Michael Christopher, PhD

Professor | Director of Clinical Training
503-352-2498
UC Box 
A-191
HPC-2, Room 268

Mindful Health and Resilience Lab Website

Roles and Interests

Michael Christopher, PhD is a Professor for Pacific University's Clinical Psychology PhD program. Current research focuses on development and evaluation of integrated mindfulness and resilience training (mindfulness-based resilience training; MBRT) for high-stress cohorts, including first responders, combat veterans, and ER physicians. The lab is studying MBRT feasibility, mechanisms, and biological, behavioral, and psychological outcomes. We also have a long-standing interest in mixed-methods assessment of mindfulness. In the training clinic, he supervises PhD students, interns, and post-doctoral fellows. We primarily conceptualize treatment from a contextual behavioral science approach, integrating Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and mindfulness practice.

The lab has a long-standing research interest in the science and practice of mindfulness meditation and related contemplative experiences. His interest in this area began when he lived in Thailand in the late 1990s and began to study and practice Theravāda Buddhism. In his early research, he studied mindfulness measurement, with a particular focus on Buddhist cultural validity of Western mindfulness measures. 

More recently, he developed an interest in mindfulness training as a method to enhance stress resilience and health. The lab is currently studying feasibility, mechanisms, and biological, behavioral, and psychological outcomes of an integrated resilience and mindfulness training among first responders and other high-stress cohorts.

Education

  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Hospital, Behavioral Medicine Program, 2005
  • PhD, The University of South Dakota, Department of Psychology, doctor of philosophy in clinical psychology, 2004
  • Pre-Doctoral Intern, Harvard Medical School/McLean Hospital, 2003
  • MS, Loyola University Maryland, Department of Psychology, master of arts degree in clinical psychology, 2000                           
  • BA, Loyola University Maryland, Department of Psychology, bachelor of arts in psychology, 1996

Recent Publications (*lab student co-author)

Ribeiro, L., *Colgan, D. D., *Kennedy Hoke, C., Hunsinger, M., Bowen, S., Oken, B. S., & Christopher, M. S. (in press). Differential impact of mindfulness practices on aggression among law enforcement officers. Mindfulness.

Hunsinger, M., Christopher, M. S., & *Schmidt, A. M. (in press). The impact of mindfulness training on implicit bias in law enforcement force response decision-making. Mindfulness.

*Eddy, A., *Bergman, A. L., *Kaplan, J. B., Goerling, R. & Christopher, M. S. (in press). A qualitative analysis of the experience of mindfulness training among law enforcement officers. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology.

*Colgan, D. D., Christopher, M. S., Bowen, S., & *Eddy, A. (in press). Mindful nonreactivity moderates the relationship between chronic stress and pain interference in law enforcement officers. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology.

*Colgan, D. D., Christopher, M. S., Bowen, S., Brems, C., Hunsinger, M., & Tucker, B. (2019). Mindfulness-Based Wellness and Resilience Training for interdisciplinary primary care teams: A mixed-methods feasibility and acceptability trial. Primary Health Care Research & Development, 20(e91), 1-8.

Knowlton, C. N., Kryvanos, A., Poole, M., Christopher, M. S., & LaFavor, T. (2019). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for the treatment of chronic pain and coexisting depression: A single case study. Clinical Case Studies, 18, 254-269.

Trombka, M., Demarzo, M., Campos Bacas, D., Beira Antonio, S., Cicuto, K., Salvo, V., Almeida Claudino, F. C., Ribeiro, L., Christopher, M., Garcia-Campayo, J., & Sica Rocha, N. (2018). Study protocol of a multicenter randomized controlled trial of Mindfulness training to reduce burnout and promote quality of life in police officers: The POLICE study. BMC Psychiatry, 18, 151.

Christopher, M. S., Hunsinger, M., Goerling, R., Bowen, S., Rogers, B., Gross, C. R., *Dapolonia, E., & Pruessner, J. (2018). Mindfulness-Based Resilience Training to reduce health risk, stress reactivity, and aggression among law enforcement officers: A feasibility and  preliminary efficacy trial. Psychiatry Research, 264, 104-115.

*Kaplan, J. B., Christopher, M. S., & Bowen, S. (2018). Dispositional mindfulness moderates the relationship between occupational stressors and perceived stress among law enforcement personnel. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 33, 227-232.

Schroeder, D. A., Stephens, L., *Colgan, D., Hunsinger, M., Rubin, D., & Christopher, M. S. (2018). A brief mindfulness-based intervention for primary care physicians: A pilot randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 12, 83-91.

*Kaplan, J. B., *Bergman, A. L., Christopher, M. S., Bowen, S., & Hunsinger, M. (2017). Role of resilience in mindfulness training for first responders. Mindfulness, 8, 1373-1380.

*Colgan, D. D., Wahbeh, H., Besler, K., Pleet, M., & Christopher, M. S. (2017). A qualitative study of mindfulness among veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder: Practices differentially affect symptoms, aspects of well-being, and potential mechanisms of action. Journal of Evidence-Based Complimentary & Alternative Medicine, 22, 482-493.

Charoensuk, S., Pitaksongkram, P., & Christopher, M. S. (2016). [ความหมายและปัจจัยบ่มเพาะสติ จากประสบการณ์ของสตรีไทยที่ปฏิบัติธรรม]. Meaning and cultivating factors of mindfulness as experienced by Thai female monks and experienced dhamma practitioners. Nursing Journal of the Ministry of Public Health, 25, 170-183.

*Colgan, D., Christopher, M. S., Michael, P. G., & Wahbeh, H. (2016). Mindful breathing and body scan differentially impact the relationship between mindfulness facets and treatment outcomes in veterans with PTSD. Mindfulness, 7, 372-383.

*Bergman, A. L., Christopher, M. S., & Bowen, S. (2016). Changes in facets of mindfulness predict stress and anger outcomes for police officers. Mindfulness, 7, 851-858.

Christopher, M. S., Goerling, R. J., Rogers, B. S., Hunsinger, M., *Baron, G., *Bergman, A., & Zava, D. T. (2016). A pilot study evaluating the effectiveness of a mindfulness-based intervention on cortisol awakening response and health outcomes among law enforcement officers. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 31, 15-28.

Jones, K. D., Mist, S. D., Agnew, M. C., Ali, A., & Christopher, M. S. (2015). Fibromyalgia impact and mindfulness characteristics in 4,986 people with fibromyalgia. EXPLORE: The Journal of Science & Healing, 11, 304-309.

Christopher, M. S., Rogers, B. S., Hunsinger, M., *Colgan, D., *Reiss, A., & Farwood, H. B. (2015). Distinguishing mindful process from outcome in the prediction of global health and perceived stress in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program, Mindfulness, 6, 693-699.

Instructor

  • Integrative Seminar in Psychology Research
  • Scientific Communication
  • Evidence-Based Practice Sample 

Professional Memberships & Affiliations

  • Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (Mindfulness SIG)
  • Association for Contextual Behavioral Science
  • American Psychological Association