Can cannabis help treat PTSD?
Through a partnership between Tilray and the University of British Columbia, our researchers are carrying out the first randomized controlled trial for whole plant cannabis in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. The study focuses on combat veterans, first responders and victims of violent crime who suffer from PTSD, and determining if cannabis is a viable treatment option.
“As it stands, the existing treatments for PTSD are insufficient for a considerable number of people who suffer. What we’re hoping is that we can add to the therapeutic options for treating this debilitating disorder.”
Associate Professor, Psychology
Developing innovative and alternative treatments for obesity
One in four adult Canadians and one in 10 children have clinical obesity, meaning six million Canadians living with obesity may require immediate support in managing and controlling their weight. UBCO researchers are approaching this challenge biologically, psychologically and socially. They are looking at what is working, what isn’t, and what kind of programs can be developed and tailored for different groups of individuals that will work for them long term.
“Because I’m a clinical health psychologist, I really had that passion for understanding both the psychology and physiology side of it.”
Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Training, Psychology
Advancing research in neuropsychology
A great way to know how the brain works is to see what happens when it doesn’t work. Our researchers are looking at the brain and behaviour, specifically the cognitive effects of stroke, which allows researchers to see the functional outcomes of damage to different parts of the brain. In partnership with the Okanagan Hospital, they are studying ways to improve assessment techniques to better predict functional outcomes, and, over the long term, develop new interventions to improve outcomes.
“We have been really lucky in our lab to have access to really great technology, some really high-end state of the art stuff, like our eye tracking system. What’s so great about that it that it’s novel, it’s really new, nobody’s using it, and we’re able to get a really great wealth of data. It’s incomparable to other labs.”
Graduate Student, Psychology
CENTRES, INSTITUTES AND LABS
Our labs and centres form the foundation of our research efforts, where our faculty work with a number of community partners to advance knowledge and practice in the field of psychology and provide hands on research and learning opportunities for students.
The Centre works to identify effective services for children and families at risk of maltreatment. We look at the kinds of services that are available to help children and families, but also what the evidence shows about what kinds of support help the most.
“I think the main contribution that the centre makes is to support the development of models of service delivery that are based on research, to study the implementation of those models, and to engage in knowledge translation so that other people around the province, around the nation, and internationally can use the learning that we have and apply it in their own communities.”
Professor, Social Work & Psychology
Director, Centre for the Study of Services to Children & Families
Looking at cognition, substance use/abuse, associations and memory, with a particular focus on substance use in adolescents, mindful rest training in relation to substance use, and implicit cognitions.
Studying the social psychological processes occurring within groups and between groups, with a particular focus on stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination.
Traditionally, psychology has focused on what is wrong with you and how to fix it. We study what is right with you (e.g., happiness) and how to promote it.
Investigating the impact of psychosocial factors, such as stress, mood and social support on physical health and well-being. We are particularly interested in understanding the ways in which social relationships influence emotional and physical health among healthy and chronically ill populations.
Using platforms such as eye-tracking, EEG, behavioural testing and neuropsychological assessment to better understand the cognitive aspects of psychopathology, as well as functional outcome following stroke and brain injury.
Focusing on the use of cannabis and psychedelics for therapeutic and recreational purposes, the lab examines the associations between cannabis use, mental health and addictions.
Located on the UBCO campus, the clinic provides cost-effective treatment options to students, staff, faculty and the general public. Treatment is provided by graduate students under supervision of qualified, trained professionals.
Examining the therapeutic and nontherapeutic use of cannabis, with a specific focus on cannabis, mental health, and substance use.
Online collaborative games designed to promote understanding of self and others as well as meaning in life.
Cognition and Substance Use
Examining the role of cognitive processes in the development of substance use behaviours. This research studies substance use as multifaceted behavior influenced by both rational and spontaneous thinking.
Rural mental health
Understanding the mental health-related experiences of adults 50+ years of age who live in rural communities. Specific studies explore stigma, gaps and barriers to accessing mental health-related services in these communities, and the development and implementation of community-based services and supports.
Differentiating normal and abnormal personality using state of the art statistical and psychometric methods. Interpersonal behavior patterns associated with psychopathology.
Statistics Research and Methods
Best methods and programming options for factor analysis, item response theory and Bayesian data analysis.
How does your mind work? What are the links between mind and brain operations? These are the topics investigated by cognitive researchers.
Laterality / Brain Hemisphere Interactions
Is one of the brain’s hemispheres better than the other at performing a task? Are two hemispheres better than one? These are the questions investigated by research into laterality and hemispheric interaction, respectively.
The study of psychological and behavioral processes in health, illness and healthcare. It is concerned with understanding how psychological, behavioral and cultural factors contribute to physical health and illness.
Conducting empirical studies on creative style and creative influences, computational models of the cultural evolution of creative ideas and computational creativity experiments in art and music.
Positive Psychology / Happiness and Well-being
Though much of psychology focuses on dysfunction and deficits, positive psychology focuses on strengths and thriving through researching strategies that contribute to enduring enhancement of happiness.
Social and Personality
The study of the development of personality and individualistic traits. Personality psychologists look at people as individuals rather than as members of society. Social psychology is the study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are influenced by social situations.
Our Partners and Donors
Together, we are making a difference, locally and around the world. Our partners and donors allow us to carry out our mission of helping the community, making advancements in psychological research, and providing quality education in the field of psychology.
If you are interested in becoming a partner or donor, we would love to hear from you.