I have been conducting research under Dr. Doris Chang at the New School of Social Research's Culture & Mental Health Lab and the Beth Israel Research Project since 2011, focusing on addressing disparities in the quality of mental health services for racial, ethnic, and sexual orientation minorities.  This has included involvement in the validation of the Multicultural Therapy Process Measure (MTPM), an observational coding system for analyzing cross-ethnic psychotherapy relationships, and developing empirically-derived strategies for improving treatment outcome with minority patients.  

I am currently leading a project exploring first sessions in cross-racial brief psychotherapy, and findings were presented at Teacher's College, Columbia University's Winter Roundtable Conference in January 2014, and at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association in August 2014.  I have participated in a collaborative qualitative research project examining how intersecting cultural identities emerge and are negotiated in the therapeutic relationship, and presented the findings at the 2013 Diversity Challenge at Boston College. Additionally, I am leading a research project on sexual orientation as a dimension of patient identity in racially mismatched psychotherapy dyads.   As a clinician with extensive experience working with diverse communities and a long history of social justice advocacy, including serving as mental health expert witness for asylum seekers due to persecution or torture, I am committed to psychological research that recognizes the centrality of culture and the function of privilege in intercultural interactions, and that advances culturally-grounded therapeutic interventions.

Manuscripts in Preparation

Waters, S. B., Taylor, J., Chang, D. F., & Muran, J. C.  Negotiating Cultural Identities in the Therapeutic Relationship: A Qualitative Analysis.

Waters, S. B., Reyes, L., Chang, D. F., & Prout, J.  Disclosures in Engagement: Analysis of First Sessions in Cross-Racial Psychotherapy.

Conference Presentations

Waters, S. B. (Presenter), Reyes, L., Chang, D. F., & Prout, J. (2014, February). Disclosures in Engagement: Analysis of First Sessions in Cross-Racial Psychotherapy.  Symposium at the Annual Meeting of the Winter Roundtable on Cultural Psychology and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, NY.
 
Waters, S. B. (Presenter), Taylor, J., Chang, D. F., & Muran, J. C. (2013, October). Negotiating Cultural Identities in the Therapeutic Relationship: A Qualitative Analysis. Individual presentation at Boston University Diversity Challenge: Intersections of Race and Culture and Health and Mental Health. Sponsored by the Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture, Boston College, Boston, MA.
 
Poster Presentations

Waters, S. B.  (Presenter), Taylor, J., Chang, D. F, & Muran, J. C. (2014, August). Intersecting Identities: A Qualitative Analysis of Sexual Orientation and Racial Identity in Two Cross-Cultural Psychotherapy Dyads. Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, Division 44, Washington, D. C.

Waters, S. B. (Presenter), Reyes, L., Chang, D. F., & Prout, J. (2014, August). Disclosures in Engagement: Analysis of First Sessions in Cross-Racial Psychotherapy. Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, Division 45, Washington, D. C.