James Gerhart received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Central Michigan University in 2011 and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in Trauma and Resilience Psychology at Rush University Medical Center. He conducted research, provided psychological services to patients with cancer, and oversaw psychosocial distress screening at the Rush University Cancer Center before joining the clinical psychology faculty at CMU. His teaching and research interests pertain to the impacts of anger, stress, and trauma in the context of chronic illnesses. He has developed training modules on psychosocial distress screening that are hosted by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.
Publications & Presentations
Gerhart, J., & Swantek, S. (In press). End of life issues. In R. Tampi, B. Yarns, K., Zdanys, and D. Tampi. (eds.). Psychotherapy for Late-Life Psychiatric Disorders. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press
Paul, D., & Gerhart, J. (In press). Anger-Proneness. In Todd K. Shackelford & Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford (eds.). Encyclopedia of evolutionary psychological science. New York, NY: Springer.
Gerhart, J., Hand, D., Hoerger, M., & O'Mahony, S. (in press). Single Subject Designs and Practice-Based Research in Palliative Care: A Letter to the Editor. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.
Hoerger, M., Perry, L. M., Korotkin, B. D., Walsh, L. E., Kazan, A. S., Rogers, J. L., Atiya, W., Malhotra, S., & Gerhart, J. (in press). Statewide differences in personality associated with geographic disparities in access to palliative care: Findings on openness. Journal of Palliative Medicine.
Gerhart, J., Fitchett, G., Lillis, T. A., Kuzel, T. M., Lo, S. S., Penedo, F., ... & Diaz, A. (2018). Brief spiritual well-being screening is nonlinearly related to psychological distress in ambulatory cancer patients. Psycho-oncology.
Gerhart, J., Chen, E., O'Mahony, S., Burns, J., & Hoerger, M. (2018). An Examination of State Level Personality Variation and Physician Aid in Dying Legislation. Journal of pain and symptom management.Burns, J. W., Gerhart, J., Post, K. M., Smith, D. A., Porter, L. S., Buvanendran, A., ... & Keefe, F. J. (2018). Spouse Criticism/Hostility Toward Partners with Chronic Pain: The Role of Spouse Attributions for Patient Control over Pain Behaviors. The Journal of Pain.
Gerhart, J., Vaclavik, E., Lillis, T. A., Miner, J., McFadden, R., & O'mahony, S. (2018). A daily diary study of posttraumatic stress, experiential avoidance, and emotional lability among inpatient nurses. Psycho‐oncology, 27(3), 1068-1071.
Gerhart, J. I., Burns, J. W., Bruehl, S., Smith, D. A., Post, K. M., Porter, L. S., ... & Keefe, F. J. (2018). Variability in negative emotions among individuals with chronic low back pain: relationships with pain and function. Pain, 159(2), 342-350.
Gerhart, J., O’Mahony, S., Abrams, I., Grosse, J., Greene, M., & Levy, M. (2016). A pilot test of a mindfulness-based communication training to enhance resilience in palliative care professionals. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, 5(2), 89-96.
Lattie, E. G., Asvat, Y., Shivpuri, S., Gerhart, J., O'Mahony, S., Duberstein, P., & Hoerger, M. (2016). Associations between personality and end-of-life care preferences among men with prostate cancer: a clustering approach. Journal of pain and symptom management, 51(1), 52-59.
Gerhart, J. I., Sanchez, V. V., Burns, J. W., Hobfoll, S. E., & Fung, H. C. (2015). Anger, provider responses, and pain: prospective analysis of stem cell transplant patients. Health psychology: official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, 34(3), 197-206.
My research focuses on the personal and social consequences of anger, stress, and trauma among individuals living with chronic and life-limiting conditions such as cancer. I have a particular interest in understanding how maladaptive anger regulation styles erode social support and trigger conflict with patients’ families and medical professionals. My colleagues and I have developed several programs to help medical professionals manage their own stress and communicate effectively during emotional interactions with patients.
My current projects include the:
1) assessment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder symptoms in pediatric oncologists,
2) dissemination of resilience training for Palliative Care clinicians, and
3) refinement of a training program designed to enhance oncology clinicians’ communication with patients who are angry and frustrated.