Melissa J. Zielinski, Ph.D.

Professional Certifications and EducationIMG_8597

Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, August 2016 (APA-Accredited)

Pre-doctoral Internship in Clinical Psychology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, July 2015-June 2016 (APA-Accredited)

M.A., Psychology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, May 2013

B.A., Psychology/Health and Exercise Science, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ, May 2011

Research Experience

I am currently completing a NIDA-funded T32 postdoctoral fellowship in the Brain Imaging Research Center (BIRC) in UAMS’ Psychiatric Research Institute, with mentorship by Dr. Nick Zaller in the College of Public Health. My research focuses on trauma-related pathology (e.g., PTSD, borderline personality disorder) and mechanisms of trauma recovery (e.g., narrative exposure). My graduate milestones focused on better elucidating the consequences of emotion invalidation, a construct associated with a wide variety of psychological and physical health conditions, and its association with emotion dysregulation. I have also been collaboratively examining an exposure-based group treatment for incarcerated women who are survivors of sexual violence for several years. I have a concurrent supplemental training appointment as a NIDA-funded R25 fellow in the Lifespan/Brown Criminal Justice Research Training Program on Substance Use, HIV, and Comorbidities through the Center for Health and Human Rights at Brown University based on my work in this area.

Prior to joining the BIRC, I completed my doctoral training at the University of Arkansas in the Laboratory for Emotion and Addictive Processes under the mentorship of Dr. Jennifer Veilleux. I continue to regularly collaborate with Dr. Jennifer Veilleux and Dr. Ana Bridges at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and Dr. Marie Karlsson at Murray State University.

Research Interests

Incarcerated and other justice-involved women; Development, implementation, and evaluation of trauma treatment for justice-involved women; Mechanisms of trauma recovery; Trauma and substance use comorbidities; Group exposure-based therapies; Narrative exposure; Borderline personality disorder; Emotion invalidation; Emotion regulation; Nonsuicidal self-injury; Non-fear emotions and PTSD

Recent Publications

Veilleux, J. C., Pollert, G. A., Zielinski, M. J., Shaver, J. A., & Hill, M. H. (In Press). Behavioral assessment of the tolerance to negative emotion aspect of distress tolerance. Assessment.

Roley-Roberts, M. E., Zielinski, M. J., Hurtado, G., Hovey, J. D., & Elhai, J. (In Press). Functions of non-suicidal self-injury are differentially associated with suicide ideation and past attempts among childhood trauma survivors. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior.

Zielinski, M. J., Veilleux, J. C., Winer, E. S., & Nadorff, M. (2017). A short-term longitudinal examination of the relations between depression, anhedonia, and self-injurious thoughts and behaviors in adults with a history of self-injury. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 73, 187-195.

Zielinski, M. J., Karlsson, M. E., & Bridges, A. J. (2016). Adapting evidence-based trauma treatment for incarcerated women: A model for implementing exposure-based group therapy and considerations for practitioners. the Behavior Therapist, 39(6), 205-210.

Karlsson, M. E., Zielinski, M. J., & Bridges, A. J. (2015). Expanding research on a brief exposure-based group treatment with incarcerated women. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 54, 599-617.

Zielinski, M. J., Borders, A., & Giancola, P. (2015). Does hostile rumination mediate the associations between child abuse, parenting characteristics, and borderline features in adulthood? Personality and Mental Health, 9, 288-297.

Bujarski, S. J., Craig, J. T., Zielinski, M. J., Badour, C. L., & Feldner, M. T. (2015). A multimodal examination of emotional responding to a trauma-relevant film among traumatic motor vehicle accident survivors. Assessment, 22, 216-223.