My research program has two separate but related arms: Psychotherapy Research and Romantic Relationship Research.
Within Psychotherapy, I have chosen to investigate the role of process and multicultural factors as well as therapist effects My passion for process-focused research is rooted in the belief that psychotherapy outcomes become more difficult to connect to specific interventions and client-therapist interactions as the cumulative effects of multiple sessions can obscure post-session changes. However, in-session activities are valuable sources of feedback as these may be indicative where the course of therapy is heading. Many of my multicultural studies include process factors (e.g., alliance, the real relationship) and I have also examined other process factors, such as session outcomes, systemic alliance, inter-session thoughts, and psychodynamic/interpersonal and cognitive-behavioral techniques. Moreover, my studies examining therapist effects can provide important insights regarding therapists' general competency, which has broader implications for competency focused movement in the training of professional psychologists.
Within the domain of Romantic Relationship Research, I have examined couple interventions and young adults' relationship decision making in casual sex encounters. Although there are many ways to assist couples' relationship functioning, I have mainly focused on two dimensions: (a) relationship education programs to help prevent relationship discord and (b) couple therapy to alleviate relational conflict and strife. Prevention efforts for relationship discord can be a meaningful way for couples to learn the skills, knowledge, and awareness needed to maintain a healthy trajectory. While prevention efforts can be useful, some couples need more intensive services. My romantic relationship research agenda will continue to enhance and implement relationship education programs and couple therapy as we have a two couple/relationship education programs currently in process. These projects are a great way for students to gain couple therapy experience as well as learn about the dynamics of doing couple research.
See Web Page for RAP Lab: http://louisville.edu/faculty/jjowen05
Advanced Practicum, Couples and Family Therapy, Theories of Psychotherapy, Techniques of Psychotherapy, Advanced Psychotherapy Research and Practice
My teaching philosophy is grounded in the belief that students need to be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and awareness to make effective decisions about complex human interactions within a diverse society. Ultimately, students need to form wise, defensible clinical judgments that are rooted in sound empirical evidence and clinical expertise, without ultimately deferring to authority figures. To this end, I have taken an individualized-developmental educational approach, which combines intellectual and emotional support for students while having high standards for their performance.
My mentoring style is consistent with my teaching philosophy, wherein I work collaboratively with each student to tailor their experience based on their career goals, interests, and ability. For students in my research lab, I spend a considerable amount of time teaching them the fundamentals of the research process, such as how to collect data, conduct literature searches, develop research questions, conduct statistical analyses, and write for publication. As students gain more experience they are able to assist one another and new members of my research team. The peer-collaboration system assists students in multiple ways: (a) cultivates a research climate wherein discussions of various topics are encouraged; (b) fosters their ability to co-learn and benefit from the strengths of a talented research team; and (c) develops their ability to foster collaborations, a key element to successful research.