People | Mindful Health & Resilience Lab

Professor | Director of Clinical Training

Dr. Christopher has a long-standing research interest in the science and practice of mindfulness meditation and contemplative practices. Current research focuses on mindfulness training to improve stress resilience and stress-related health outcomes among high-stress cohorts. The lab is currently studying feasibility, mechanisms, and biological, behavioral, and psychological impact of an integrated resilience and mindfulness training (mindfulness-based resilience training [MBRT]) on stress resilience and aggression among law enforcement officers. 

Research Coordinator

Eli is a 5th year student PhD and currently completing his predoctoral internship at the Missouri Health Sciences Psychology Consortium. He coordinated several NIH studies in the lab. His research interests include stress, self-compassion, resilience and burnout in first responders, and he was a 2017 Berglund Fellow. In his free time he enjoys traveling with his wife, hanging out with his dog, and searching for the perfect croissant.

Research Assistant

Ashley is a 2nd year clinical psychology PhD student. Her research interests include stress, resilience, and mindfulness in first responders. She is an RA on several NIH grant-funded projects. When not in the lab, Ashley can be found hiking with her dog and exploring the Pacific Northwest.

Research Assistant

Jenna is a 2nd year student in the clinical psychology PhD program. Her research interests currently include corrections, resilience, trauma, and stress; however, this list keeps growing.

Lt. Richard Goerling, MBA, CMF

Richard has served in law enforcement for over two decades. He’s held both federal and municipal level positions in a variety of investigative and operational assignments. Richard has spearheaded the introduction of mindfulness into policing as part of a larger cultural transformation toward a compassionate, skillful and resilient policing.

Alongside his civilian police career, Richard served in the United States Coast Guard Reserve for 27 years, both active and reserve, retiring in 2015 at the rank of Commander while assigned to Coast Guard Sector Charleston, SC. He holds an appointment as an affiliate professor in the School of  Graduate Psychology at Pacific University in Oregon and serves as a researcher and trainer in a current NIH funded research project with Portland Police Bureau and Albuquerque Police Department. Richard completed a year-long training program at the University of California at Los Angeles, Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) under the direction of Diana Winston, Dr. Susan Smalley, and Dr. Marvin Belzer. He is a Certified Mindfulness Facilitator through UCLA.

Research Assistant

Kaylie is a 3rd year student in the clinical psychology PhD program. Her primary research and clinical interests include resilience, post-traumatic stress, and sleep deprivation in first responder populations. Kaylie’s father is a firefighter in the Pacific Northwest, and she is very passionate about finding ways to improve the lives and mental health of these hardworking populations. Aside from academia, Kaylie spends her time outdoors, hiking, taking her cats for walks, and riding downhill mountain bikes.

Research Assistant

Candice is a 4th year student in the clinical psychology PhD program. Her research and clinical interests are focused on mindfulness and acceptance-based interventions in high-risk populations. Candice is currently an RA on several NIH-funded studies at Pacific University and Oregon Health & Sciences University. Candice also works as a mental health professional in the Portland area. In her free time, Candice enjoys being with her husband and baby son, as well as dreaming of gardening projects and exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Associate Professor

Matthew Hunsinger's interests include social cognition, intergroup relations, intergroup bias, meditation (including mindfulness), and affect / emotion.

He is a Co-Investigator and Statistician in the Mindful Health and Resilience Lab and conducts research on intergroup bias and meditation/mindfulness, with a current focus on the impact of mindfulness-based interventions on force response decision-making for law enforcement officers.

Research Assistant

Josh is a 6th year PhD student and currently completing his predoctoral internship at the VA Portland Healthcare System. His research interests include measurement and impact of resilience in high stress populations, and his clinical interests involve areas of health psychology, such as working on integrated health teams and conducting treatment and evaluation of pre-surgical patients. Josh is an active musician and plays with his band, Honeybender, in the Portland area. He enjoys swimming with his pup, hiking with his pup, and playing video games while his pup naps.

Research Assistant

Nicole is a 1st year student in the clinical psychology PhD program. Her research interests include mindfulness, impulse control, resilience, and burnout in first responders and veterans. In her free time, Nicole enjoys long-distance running, playing basketball and surfing.

Reasearch Assistant

Aurora is a 1st year clinical psychology PhD student. Her research interests include examining treatment outcomes for high stress populations using mindfulness based interventions through a Self Determination Theory lens. Outside of the lab, Aurora enjoys boxing and watching sloth videos.

Research Assistant

Andi is a 3rd year student in the clinical psychology PhD program. Her primary research and clinical interests include military veterans and their children, yoga, mindfulness, posttraumatic stress, resilience, and cross-cultural mental health. She graduated from Duke University with her M.S. in Global Health, where she focused on cross-cultural and post-disaster psychology.  Andi is a Navy veteran and served as a helicopter electronics technician. For fun, she loves to practice yoga, go hiking with her dogs, and spend as much time adventuring outdoors as possible.

Project Coordinator

Janae has 20 years of experience as a research coordinator, and program evaluator for research and demonstration projects, research studies, and longitudinal clinical trials. She is the project coordinator for several lab projects. Janae’s clinical and research interests are evaluating intervention and prevention programs that integrate strength, resilience and mindfulness-based approaches to improve the quality of life for high-stress populations. She also enjoys adapting and tailoring evidence-based practices to meet individual population’s needs and mentoring graduate students. She enjoys traveling, hiking, yoga, and kirtan, and has recently discovered kayaking.

Lab Alumnus

Aaron Bergman enrolled in the first PhD cohort and received his doctorate in 2019. He is currently currently completing a postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral health research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the departments of Emergency Medicine and Obstetrics. He is a native of Vashon Island, WA and his research interests include mindfulness-based interventions for high-risk populations. 

Lab Alumnus

Dharmakaya received her PhD in clinical psychology from Pacific University in 2017. Her personal meditation practice and social action experiences led her to pursue studies in clinical psychology, specializing in integrated healthcare, mind-body medicine, and yoga therapy. She is currently an NIH/NCCIH T32 postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Neurology at Oregon Health & Science University. Her current research focuses on novel approaches to studying psychophysiological mechanisms of mind-body approaches among high-stress and chronic pain populations. Clinically, she currently conducts pre-, intra-, and postoperative neuropsychological assessments for individuals undergoing awake craniotomies. She loves to explore faraway places, wonder through the woods, and scuba dive in warm waters.