Home > About > Faculty Profiles > Michael J. Gawrysiak Ph.D.

Michael J. Gawrysiak Ph.D.

michael j gawrysiakAssistant Professor of Psychology
Room 233, Delaware Hall
1200 N. Dupont Highway, Dover, DE 19904
Phone: 302.857.6609
Email: MGawrysiak [at] desu.edu


2005 BA The University of Southern Illinois, Carbondale, IL (Psychology/Philosophy)
2008 MA The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (Psychology: Experimental)
2011 PhD The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (Psychology: Clinical)
2011 - APA Internship Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center
2014 - Postdoctral   VA Advanced Fellowship in Mental Illness Research & Treatment


My research is organized around combining brain (e.g., fMRI) and behavioral (e.g., self-report measures) assessment measures to evaluate treatment efforts for mood-, anxiety-, and substance use disorders (SUD). I am invested in understanding individual differences that predict who is most likely to respond to a given behavioral intervention as well as understanding the putative mechanisms of change underlying effective interventions. Currently, I am examining Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP) as a means to promote continued recovery for individuals who are in early recovery from SUDs. 


Currently, am licensed to practice psychology (psychotherapy) in both Delaware and Pennsylvania. Briefly, my clinical experiences include work in both in-patient and out-patient settings, with clients in both rural and urban settings, with Veterans and civilians. I provide mindfulness-based group instructions through the Penn Program for Mindfulness (https://www.pennmedicine.org/for-patients-and-visitors/find-a-program-or…) and I am experienced with and have training in the following psychotherapeutic approaches:

  • Behavioral Activation Treatment for Depression (BATD)
  • Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression (MBCT)
  • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
  • Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP)
  • Prolonged Exposure for PTSD (PE)
  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy


  • Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)
  • Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT)
  • American Psychological Association Division 39 (Psychoanalysis)
  • College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD)
  • International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS)
  • Philadelphia Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology (PSPP)
  • Philadelphia Behavior Therapy Association (PBTA)


Gawrysiak, M.J., Nicholas, C., & Hopko, D.R. (2009). Behavioral activation for moderately depressed university students: Randomized controlled trial. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56(3), 468-475. PDF

Carvalho, J. P., Gawrysiak, M. J., Hellmuth, J. C., McNulty, J. K., Magidson, J., Lejuez, C.W., & Hopko, D. R. (2011). The Reward Probability index: Design and validation of a scale measuring access to environmental reinforcement. Behavior Therapy, 42(2), 249-262. PDF

Hopko, D. R., Armento, M. E. A., Robertson, S. M. C., Ryba, M., Carvalho, J. P., Colman, L., Mullane, C., Gawrysiak, M., Bell, J. L., McNulty, J. K., & Lejuez, C. W. (2011). Behavior activation and problem-solving therapy for depressed breast cancer patients: Randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 79(6), 834-849. PDF

Gawrysiak, M. J., Carvalho, J. P., Rogers, B. P., Nicholas, C. R. N., Dougherty, J., & Hopko, D. R. (2012). Neural changes following behavioral activation for a depressed breast cancer patient: A functional MRI case study. Case Reports in Psychiatry. Article ID 152916, 1-8. PDF

Gawrysiak, M. J., Swan, S. S., Nicholas, C. R. N., Rogers, B. P., Dougherty, J. H. & Hopko, D. R. (2013). Pragmatic psychodynamic psychotherapy for a depressed breast cancer patient: Functional MRI evaluation of treatment effects. American Journal of Psychotherapy. 67(3), 237-255. PDF

Goodson, J. T., Lefkowitz, C. M., Helstrom, A. W., & Gawrysiak, M. J. (2013). Outcomes of prolonged exposure therapy for veterans with PTSD. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 26,PDF

Nicholas, C., McLaren, D., Gawrysiak, M., Rogers, B., Dougherty, J., & Nash, M., (2014). Functional neuroimaging of personally relevant stimuli in a pediatric case of impaired awareness. Brain Injury, (0), 1-4. DOI:10.3109/02699052.2014.890745 PDF

Gawrysiak, M.J., Leong, S., Grassetti, S.N., Wei, M., & Baime, M.J. (2015). Dimensions of distress tolerance and the moderating effects on Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). Anxiety, Stress, & Coping, 1-9. PDF

Shorey, R. C., Gawrysiak, M. J., Anderson, S., & Stuart, G. L. (2015). Dispositional mindfulness, spirituality, and substance use in predicting depressive symptoms in a treatment seeking sample. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 71(4), 334-345. PDF

Shorey, R.C., Elmquist, J., Wolford-Clevenger, C., Gawrysiak, M.J., Anderson, S., & Stuart, G.L. (2016). The relationship between dispositional mindfulness, borderline personality features, and suicidal ideation: An examination in a sample of women in residential substance use treatment. Psychiatry Research, 238, 122-128. PDF