Room 7304 in 5057 Woodward
I am a native of Detroit and attended Wayne State University as an undergraduate, majoring in both Psychology and Biology. I completed the Ph.D. program in Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Florida in Gainesville from 1985 until 1990, including a pre-doctoral clinical psychology internship (1989 – 1990) at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. Subsequently, I had a post-doctoral fellowship (1990 - 1991) in behavioarla medicine 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--a position I held through 2022. I very much enjoy teaching and mentoring graduate students, and have graduated 45 Ph.D. students. I also conduct clinical supervision at our in-house training clinic and develop and test novel emotional processing 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, tennis, and most recently, pickleball, get injured often, and sing in a Methodist church contemporary group (tenor).
Research interest(s)/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, in numerous studies, we have examined the effects of written or verbal emotional disclosure. More recently, we have developed and have tested "Emotional Awareness and Expression Therapy" (EAET) for 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 for many patients with these conditions. EAET is listed as one of the evidence-based behavioral treatments by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Pain Management Best Practices Inter-agency Task Force Report (2019). 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. I am collaborating on research related to EAET with numerous groups around the country and world.
The EAET Therapist Manual and Patient Workbook, created for a group-based therapy for people with fibromyalgia, are available for free use:
Click here to download a copy of the Emotional Awareness and Expression Therapy: Therapist Manual
Click here to download a copy of the Emotional Awarness and Expression Therapy: Patient Workbook
This document lists EAET Principles and Procedures for Practitioners
This document lists EAET Suggestions and Instructions for Patients
- 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
Here are some of the major grants that I have had in recent years:
- Co-Principal Investigator. R01 NR020610: "Comparative mechanisms (mediators, moderators) of psychosocial chronic pain treatments. National Institute of Nursing Research (NIH/NINR), 9/26/2022 - 6/30/2026. Total costs: $2,802,546. (John Burns & Mark Lumley, Multiple PI).
- Co-investigator. R21 NR018972: “Automated Physiological Assessment of Chronic Pain in Daily Life.” National Institute of Nursing Research (NIH/NINR), 4/1/2021 - 3/31/2023. Total costs: $419,129. (Marta Ceko, PI)
- Co-investigator. “Examining the efficacy of a novel stress reduction training on the reversal of prediabetes: A feasibility study. Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Michigan, 1/1/2020 – 12/30/2022; Total costs: $70,000. (Maha Albdour, PI)
- Co-investigator. R61/R33 MH111935. "Effects of THC on retention of memory for fear extinction learning in PTSD." National Institute of Mental Health, 2/24/2017 - 12/31/2023; Total costs: $1,438,000. (Christine Rabinak, PI)
- Co-Principal Investigator. R21 AR074020. “Development and preliminary testing of novel virtual human-assisted psychosocial interviews for patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain.” National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIH/NIAMS), 9/1/2018 – 6/30/2021; Total costs: $381,808. (Doerte Junghaenel & Mark Lumley, Multiple 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. 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)
- 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.
My 32-year research program is internationally recognized for advancing knowledge about stress, emotional processes (e.g., alexithymia, emotional disclosure, emotional expression), and health, particularly in chronic pain disorders. I have been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for nearly two decades, have over 190 peer-reviewed articles, and am a Fellow of several professional societies. I have specific expertise in the development and testing of psychological interventions for people with chronic pain, including emotional disclosure techniques and Emotional Awareness and Expression Therapy (EAET), which I co-developed. My colleagues and I have demonstrated the benefits of these approaches in many small- and large-scale randomized clinical trials, encouraging the field to improve pain care by including adaptive emotional processing into chronic pain interventions. EAET is listed as an evidence-based treatment option in the 2019 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Pain Management Best Practices Inter-agency Task Force Report. Four key, recent articles reviewing our work are:
- Lumley, M.A., & Schubiner, H. (2019). Emotional awareness and expression therapy for chronic pain: Rationale, principles and techniques, evidence, and critical analysis. Current Rheumatology Reports, 21, 30. PMCID: PMC7309024.
- Lumley, M.A., & Schubiner, H. (2019). Psychological therapy for centralized pain: An integrative assessment and treatment model. Psychosomatic Medicine, 81, 114-124. PMCID: PMC6355353.
- Abbass, A., Town, J., Holmes, H.J., Luyten, P., Cooper, A., Russell, L., Lumley, M.A., Schubiner, H., Allinson, J., Bernier, D., De Meulemeester, C., Kroenke, K., & Kisely, S. (2020). Short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy for functional somatic disorders: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 89, 363-370. PMID: 32428905. doi: 10.1159/000507738.
- Lumley, M.A., Yamin, J.B.., Pester, B.D., Krohner, S., & Urbanik, C.P. (2022). Trauma matters: Psychological interventions for comorbid psychosocial trauma and chronic pain. PAIN, 163, 599-603. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000002425.
Complete list of publications in my bibliography.
Health correlates of emotional awareness and expression
My team has published numerous studies of alexithymia (deficient emotional awareness and expression) and other emotional processes, relating them to clinical measures using cross-sectional, laboratory, and daily assessment methods. We have reported how emotional processes relate to chronic pain, mental health, sleep, smoking, physiological reactivity, pathological gambling, symptom awareness, 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 research has demonstrated that limited emotional awareness and expression are risk factors for poor health.
- 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
- 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
- Aaron, R.V., Fisher, E.A., de la Vega, R., Lumley, M.A., & Palermo, T.M. (2019). Alexithymia in individuals with chronic pain and its relation to pain intensity, physical interference, depression, and anxiety: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PAIN, 160, 994-1006.
- Aaron, R.V., Finan, P.H., Wegener, S.T., Keefe, F.J., & Lumley, M.A. (2020). Emotion regulation as a transdiagnostic factor underlying co-occurring chronic pain and problematic opioid use. American Psychologist, 75, 796-801.
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).
- 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
- 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
- Holmes, H.J., Yamin, J.B., Krohner, S., Rapport, L.J., Grekin, E.R., Schubiner, H., & Lumley, M.A. (2021). Effects of a sexual health interview among Arab American women: An experimental disclosure study. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 50, 373-384.
- 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
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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
- 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
- Maroti, D., Ek, J., Widlund, R-M., Schubiner, H., Lumley, M.A., Lilliengren, P., Bileviciute-Ljungar, I., Ljótsson, B., & Johansson, R. (2021). Internet-administered emotional and awareness and expression therapy for somatic symptom disorder with centralized symptoms: A preliminary efficacy trial. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12(104), doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2021.620359.
- 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). The effects of a novel psychological attribution and emotional awareness and expression therapy for chronic musculoskeletal pain: A preliminary, uncontrolled trial. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 81, 1-8. PMCID: PMC4724386
- Ashar, Y.K., Gordon, A., Schubiner, H., Uipi, C., Knight, K., Anderson, Z, Carlisle, J., Polisky, L., Geuter, S., Flood, T., Kragel, P., Dimidjian, S., Lumley, M.A., & Wager, T.D. (2022). Pain reprocessing therapy for chronic back pain: A randomized clinical trial with functional neuroimaging. JAMA Psychiatry, 79, 13-23.
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.
- Lumley, M.A., Schubiner, H., Lockhart, N.A., Kidwell, K.M., Harte, S., Clauw, D.J., & Williams, D.A. (2017). Emotional awareness and expression therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and education for fibromyalgia: A cluster-randomized, controlled trial. PAIN, 158, 2354-2363. PMCID: PMC5680092
- 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. (2017). Emotional awareness and expression training improves irritable bowel syndrome: A randomized controlled trial. Neurogastroenterology and Motility, 29:e13143. PMCID: PMC5690851
- Ziadni, M.S., Carty, J.N., Doherty, H.K., Porcerelli, J.H., Rapport, L.J., Schubiner, H., & Lumley, M.A. (2018). A life-stress emotional awareness and expression interview for primary care patients with medically unexplained symptoms: A randomized controlled trial. Health Psychology, 37, 282-290. PMCID: PMC5848463
- Yarns, B.C., Lumley, M.A., Cassidy, J.T., Steers, W.N., Osato, S., Schubiner, H., & Sultzer, D.L. (2020). Emotional awareness and expression therapy achieves greater pain reduction than cognitive behavioral therapy in older adults with chronic musculoskeletal pain: A preliminary randomized comparison trial. Pain Medicine, 21, 2811-2822.
- Google Scholar h-index = 73
- Google Scholar i10-index = 159