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The HIV Prevention Lab, located at Ryerson University Department of Psychology
We asked each of the HIV Prevention Lab’s graduate student ABCT members:
- What is your area of research interest?
- How has ABCT been helpful to you?
- If a student were thinking about joining ABCT, what activities would you recommend they get involved in?
Natalie Stratton, MA
- My research interests generally focus on the study of human sexual functioning. My dissertation explored the physical, mental, and social health of gay, bisexual, and queer men experiencing anodyspareunia (i.e., pain receptive anal penetration).
- Participating in ABCT has enriched my graduate training by providing me an opportunity to disseminate and receive feedback on my research from expert researchers in my field. In addition, I further developed my research and clinical skills by attending workshops, symposiums, and panels from renowned researchers. Lastly, ABCT has been a great place to form relationships with other researchers.
- I would highly recommend attending SIG meetings as this is a wonderful place to meet researchers in your field. I also thoroughly enjoy attending the LGBT SIG dinner and have forged many great relationships from this experience.
Tyler Tulloch, MA
- I am interested in research on psychological distress among end-stage renal disease patients.
- The ABCT SIGs have been particularly helpful by providing a place to network with researchers and clinicians who share my research interests. I was a member of several SIGs, including the Behavioral Medicine & Integrated Primary Care, Study of GLBT Issues, and Insomnia and Other Sleep Disorders SIGs. I served as a student rep on the BMED-IPC SIG, which was a very rewarding experience for me. ABCT has been my conference of choice for disseminating my research at poster sessions and symposia, and the clinical workshops were very helpful.
- I would recommend that students get as involved as possible with the SIGs, and submit their research to symposia as well as poster sessions. I would encourage them to meet new people to form personal and professional relationships that may last well into the future.
Marie Faaborg-Andersen, MA
- My research interests are specifically focused on understanding sexual and reproductive health. My doctoral dissertation examined whether gay men with negative automatic thoughts and higher degrees of unrealistic sexual expectations will experience more severe erectile dysfunction. This was the first study of its kind to evaluate this relationship, and incorporated both self-report and physiological measures of erectile dysfunction (i.e., thermal imaging). My Master’s thesis explored various pathways leading from childhood sexual abuse to adult erectile dysfunction in gay and bisexual men. Specifically, it examined the mediating roles of substance use, coping, and emotion regulation in this relationship.
- ABCT has provided a unique opportunity to interact with clinicians from a variety of research backgrounds and areas of clinical expertise. I have not only had the opportunity to network with professionals who are experts within the field, but have also benefitted greatly from all of the valuable information that I have learned while attending workshops and seminars. The knowledge gained through ABCT has allowed me to strengthen my clinical skills by further developing my knowledge of evidence-based treatment for a variety of mental health disorders. In addition, at every year’s conference, I have appreciated the focus of providing training on culturally competent therapy, as this is a major aspect to consider in my clinical work in downtown Toronto.
- Attend as many seminars and workshops as possible! Ahead of time, look through the brochures and create a schedule for yourself to make sure you can attend as many presentations that are relevant to your development as a clinician as possible. There are so many opportunities to learn, and preparation will be essential to prevent you from missing something important. I always enjoy attending the SIG Poster session, as its informal nature provides a valuable opportunity to network with clinicians from across the continent with similar clinical and research interests.
Ammaar Kidwai, MA
- I’m interested in investigating the lived experiences of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men of color, with a particular focus on South Asian men. Specifically, my doctoral dissertation is examining the impact of microaggressions on the mental health and sexual health of this population. Among my aims for my studies is the role of race/ethnicity in sexual risk-taking behaviors, particularly as it relates to consent. Understanding the intricacies of race/ethnicity in sexual consent situations can help clinicians and the South Asian GBMSM community expand the discussion about sex in both public and private domains.
- ABCT has been incredibly helpful in fostering important connections across my academic and clinical interests. I’ve been grateful for the opportunity to attend clinically relevant workshops, research presentations and special interest group meetings, which have been enlightening and have subsequently informed my own practice.
- It would be paramount to join a special interest group as it can forge connections with other like-minded professionals and provides a unique opportunity to review and discuss particular research. I also highly recommend attending clinical workshops and seminars as it can contribute to your ongoing development as a clinical psychology student. The opportunity to attend the vast array of workshops and seminars provided at ABCT is an exceptional highlight and one I continue to appreciate.
Trevor A. Hart, Ph.D., C.Psych.
Dr. Trevor A. Hart is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Ryerson University. Dr. Hart’s research in HIV prevention and care spans a wide variety of fields, including health psychology, clinical psychology, community psychology, and public health. Dr. Hart’s research is conducted at the HIV Prevention Lab and collaborating labs, HIV clinics, and AIDS service organizations.
Research conducted by Dr. Hart and his graduate students at the HIV Prevention Lab involves three related lines of scientific study: (1) the identification of risk factors for unprotected intercourse among adolescent and adult populations at high risk for HIV and sexually transmitted infected (STI) contraction or transmission; (2) examining the relation between physical health and psychological outcomes among people living with HIV; and (3) testing of behavioral interventions for people at high risk for HIV and STIs and people living with HIV that promote sexual health and life expectancy and reduce HIV, STIs, and other sexual risk outcomes.
The HIV Prevention Lab conducts research on how to prevent HIV and STI transmission among groups that are at a higher risk for acquiring HIV and STIs, with a focus on gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. We also conduct research on how to promote quality of life among people living with HIV.
Dr. Hart is the director of the HIV Prevention Lab and a recipient of an Ontario HIV Treatment Network Applied Research Chair Award. The HIV Prevention Lab is staffed by Dr. Hart’s research team, which currently consists of four graduate students, a full-time lab manager, a full-time research coordinator, two post-doctoral fellows, and several full-time and part-time research assistants.
How do you stay current with developments in the field, both research and practice?
I keep up with the research literature by reading journals in health behavior, behavioral therapies, HIV/STIs, and sexual health. I also regularly attend conferences to learn about what my colleagues are doing.
What conferences do you regularly attend and why?
ABCT, the Canadian Association for HIV Research, the Ontario HIV Treatment Network, the International Academy of Sex Research, and community-based conferences on gay and bisexual men’s health where researchers, front-line mental health providers, and community leaders can learn how best to work together to improve mental health and sexual health.
How long have you been a member of ABCT?
How has ABCT helped you professionally?
ABCT has always been my home for updating my research and clinical knowledge of behavioral therapies. ABCT helped me to learn how to do high-quality research and therapy.
How do you see the future of ABCT for both you and your students?
I think ABCT will grow as behavioral therapies continue to grow in their popularity. The reach of behavioral therapies will grow into new areas, including work with marginalized populations, implementation science, and prevention science.
Are your students members of ABCT? If so, what has been most useful for them?
Yes! I think they appreciate the ability to network with fellow students who care about the interface of science and practice, and to update their knowledge of both.
For prospective students:
I would recommend that prospective students attend ABCT so they can learn how to do great work that can help them improve people’s lives using behavioral therapies.