Science and Practice Integration Lab (i-SPI)

Faculty Director
Address(es)
3110 Prices Fork Road
Blacksburg VA 24061-0355
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Fax Number

About Us

The Investigation of Science and Practice Integration (I-SPI) laboratory is located at the Psychological Services Center. The I-SPI lab is under the direction of Lee Cooper, Ph.D. He is a faculty member in and Director of the Clinical Science program, and Director of the Psychological Services Center. Our lab believes that the current state of clinical science with improved treatments and measures along with increasing levels of translation and technology affords a special opportunity to integrate science and practice. We also believe that our in-house training clinic (the Psychological Services Center) affords an optimal platform, namely a community-based, science-informed service center to carry out our work. Our research mission is to examine ways to build a bidirectional bridge between clinical research and clinical practice. Our research goals are to examine, understand, and maximize the accessibility, acceptability, adaptability, and sustainability of scientifically grounded assessment, intervention, evaluation, and training in the settings where practitioners directly deliver services. Our research aims are grounded in dissemination-implementation science and include (a) standardized and reliable assessment, (b) evaluation of intervention effectiveness through routine outcomes monitoring, (c) adaptation and flexibility of empirically supported interventions while maintaining fidelity, and (d) training of reflexive practice.

A variety of opportunities are available for graduate and undergraduate students. Use the links at the left to learn more about our research and laboratory.

Current Research Projects

Measurement Based Care (MBC) and Routine Outcome Monitoring (ROM)

With the implementation of the SCORE standardized assessment and treatment evaluation system at the PSC, we are interested in contributing the growing body of study of measurement based care (MBC) through assessing the facilitators and barriers of utilization of routine outcome monitoring (ROM) in our community-based training clinic. For this study, we have been periodically surveying both clinician and client attitudes toward ROM along with perceived facilitators and barriers. 

Reflective Practice - Phase II

Reflective practice refers to observing, recognizing, intervening, and making adjustments to one’s interpersonal pattern, while also drawing from existing professional and personal knowledge and understanding, to improve an interactional pattern. In the first phase of this particular project, we utilized a set of questions, along with pre-,post-, and follow up-surveys, to develop a feasible, acceptable, and practical reflective practice training module for graduate level clinical practicum. In Phase II we have added components of training, a shorter set of questions, and will be looking at associated changes, hopefully improvements, in working alliance, overall functioning, and overall treatment outcome.

Recent Research Projects

Reflective Practice Phase I

Reflective practice refers to observing, recognizing, intervening, and making adjustments to one’s interpersonal pattern, while also drawing from existing professional and personal knowledge and understanding, to improve an interactional pattern. In this particular project, we utilized a set of questions, along with pre-,post-, and follow up-surveys, to develop a feasible, acceptable, and practical reflective practice training module for graduate level clinical practicum.

Values Assessment Measure

Values are an important variable of interest in third-wave behavior therapies (e.g., Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy). In particular, prior research has linked increased congruence between behaviors and values as a positive indicator of improvements in adjustment and functioning. However, there are a limited number of assessment tools available for tracking progress on value congruence during the therapeutic process. We are in the process of designing a brief measure of value identification and congruence, and our next step is to attempt to adapt this measure to adolescents, with hopes for eventual clinical use.

Does Clinical Practice Inform Clinical Research?

The purpose of this study was to survey clinical researchers to see if they believed in a bidirectional approach to clinical psychology and whether their own research was informed by clinical practice. Based on our results, clinical researchers highly rated that research should be influenced by clinical practice, but significantly less so that clinical practice/consultative activities have influenced their own research. Reported barriers were presented and discussed.

Recent Graduates

We are extremely proud of the education, training, careers, and successes of I-SPI alumni. The following page provides a list of (1) graduate students who are earning, or have earned, their doctoral degree with their dissertation title and their internship, postdoctoral, and current professional positions, and (2) undergraduate students who have so wonderfully and gratefully worked within the I-SPI lab and are pursuing further advanced education and training in health service psychology.

Ph.D. Graduate Students (year of graduation)

Neville Farley Galloway-Williams (2015)

Dissertation: Component analysis study of self-as-context in non-clinical populations
Internship: Veterans Affairs Maryland Health Care System and University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Medicine
Postdoctoral Position: Veterans Affairs Maryland Health Care System, Baltimore MD
Current Position: Fellow - Veterans Affairs Maryland Health Care System

Amanda Halliburton (2018)

Dissertation: Piloting the use of acceptance, cognitive defusion, and values in reducing experiential avoidance and its consequences among youth rejected by peers
Internship: Southwest Virginia Psychology Doctoral Internship Consortium (Stone Mountain Health Services), Jonesville VA
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological Science, University of North Georgia

Haley Gordon Murphy (2018)

Dissertation: Adapting Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) for custodial grandparents: Interviews and an online parent training course
Internship: Western Youth Services, Child Community Mental Health, Laguna CA
Post-Doctoral Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and TIES for Families, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center

Undergraduate Students (year of graduation)

Elyse Hammond (2017)

Master's (MA) Program in Forensic Psychology
George Washington University
Washington DC

Emily Hill (2017)

Doctoral (PhD) Program in School Psychology
Northeastern University
Boston, MA

Gabriella Scalzo (2017)

College of Science Phi Beta Kappa Nominee
Doctoral (Ph.D.) Program in Clinical Psychology
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond VA

Katharine Waldron (2017)

College of Science Phi Beta Kappa Nominee
Clinical Psychology Doctorate (PsyD) Program
University of Indianapolis
Indianapolis, IN

Faith Schiefelbein (2018)

Clinical Research Assistant
Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
Bethesda, MD