I am primarily interested in research on the joint contributions of personality and culture to human health and functioning, with an emphasis on emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Originally from southern Ontario, I received my B.Sc. in psychology from the University of Toronto and my M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver). I also completed a predoctoral clinical internship at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx before starting at Concordia University in Montréal in 2005. Although trained in clinical psychology, the majority of my research mentors have been social or personality psychologists: Ken Dion and Mike Bagby in Toronto; Steven Heine and Del Paulhus in Vancouver. Dr. Heine supervised my dissertation, which took a cultural psychology approach to the study of somatic and psychological symptoms of depression in Han Chinese and Euro-Canadian clinical outpatients.
Perhaps as a result of this dual training, the overall goal of my research is to integrate the cultural psychology perspective that has emerged in recent years with clinical questions. Within this emerging cultural-clinical psychology, I take the view that ‘culture’ should be understood both as a distributed system of meanings that shape psychopathological symptoms, and as socially constituted practices in the world that make up the context in which these symptoms are expressed. Just as symptoms cannot be understood without reference to brains and genes, so too can they not be understood without reference to cultural context.
I conduct research in four interrelated domains:
(1) Cross-cultural research on the presentation of emotional disorders, with a particular emphasis on China, Japan, and Korea.
(2) Acculturation research on the mental health impacts of migration to multicultural and multilingual cities such as Montreal.
(3) Clinical research on improving mental health services across cultural and linguistic divides.
(4) Conceptual research on the foundations of cultural-clinical psychology as an emerging sub-discipline.
In the past, I also conducted research on the interrelation of personality and psychopathology and occasionally still contribute to papers in this area.
Since 2005, I have directed the Culture, Health, and Personality Lab in the Centre for Clinical Research in Health and the Department of Psychology at Concordia University. As a faculty member, I teach undergraduate courses in cultural psychology and cultural-clinical psychology, along with graduate seminars in psychological intervention. I also provide clinical supervision, following a cognitive-behavioural approach augmented by cultural and existential perspectives. In addition, I hold an adjunct appointment in the Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry at McGill University, also in Montréal. I am a recipient of the President’s New Researcher Award from the Canadian Psychological Association and the Early Career Award from the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology.
Please note that I am not taking on any students at the moment.