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Jacqueline Woolley, Chair The University of Texas at Austin, SEA 4.212, Austin, TX 78712 • (512) 475-7596

Christopher G Beevers

Professor Ph.D., University of Miami

Professor and Director of the Institute for Mental Health Research
Christopher G Beevers

Contact

Biography

Christopher Beevers received his doctorate in adult clinical psychology from the University of Miami. His clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship were completed in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University. Dr. Beevers' primary research interest focuses on the cognitive etiology and treatment of major unipolar depression. He believes that understanding normal cognitive processes provides an important foundation for identifying how these processes go awry in clinical depression. His research has examined whether depression vulnerability is associated with negatively biased attention, thought suppression, and poor cognitive change during treatment. Dr. Beevers is particularly interested in the interplay between biology (e.g., variants of the serotonin transporter gene), cognitive risk factors for depression, and reactivity to transient mood states. Finally, he is interested in whether treatments modify putative risk factors for depression.

See Google Scholar profile for more information.

Dr. Beevers plans to admit a clinical doctoral student into his laboratory for Fall of 2015. See Info for Prospective Students for further detail.

Interests

Etiology, maintenance, and treatment of unipolar depression in adults

PSY 352 • Abnormal Psychology

44100 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm CLA 0.130
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Biological and social factors in the development and treatment of psychopathology. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: For psychology majors, upper-division standing and Psychology 301 and 418 with a grade of at least C in each; for nonmajors, upper-division standing, Psychology 301 with a grade of at least C, and one of the following with a grade of at least C: Biology 318M, Civil Engineering 311S, Economics 329, Educational Psychology 371, Electrical Engineering 351K, Government 350K, Mathematics 316, 362K, Mechanical Engineering 335, Psychology 317, Sociology 317L, Social Work 318, Statistics 309, Statistics and Scientific Computation 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 318.

PSY 352 • Abnormal Psychology

43355 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm NOA 1.124
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The main goal for this course is to provide broad exposure to descriptive psychopathology (i.e., the symptoms, signs, and clinical course) and treatment of the major psychiatric disorders. A scientific and empirical approach to this material is emphasized.

PSY 352 • Abnormal Psychology

43310 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm NOA 1.124
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The main goal for this course is to provide broad exposure to descriptive psychopathology (i.e., the symptoms, signs, and clinical course) and treatment of the major psychiatric disorders. A scientific and empirical approach to this material is emphasized.

PSY 352 • Abnormal Psychology

43235 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm NOA 1.124
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The main goal for this course is to provide broad exposure to descriptive psychopathology (i.e., the symptoms, signs, and clinical course) and treatment of the major psychiatric disorders. A scientific and empirical approach to this material is emphasized.

PSY 352 • Abnormal Psychology

43195 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm WEL 1.308
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Prerequisites

Upper-division standing required. PSY 301 and PSY 418 or an equivalent with a grade a grade of at least C in both.

Course Description

The main goal for this course is to provide broad exposure to descriptive psychopathology (i.e., the symptoms, signs, and clinical course) and treatment of the major psychiatric disorders. A scientific and empirical approach to this material is emphasized.

Grading Policy

Three (3) exams will be given during the semester. Each exam will contribute to 30% of your final grade. Exams thus make up 90% of your grade. Each exam will consist of approximately 60 multiple choice and/or matching questions. An optional, cumulative final exam will be offered during the final exam period. The optional final exam will include material that is covered throughout the semester. The optional final exam can be substituted for one (1) exam during the semester.

There will also be one required writing assignment. For this assignment, you will write about a specific issue/controversy in an area of clinical psychology. You will be given a list of writing assignments and reference material to choose from at the beginning of the semester. This writing assignment counts toward 10% of your grade.

Texts

Barlow, D. H., Writing & Durand, V. M. (2005). Abnormal Psychology: An integrative approach. 4th edition. Wadsworth: Belmont, CA.

PSY 394Q • Smnrs In Clinical Psychology

44305 • Fall 2009
Meets
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instructor.topics vary. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent ofhours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit when theOne or three lecture

PSY 394Q • Adv Practicum In Clin Psy

43405 • Spring 2009
Meets
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Seminars in Clinical Psychology. One or three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

Current Projects

My laboratory conducts translational research on the etiology and treatment of depression. We are particularly interested in the intersection between cognitive models of depression, genetics, and neuroscience. The Mood Disorders Lab focuses primarily on the collection of phenotypic data, such as cognitive vulnerability to depression, measured with a variety of different approaches. Central techniques include behavioral reaction time tasks and psychophysiology, including eye-tracking and more recently electroencephalography. In close collaboration with geneticists, we are then able to explore the genetic underpinnings of vulnerability to depression and its correlates. We are particularly interested in whole genome approaches and epigenetics.

We have numerous ongoing projects within the lab. Here is a current sampling of projects:

  • We are conducting a therapygenetics study, which examines whether genetic variation can predict response to internet delivered psychotherapy. This project is funded by the Brain and Behavior Foundation and is being conducted in collaboration with colleagues at Brown University (J. McGeary).
  • We are exploring different approaches to cognitive training, in an effort to reverse the cognitive biases that are believed to maintain the disorder. This work falls under the category of Cognitive Bias Modification. This is an exciting new area of research that promises to merge basic psychopathology research with treatment development.
  • We are also conducting research that examines decision making in healthy and depressed individuals. This work is in collaboration with Todd Maddox and is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).   

Info for Prospective Students

Frequently Asked Questions

Will you be taking a graduate student into your lab this year? 

I do plan to admit a graduate student in the Fall of 2015. This is pending budgetary approval, which has not been finalized yet. 

What makes a good grad student?

First and foremost, good graduate students are passionate about their work. This is important because the research process can take a long time from start to finish, there is often not much positive reinforcement along the way, and it can be easy to get distracted. Passion for what they do helps sustain students through this process. Good students are also highly motivated to succeed and willing to work very hard. Being smart, curious, a good writer, and having good quantitative skills also helps.

What are your top tips for students interested in applying to a psychology graduate program?

  1. Fit between your research interests and those of the advisor you are applying to work with is probably the most important aspect of your application. Not just in terms of your stated interests, but also in terms of your experiences. For instance, if someone is interested in studying alcohol disorders in graduate school, the most competitive students often have worked in an alcohol research laboratory as an undergraduate.
  2. I would also recommend doing as well as possible on the GREs, particularly the verbal section. This is one of the few ways faculty can compare students across a level playing field.
  3. Remember that most people do not get into graduate school the first time they apply. Our doctoral program in clinical psychology only accepts 3-5 students from approximately 350 applications every year.
  4. I would also recommend verifying that the faculty member you would like to work with plans to accept a graduate student that year.

Do you take people straight out of undergrad?

It is somewhat unusual for me to take someone who just received their undergraduate degree. I like to admit people who have worked as post-bac RAs for a year or two because if they still want to do research after working full time for a couple of years, that is a good sign.  

When (if ever) is the best time to get an email from an applicant asking: 1) if you are taking students next year; and 2) just expressing interest in your work as a way to say please look at my application?

A month or two into the fall semester. Too early and faculty won't know if they are able to admit a student. I think it is OK to express interest in my work--just try to be concise. It is useful to say specifically why you are interested, rather than just saying you admire it etc. I also think it is a great idea to attach a CV, as that is a good way for me to quickly see what sorts of experiences a student has had.  

Do you hate these emails? Do you like them?

I don't mind them. 

When (if ever) is the best time to get an email from a faculty mentor suggesting that I should look at a particualr applicant closely?

Probably right around the application deadline. Much earlier than that, and I would likely forget! So, best to catch the advisor near the time when he/she starts looking at applications. And, at least at Texas, we don't start looking at applications until after the deadline (which is usually early to mid Dec, which means I usually don't look at them until after Christmas early Jan). 

Other useful resources:

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