GPHD7510: Case Study Method

Credits 3
Case study methodology has been a foundational research approach in the evolution of psychology from Freud to contemporary brain research. This course prepares students to conduct a case study by examining published case studies, preparing a case study research proposal, and conducting a pilot case study. It has been well-documented that most graduates of psychology doctoral programs never conduct another piece of research after their dissertation. The case study is a research method that psychologists can employ throughout their career in any setting, and without external support. Meditation and mindfulness neuroscience research has shown that mindfulness practices increase activity in brain areas associated with attention and emotional regulation, and imaging studies indicate that mindfulness also facilitates neuroplasticity and neurogenesis, the creation of new connections and neural pathways in the brain. Mindfulness practices have also been empirically linked to enhancing empathy and compassion. Carefully conducted clinical trials have supported the efficacy of mindfulness and meditation-based programs for treating a number of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Additionally, third-wave cognitive behavioral therapy has also embraced mindfulness in empirically supported interventions such as MBSR, MBCT, DBT, and ACT. But meditative and mindfulness practices are drawing increasing interest outside of healthcare. Mindfulness practices are promoted as self-care or even educational activities that can be integrated into many sectors of modern life. In addition to covering contemporary theories and research, each class will include time to engage in a variety of mindfulness practices including tai chi, aikido, qigong, walking meditation, sitting meditation, and yoga.