Category Archives: Awards

Dr. Bonner Recognized for Psychology in Public Interest

Dr. Mkay Bonner has been recognized as the 2020 recipient of the Award for Psychology in the Public Interest by the Louisiana Psychological Association,
announced last month by the association officials.

The recognition is given to an individual who has made significant scholarly or
practical contributions to the health and well-being of the general public through their
work in psychology, said officials.

Dr. Bonner is an industrial-organizational psychologist who has worked closely with the police in Northeast Louisiana for decades. She is the Public Safety Psychologist for several police, sheriff, and fire departments. For almost 20 years, she has conducted a variety of evaluations for pre-employment, fitness-for-duty, and officer-involved shootings. Dr. Bonner is also an Associate Professor at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and teaches in the Criminal Justice & Psychology Departments, is a reviewer for the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, and authored or co-authored many journal articles and book chapters.

Dr. Bonner and her husband, Assistant Chief of Police at University of Louisiana at Monroe, Dr. Mark Johnson, serve on the Advisory Council of the Northeast Delta Crisis Intervention Team, known as CIT, covering 12 parishes in the northeast part of the state. She and her husband have now trained over 1300 individuals, mostly in the
law enforcement field, through a combination of more than 100 classes, ranging from 4 hour continuing education classes through the 40 hour complete CIT class. Johnson recently finished his EdD in Curriculum and Instruction, specializing in Law Enforcement
training and evaluation.

The nominating psychologist said, “During the events following the tragic death of George Floyd there have been calls for radical police reform, perhaps even wholesale police abolition. Louisiana has a heritage of excessive police behavior and much to overcome. Yet some of us see this as a moment to apply the solutions that Dr. Bonner has been advocating throughout our state and beyond for a long time. We see an opportunity for hope in the midst of our current despair.

“For over 16 years Dr. Bonner has been working quietly, working intensely to provide evidence-based training to prevent police misconduct and to minimize police use of
deadly or inappropriate force. This work has occurred at an organizational and at a tactical level. At an organizational level she and her team have analyzed systemic and
institutional conflicts that result in disparate use of deadly or inappropriate behavior. They have subsequently worked to change specific dysfunctional cultures or systems associated with excessive applications of police use of force and of cultures of racism associated with citizen abuse by first responders. Interventions like this by nature do not get publicized. They are confidential. Who wants their region, their own jurisdiction, their town, most of all their police to be labeled and singled out? But change seems effective and reasonably long term, perhaps a source for a bit of optimism in the present American confusion.”

The nominating psychologist continued, “At a more tactical level Dr. Bonner and her colleagues’ work has developed theory-based training to address common situations involving crisis intervention that police and other first responders frequently encounter. Mental illness is one of these problems. Racism is another. This work is not unique, but I believe it is uniquely effective. There are numerous programs in the country for police and first responders that address race, class, and poverty. Many more attempt to train providers about general mental health issues. But the data shows that they are not particularly effective and don’t do much good over the long term. Perhaps this is because they too often teach generalities rather than train specific skills for high risk situations. They may succeed in raising awareness but do not impart lasting behavioral changes because they do not apply discrete knowledge to risky, emotionally charged situations and back it up with practice and continued training.”

Dr. Bonner is a regular participant and presenter at the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology, an eclectic professional organization that encourages the scientific study of police and criminal psychology and the application of scientific knowledge to problems in criminal justice.

Bonner has also presented at the professional conferences of the Society of Police and Criminal Psychology, the American Psychological Association, and Professional Training Resources, Inc. Examples include, A Successful Rural Mult-jurisdictional CIT Program: A
Quantitative & Qualitative 10 Year Review
, presented at the 2017 APA Annual
Conference; “Recruiting and hiring minorities into policing, with international
considerations,” in International Journal of Crime, Law and Social Issues; “The Intersection between law enforcement and persons with a mental illness,” in Crime, Punishment, and the Law; and “Doing more with less: The advantage of reserve officers in law enforcement,” in Innovations in Police Volunteering.

Dr. Bonner has taught multiple courses at the North Delta Regional Police Academy, including courses such as Emotionally Disturbed Persons–Mental Illness, Deescalation, Stress Management, Cultural Diversity, and Police Survival.

The nominating psychologist said, “Dr. Bonner’s and her colleague’s work has been different because it trains police and first responders to think through these necessary specifics. She addresses unusual situations, but situations that might not be unusual to first responders.

“Evidence shows that they reduce the use of deadly and inappropriate police actions by giving participants opportunities to learn and to think through and rehearse. They do not provide miracles, but they help us come closer to where we all want to be as a society.

“She, her husband, a former detective, with a great deal of ‘street credibility,” and colleagues can reach the people, the fellow officers, the paramedics, the fire personnel, the prison guards and correction personnel, that most of us academics just cannot. They can, have, and will continue to be able to address racism, culturalism, classism, and inequalities because they have an authenticity gained through years of experience and a much-earned trust.”

In a recent Times interview about Police Psychology, Dr. Bonner said that not only do psychologists need to stick to their scientific base of facts, but to be truly helpful and comprehensive, psychologists must learn the culture and work environment law-enforcement personnel.

“We must learn and understand the culture and environment that they work in,” she
said. “We cannot leave our office, open a book, lecture to them for two hours on mental illness, and expect it to make a difference. We must spend time with them, go on ride-alongs –at midnight, experience some of their training classes. We must understand them, how to talk to them, the best methods for them to learn…” she said.

“Psychology has much to offer. However, we cannot dabble in research and training with law enforcement,” she warns. “We must be committed and remember our roots of scientific research and competencies. That is how we can make a difference. And, it is an extremely worthwhile endeavor.”
Selection for awards were made by
members of the Louisiana Psychological
Association’s awards committee composed
of Drs. Mike Chafetz, Beth Caillouet
Arredondo, Brian Mizuki, Kim VanGeffen,
and Laurel Franklin. The committee
accepts nominations from the community

Dr. Buckner Named LSU Distinguished Faculty

Julie Buckner, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Director of Clinical Training, has been
awarded the 2020 LSU Distinguished Faculty Award. This award recognizes faculty
members with sustained records of excellence in teaching, research, and/or service.

Dr. Buckner is a Professor and Director of Clinical Training in the Department of
Psychology at Louisiana State University and the Director of LSU’s Anxiety and
Addictive Behaviors Laboratory & Clinic. She is also a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at LSU-Health Sciences Center and a Visiting Professor at the
London South Bank University School of Applied Sciences. She is also a licensed clinical psychologist.

Dr. Buckner’s program of research primarily focuses on: (1) delineation of causal and
maintaining factors implicated in substance use disorders, especially the role of affect-related vulnerability factors; and (2) development and evaluation of empirically-informed treatment and prevention protocols for substance use disorders, including treatment for cooccurring anxiety-substance use disorders.

Dr. Buckner has had over 150 publications and has been involved in several NIH grants. Earlier this year, Dr. Julie Buckner was named the G. Alan Marlatt Mid-Career Research Award winner for 2020, announced at this year’s annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) Addictive Behaviors & Anxiety Disorders Special Interest Group.

Dr. Raines Named 2020 Early Career Psychologist

Dr. Amanda Raines, Clinical Investigator at Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Louisiana State University, has been named the 2020 Early Career Psychologist by the Louisiana Psychological Association.  

Highlighting her extensive peer-reviewed publications, development of novel interventions, ability to secure funding for the benefit of veterans in underserved areas, Awards Chair Dr. Mike Chafetz announced Dr. Raines as this year’s recipient on May 29. The Early Career Psychologist Award is given to an individual who is within 10 years of completing their doctorate in psychology and who has distinguished themselves by contributing to psychology research, practice, or both during the initial years of their career.  

“Dr. Raines has published 89 peer-reviewed manuscripts, including 29 as first author, and presented her work at local, national, and international conferences. And keep in mind,” Chafetz said, “this is the Early Career Award!  

“Dr. Raines’ research focuses on identifying and empirically examining diagnostic risk and maintenance factors, as well as the development of novel interventions that can be used to prevent and treat anxiety and related forms of pathology including suicide. Equally impressive,” he said, is “Dr. Raines’ ability to secure funding for treatment of veterans in rural and underserved areas.”  

Consistent with LPA’s mission to advance psychology as a science, explained the Awards Committee, she conducts this research using a translational framework wherein basic laboratory science is carried out with the goal of informing clinical practice. In turn, knowledge gleaned from the clinical arena reciprocally informs basic science methodologies.  

The Committee explained that Dr. Raines is not only a highly productive scholar but also an influential one. Her h-index of 24, indicates that to date, 24 of her manuscripts have been cited 24 times or more. Many of her publications have been featured in high impact journals such as the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Journal of Psychiatric Research, and Journal of Affective Disorders. Her research has been featured on national forums including the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Suicide Prevention Fact Sheet for helping to further understanding of the relationship between Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and suicide.  

As a resident, Dr. Raines obtained pilot funding to test the acceptability, feasibility, and utility of a group-based transdiagnostic treatment delivered to veterans living in rural and underserved areas throughout Louisiana. During this time, she also obtained pilot funding to examine the effects of a brief, one-session computerized cognitive behavioral intervention delivered to veterans seeking treatment for an opioid use disorder.  

Dr. Raines has also received a New Investigator Research Award from the American Public Health Association. In addition to a monetary stipend, this award allows her to access the National Violent Death Reporting System database, which links data from vital records, coroner/medical examiners, and law enforcement agencies, to obtain comprehensive data on suicides, homicides, deaths from legal intervention, deaths of undermined intent, and unintentional firearm deaths. With this data, Dr. Raines plans to utilize network analysis as a foundation for identifying characteristics of veterans who die by self-inflicted gunshot wound versus alternative methods in hopes of identifying novel prevention and intervention targets.  

Dr. Raines has received a prestigious and highly competitive Career Development Award, which was established by the VA to attract, develop, and retain talented researchers. Dr. Raines is the first psychologist and researcher at SLVHCS to receive one of these awards since 2004 (prior to Hurricane Katrina). Her project, titled, “Examination of a Safety Aid Reduction Protocol for Treatment Resistant PTSD among Veterans,” will bring around $800,000 to the facility and is designed to adapt and extend an existing groupbased anxiety protocol for use among veterans with PTSD.  

Another of Dr. Raines’ many notable qualities is her commitment to giving back to the field of psychology. Currently, she serves as a research supervisor to trainees in the American Psychological Association accredited internship and residency program. She serves as a mentor for the VA’s Training Residents in Psychiatry Scholarship program, which aims to increase the number of psychiatry residents entering research training fellowships. Additionally, Dr. Raines serves as a member of SLVHCS Bioethics Committee, as a peer-reviewer for over 20 scientific journals, as a Director on the LPA Executive Council, and as the Co-Chair of the Convention Committee 

Lee Matthews Named 1st Recipient of the Janet R. Matthews Mentor Award

To cheers, applause, and tears, the sentimental favorite, Dr. Lee Matthews, accepted the Janet R. Matthews, Ph.D. Outstanding Psychology Mentor Award for 2020, announced at the annual meeting of the Louisiana Psychological Association, held online, May 29. This is the inaugural year for the honor and Dr. Lee Matthews is the first recipient. Janet passed away in 2019.  

The award recognizes and honors Dr. Janet Matthews for her lifetime of mentoring work and the impact she had on psychologists in Louisiana, and is given to an individual who has made significant contributions in their mentoring of others in psychology. This is a legacy award developed by Dr. Laurel Franklin, who was mentored by Dr. Janet Matthews, explained Chair, Dr. Michael Chafetz. Janet passed away in 2019. 

“Dr. Lee Matthews is this year’s winner, and it is most fitting,” said Chafetz at the ceremony. “His 30-year career was marked by mentoring undergraduate students, graduate students, psychology interns, psychology post-doctoral students and individuals with degrees in psychology completing post-doctoral supervision or other post-degree supervision in a variety of capacities,” he said.  

“He mentored students and professionals at Loyola University, DePaul Hospital, and the New Orleans VA Medical Center,” said Chafetz. “He had the non-paying position as Chief Psychologist, Masters & Johnson Relational and Sexual Therapy Clinic and Sexual Trauma and Sexual Compulsivity Program for two years, to provide daily supervision, so that one of his former VA interns could have a position with that facility, until he was licensed and became the Director of Psychology.  

“He has also mentored numerous other professionals and soon-tobe professionals at considerable cost to his time and often without compensation. I was recused from the committee throughout this nomination process, as I can attest to Dr. Lee Matthews effective leadership and guidance throughout the early part of my career.”  

Dr. Matthews is in private practice at his firm in Kenner, Psychological Resources, and is a consulting psychologist to Southeast Louisiana Medical Associates at Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center, the Akula Foundation in New Orleans, St. Charles Parish Hospital, Canon Hospice, Children’s Hospital, and others.  

He holds the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) Diplomate in Clinical Psychology and the American Board of Assessment Psychology (ABAP) Diplomate in Clinical Psychology.  

He serves as Assistant Clinical Faculty, Department of Psychiatry, LSU Medical Center School of Medicine at New Orleans, and Associate Clinical Faculty, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Tulane University Health Sciences Center Tulane University Medical Center.  

Dr. Matthews has numerous scientific and professional accomplishments. He was named the 2014 Distinguished Psychologist by the Louisiana Psychological Association, served on the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, served as Secretary, Society of Assessment Psychology (APA), as Secretary/Treasurer APA Div. 1, and as President, New Orleans Neuropsychological Society, among others.  

His many publications include the following examples authored with wife Janet: Diversity in Family Bereavement. In Allen, R. S., Carpenter, B. D., & Eichorst, M. K. (Eds.). Perspectives on Palliative and End of Life Care: Disease, Social and Cultural Context. Also, Influences of the Greeks and Romans. In T. G. Plante (Ed). Abnormal psychology across the ages. And, Applying for Clinical and Other Applied Positions. In P. J. Giordano, S. F. Davis, & C. A. Licht (Eds). Your graduate training in psychology: Effective strategies for success.  

He has blended practice, scholarly works, and the mentoring of students over his 30-year career, said the awards committee. For 16 years he was the supervisor and mentor for undergraduate students from Loyola University, for eight years he was the site supervisor at DePaul Hospital, an elective off-site placement for VA interns, and for seven years he was the co-coordinator of a weekly psychology assessment seminar for the interns and post-doctoral students at the VA Medical Center. For six years he was on the APA Internship Training Faculty for the Clinical Neuropsychology Internship at Tulane University Medical Center.  

“After 30 plus years of mentoring students and young psychologists, I am humbled and honored that many of them have had highly successful careers in psychology,” Dr. Matthews said. “This is not due to me, but to each of them having the ability to take what I hope I have given them as a foundation for being a professional and ethical psychologist, and then using their own talents to apply that knowledge to their chosen careers, from university professors, clinical psychologists and neuropsychologists, and administrators for professional organizations.” 

Dr. Simoneaux Honored as Distinguished Psychologist

The Louisiana Psychological Association has named Dr. John Simoneaux as it’s 2020 Distinguished Psych-ologist, announced at the 72nd Annual Meeting held May 29th online. The Distinguished Psychologist Award is given to an individual who has made significant contributions to psychology research, practice, or both during the course of their career.

“He is a forensic psychologist who has consulted with lawyers, judges, and mental health professionals,” said Dr. Mike Chafetz, Chair of the Awards Committee. “Many of us have relied on his counsel numerous times. He has handled the most intense kinds of forensic cases, such as custody cases, with wisdom, grace, and due diligence for the facts. Many people in the legal profession–lawyers, judges–have a correct view of the power of psychology in the courtroom due to Dr. Simoneaux’s work.”

“He is the principal and wonderful teacher at Professional Training Resources, and likely everyone here has learned from him, as he has taught hundreds of courses.”

Dr. John Simoneaux said he was very “surprised and honored” to receive the award but, not sure that he was deserving.

Dr. Simoneaux is in private practice at his firm, Consulting Psychologists of Central Louisiana, in Pineville, Louisiana. He is fulltime private practice in Forensic Psychology and his work activities include consultation with various psychiatric hospitals, group homes, and state agencies. He conducts psychological assessments for custody, sanity, sex offenders, children’s and protective services. He also provides expert testimony for custody, sanity, sexual and physical abuse, and disability determinations.

Dr. Simoneaux is founder and President of Professional Training Resources, Inc., where he and his staff provide continuing education training for those in a variety of professions, primarily mental health and legal professionals.

He has served as a Consulting Psychologist to Central Louisiana State Hospital, Leesville Developmental Center, Huey P. Long Memorial Hospital and the Cane River Community Group Home in Natchitoches. He also has consulted with the Rapides Parish Office of Community Services, Vernon Parish, Catahoula Parish, Lasalle Parish, and Concordia Parish. He has been the Program Director at RiverNorth Treatment Center.

Principal among of his contributions, noted the Committee, has been his continued and ongoing efforts to bring scientific psychology to the awareness of judges, attorneys, peace officers, and others in the legal system.

Dr. Simoneaux regularly presents to an audience of Louisiana judges, attorneys, district court clerks, peace officers, legal assistants and court reporters. One example is the annual Nuts & Bolts Judicial Seminar, a three-day conference, hosted by Appellate Judge, Hon. Harmon Drew, Jr., and his research attorney wife, Jean Drew. Judge Drew is with the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal. The Louisiana Nuts & Bolts Judicial Seminar has been in operation since 1992 and the Drews have focused on presenting important and practical training for the regularly attending 250 court Louisiana officials who travel to Destin, Florida, to attend the highly rated event.

Dr. Simoneaux presents such topics as “Medical Mimics – Medical Conditions that are often Misdiagnosed as Mental Illness,” and “Detecting Psychological Disorders in the Elderly: Is Aunt Mary a little off? Or is it Just Me?” Another example is he has presented “Registration Requirements for Louisiana Sex Offenders,” with Judge Drew facilitating.

Simoneaux noted that he has been part of the conference for over 15 years, and said, “We love coming here. I really feel like they’ve accepted me into this group.” Attendees include individuals from Louisiana’s District Courts, City Courts, Appeal Courts, Police Departments, Sheriff’s and Marshal’s Offices, the state Supreme Court, law firms and others. Dr. Simoneaux is the only psychologist who regularly helps train the court professionals, and he is a favorite of the group, said the Drews.

Another of Dr. Simoneaux’ contributions comes from his interdisciplinary training in the mental health service industry at Professional Training Resources. One examplel is his popular “Summer Symposium.”

“Several years ago we started ‘Summer Symposium,’” he explained previously. “We do three days in July and it’s designed so someone can come and have all the CEs they’d need for the year.” The program is approved for APA, but also for a number of professions, with multiple presenters, and different tracts. PRT is APA accredited for psychologists, but likewise is approved to offer CEs for Social Workers, LPCs, Rehabilitation Counselors, Substance Abuse Counselors, School Psychologists, and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists.

Professional Training Resources is a business where teaching, learning, and having fun is near and dear to Dr. Simoneaux who has “always had a love of teaching.” In graduate school he minored in higher education. His services have reached all areas and disciplines that can benefit the larger community.

The Louisiana Psychological Association Awards Committee includes Kim VanGeffen, PhD; Beth Arredondo, PhD; Brian Mizuki, PhD; C. Laurel Franklin, PhD; and Michael Chafetz, PhD (Chair)

Dr. Buckner Named for Research Excellence

Louisiana State University Professor Dr. Julie Buckner has been named the G. Alan Marlatt Mid-Career Research Award winner for 2020, announced at this year’s annual meeting of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) Addictive Behaviors & Anxiety Disorders Special Interest Group.

Julia Buckner is a Professor and Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology at Louisiana State University and the Director of LSU’s Anxiety and Addictive Behaviors Laboratory & Clinic. She is also a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at LSUHealth Sciences Center and a Visiting Professor at the London South Bank University School of Applied Sciences. She is also a licensed clinical psychologist.

The awards committee said, “Among the multiple renown and highly-productive researchers who were nominated this year, you were the unanimous choice of the award selection committee. The praised her “pioneering work on the role of anxiety in substance use and related problems as well as her commitment to the development of innovative treatments for addictive behaviors, her research with historically underrepresented groups, her work to disseminate evidence-based practice to Baton Rouge (a high need area), and her outstanding mentorship and commitment to teaching…”

Dr. Buckner said, “I am honored to have received this award. Alan Marlatt was committed to both research aimed at understanding substance misuse as well as the translation of evidence-based findings to help improve treatment outcomes. Receiving this award highlights my research on the impact of psychosocial vulnerability factors such as anxiety on the etiology and maintenance of substance use disorders and research on ways to best treat dually diagnosed patients.” She explained that these patients, such as those with comorbid anxiety and substance use disorders tend to have poorer treatment outcomes.

Dr. Buckner’s program of research primarily focuses on: (1) delineation of causal and maintaining factors implicated in substance use disorders, especially the role of affect-related vulnerability factors; and (2) development and evaluation of empirically-informed treatment and prevention protocols for substance use disorders, including treatment for cooccurring anxiety-substance use disorders.

Dr. Buckner has had over 150 publications and has been involved in several NIH grants. She is currently Primary Investigator on a graduate education training grant from the US Department of Health & Human Services’ HRSA to integrate clinical graduate students into Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge to bring evidence-based psychotherapy for substance use disorders, with a particular focus on treatment for opioid misuse. She has also received awards from organizations such as the American Psychological Association, College on Problems of Drug Dependence, Anxiety Disorders Association of America.

The award is in honor of Dr. G. Alan Marlatt for his distinguished career as a pioneer and innovator in cognitivebehavioral therapy and research on addictive behaviors.

Dr. Buckner said, “This award is unique in that it also highlights our work that more directly impacts the lives of individuals in Baton Rouge who are suffering from these conditions, including our efforts to bring MET-CBT for substance use disorders (including those with dual diagnoses) to several locations throughout Baton Rouge, including the 19th JDC Adult Drug Treatment Court Program, Our Lady of the Lake’s outpatient clinic Center for Psychiatric Services, and thanks to a recent HRSA grant we received from the US Dept of Health & Human Services, to several units in OLOL Hospital.”

Also at this year’s conference Kayce Hopper was awarded the Outstanding Student Poster award for her poster, “Dual electronic and combustible smokers use of cannabis in relation to pain and hazardous drinking.”