Dr. Michelle Pearce is a clinical psychologist, author, researcher, health and wellness coach, and Assistant Professor in the Graduate School at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She has always been fascinated by what helps people cope with adversity and why some people thrive in adversity, while others do not. Her upcoming book, Night Bloomers: 12 Principles for Thriving in Adversity (Ixia Press/Dover Publications/Fall 2020), is a profound guide to writing your way through the dark times in life. Drawing upon the growing body of research on post-traumatic growth, the book reveals how dealing with the challenges of loss, grief, and tragedy can be a catalyst for transformation. Using the metaphor of flowers that bloom in the night, Dr. Pearce shares her empirically-based principles, clinical expertise, and inspiring stories of other Night Bloomers to provide hope and healing.
Dr. Pearce received her Ph.D. from Yale University and completed two post-doctoral fellowships at Duke University Medical Center, one in CBT and one with the Center for Spirituality, Theology, and Health. She researches the relationship between religion/spirituality, coping, and health, as well as the integration of spirituality into the practice of psychotherapy. Her current research includes the development of Spiritually Integrative Cognitive Processing Therapy to treat moral injury and PSTD among Veterans and active duty military service members. She is the co-developer of the national online edX training program for mental health providers called Spiritual Competency Training in Mental Health. Dr. Pearce is the author of the book Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Christians with Depression: A Practical, Tool-Based Primer and co-author of Religion and Recovery from PTSD (to be released late 2019).
Dr. Pearce has a passion for the application of clinical research to improve patient care and quality of life. She is also committed to teaching and training students and health care professionals. She directs three graduate certificate programs: Aging and Applied Thanatology, Integrative Health and Wellness, and Science Communication, and teaches a number of graduate courses. Her areas of clinical expertise include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, spiritual and existential issues, positive psychology, mind-body stress reduction methods, and behavioral medicine to address the intersection of mental and physical illness.
Dr. Pearce has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, has given numerous local and national speeches, and has received several honors in her field. These honors include an early career psychologist credentialing scholarship awarded by the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology; the Jack Shand Research Award granted by the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion for excellence in graduate research on the empirical study of religion; several awards from Yale University for distinguished academic achievement; and a Social Science and Humanities Research Council doctoral fellowship granted by the federal government of Canada.
In her free time, she loves to salsa dance, hike in the woods, and curl up with a good book.
Connect with Dr. Pearce at www.DrMichellePearce.com