain and stress-related disorders have trauma or unresolved conflicts, and avoidance of their emotions appears to trigger or maintain their symptoms. Most patients need a more powerful approach than expressive writing to engage and resolve avoided emotional experiences. Standard cognitive-behavioral treatments have relatively modest benefits on pain for many of these populations, perhaps because CBT does not directly address the underlying trauma, emotional conflict, and disturbed relationships found in many of these patients. Exposure-based therapies, however, are effective for trauma and other anxiety disorders, so my students, colleagues, and I have begun developing and testing novel emotional exposure / processing approaches for patients with various chronic pain disorders. These preliminary studies suggest that targeting emotional processes can lead to substantial pain reductions in some patients.
a. Lumley, M.A., Cohen, J.L., Stout, R.A., Neely, L.C., Sander, L.M., & Burger, A.J. (2008). An emotional exposure-based treatment of traumatic stress for people with chronic pain: Preliminary results for fibromyalgia syndrome. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 45, 165-172. PMCID: PMC2929968
b. Hsu, M., Schubiner, H., Lumley, M.A., Stracks, J., Clauw, D.J., & Williams, D. (2010). Sustained pain reduction through affective self-awareness in fibromyalgia: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 25, 1064-1070. PMCID: PMC2955480
c. Slavin-Spenny, O., Lumley, M.A., Sklar, E.R., Nevedal, D.C., & Hijazi, A.M. (2013). Effects of anger awareness and expression training and relaxation training on chronic headaches: a randomized trial. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 46, 181-192. PMCID: PMC3778035
d. Burger, A.J., Lumley, M.A., Carty, J.N., Latsch, D.V., Thakur, E.R., Hyde-Nolan, M.E., Hijazi, A.M., & Schubiner, H. (2016). A preliminary trial of a novel psychological attribution and emotional awareness therapy for chronic musculoskeletal pain. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 81, 1-8. PMCID: PMC4724386
5. Clinical trials of Emotional Awareness and Expression Therapy (EAET). Our development and testing of emotional exposure and processing therapies has led to the refinement of an approach that we have labeled EAET. Using RCTs, we have tested this approach on central augmentation (“functional,” “medically unexplained”) disorders such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and chronic pelvic pain, including a very large-scale multi-site RCT of EAET vs. CBT for fibromyalgia, funded by NIAMS.
a. Lumley, M.A., Schubiner, H., Lockhart, N.A., Kidwell, K.M., Harte, S., Clauw, D.J., & Williams, D.A. (in press). Emotional awareness and expression therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and education for fibromyalgia: A cluster-randomized, controlled trial. PAIN.
b. Thakur, E.R., Holmes, H.J., Lockhart, N.A., Carty, J.N., Ziadni, M.S., Doherty, H.K., Lackner, J.M., Schubiner, H., & Lumley, M.A. (in press). Emotional awareness and expression training improves irritable bowel syndrome: A randomized controlled trial. Neurogastroenterology and Motility.
c. Ziadni, M.S., Carty, J.N., Doherty, H.K., Porcerelli, J.H., Rapport, L.J., Schubiner, H., & Lumley, M.A. (accepted pending minor revisions). A life-stress interview for primary care patients with medically unexplained symptoms: A randomized clinical trial. Health Psychology.
d. Carty, J., Ziadni, M., Holmes, H., Lumley, M.A., Tomakowsky, J., Schubiner, H., Dove-Medows, E., & Peters, K. (May, 2016). The effects of a stress and emotion interview for women with urogenital pain: A randomized trial. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Pain Society, Austin, TX. Abstract published in The Journal of Pain, 17, S103. Under review, Pain Medicine.
Winter 2017: Psychotherapy Practicum 3 (PSY 8930)
Fall 2017: Ethics and Professional Issues (PSY 7240)
Fall 2017: Psychological Interventions 1 (PSY 7370)
Psychological Interventions 1 (PSY 7370); Every fall semester
Psychotherapy practicum 3 (PSY 8930): Every winter semester
Ethics and Professional Issues (PSY 7240): Every other fall semester
Health Psychology 2: Assessment and Intervention (PSY 8310): Every second or third year
Clinical supervision (WSU Psychology Clinic): Every semester