Profile

Jonathan Adler

Jonathan M. Adler

Graduate Student, Clinical and Personality Psychology

Biography
Beginning in August of 2009, Jonathan is now an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Massachusetts.  He can be reached via e-mail at: jadler@olin.edu

In 2009, Jonathan Adler graduated with a Ph.D. in Clinical and Personality Psychology from Northwestern University. He received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bates College and a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology from Northwestern University. His research focuses on the interface between adult development and clinical psychology.  Broadly conceived, his research interests revolve around the question of how self and identity processes operate as mechanisms of change over time in adulthood. Specifically, he is focused on how these processes influence important life outcomes, including mental health, personality maturity, and the process and outcome of psychotherapy treatment.  As such, he has used Dr. McAdams’ narrative theory of personality and its associated methodologies to study issues of clinical importance.

In seeking to understand the ways in which the process of responding to challenges fuels identity development, his current work is primarily focused on people’s reconstructions of their experiences in psychotherapy, with special attention to those narratives that accompany optimal functioning.  Psychotherapy provides an opportunity to study the evolution of identity over a significant change experience while simultaneously investigating the process of clinical improvement.  His dissertation followed a group of outpatient psychotherapy clients over the first twelve sessions of treatment and assessed changes in their personal narratives alongside changes in their symptoms.  The two research questions addressed were: (1) How do clients' personal narratives change over the course of therapy? and (2) How do these narrative changes relate to symptom changes (i.e., which comes first, feeling better or telling a new story)?  The study (which is currently in preparation for publication) is the largest investigation of clients' narratives over the course of treatment, with nearly 600 narratives having been collected and studied.  Analyses combined the thematic coding of narratives with growth curve modeling techniques. This study is presented in a manuscript that is currently in press at the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.  Jonathan's work has been covered in the New York Times (May 22, 2007 issue, link here), on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio National (July 2, 2007 air date, link here), in Good Housekeeping magazine (July, 2008 issue, no link available) and in Elle magazine (August, 2009 issue, link here).

In addition, Jonathan has published papers on adult development, the teaching of psychology, epistemology and identity, and psychological responses following the 9/11 terrorist attacks (this study was the subject of Letter to the Editor published in Newsweek magazine: August 28, 2006 issue, link here and the cover story of the Bates College Magazine, Fall, 2006 issue, link here).

No, Jonathan did not write this book (but wouldn't it be cool if he had?!).

Awards/Honors
2009 - Rising Star in Personality Psychology Award - Association for Research in Personality

2007 - Dissertation Year Fellowship - Northwestern University

2007 - Laura N. Rice Memorial Award - Society for Psychotherapy Reserach

2006 - American Psychological Association Graduate Student Excellence in Campus Leadership Award

Research/Scholarship

Education
Year Degree Institution
2009 Ph.D. (Clinical and Personality Psychology) Northwestern University
2005 M.S. (Psychology) Northwestern University
2000 B.A. (Psychology, with Theater minor), summa cum laude Bates College


Dissertation
Year Title  
2009 Talking about the Talking Cure: A Prospective, Longitudinal Study of Narrative Identity Development and Mental Health over the Course of Psychotherapy (FOR A COPY, PLEASE CONTACT AUTHOR AT: jadler@olin.edu)


Selected Publications
Adler, J.M. (2013). Clients' and therapists' stories about psychotherapy. Journal of Personality, 81(6): 595-605.
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Adler, J.M., Harmeling, L.H., & Walder-Biesanz, I. (2013). Narrative meaning-making is associated with sudden gains in clients' mental health under routine clinical conditions. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 81(5): 839-845.
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Adler, J.M. (2012). Living into the story: Agency and coherence in a longitudinal study of narrative identity development and mental health over the course of psychotherapy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102(2): 367-389.
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Adler, J.M., Chin, E.D., Kolisetty, A.P., Oltmanns, T.F. (2012). The distinguishing characteristics of narrative identity in adults with features of Borderline Personality Disorder: An empirical investigation. Journal of Personality Disorders, 26: 498-512.
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Adler, J.M. (2012). Sitting at the nexus of epistemological traditions: Narrative psychological perspectives on self-knowledge in S. Vazire & T.D. Wilson (Eds.), The handbook of self-knowledge. (pp. 327-342). Guilford.
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Adler, J.M. (2011). Epistemological tension in the future of personality disorder diagnosis. American Journal of Psychiatry, 168(11): 1221-1222.
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McAdams, D.P. & Adler, J.M. (2010). Autobiographical memory and the construction of a narrative identity: Theory, research, and clinical implications in J.E. Maddux & J. Tangney, Social psychological foundations of clinical psychology. (pp. 36-50). Guilford Press.
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Adler, J.M. (2010). The most important fiction in in The World Book of Happiness, L. Bormans (Ed.) (in press) Lanoo Publishers.
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Adler, J.M. (2010). Rising to the challenge of identifying and analyzing clients’ narratives. Pragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy, 6(3): 189-202.
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Adler, J.M. & Poulin, M.J. (2009). The political is personal: Narrating 9/11 and psychological well-being. Journal of Personality, 74(4): 903-932.
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Adler, J.M. & Matthews, E.A. (2009). Encouraging epistemological exploration in the undergraduate psychology classroom: Impacts on retention and application of course material. Teaching of Psychology, 36(2): 122-125.
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Adler, J.M., Skalina, L.M., & McAdams, D.P. (2008). The narrative reconstruction of psychotherapy and psychological health. Psychotherapy Research, 18(6): 719-734.
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Zinbarg, R.E., Uliaszek, A.A., & Adler, J.M. (2008). The role of personality in psychotherapy for anxiety and depression. Journal of Personality, 76(6): 1649-1688.
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Adler, J.M. (2008). Two modes of thought: The narrative/paradigmatic disconnect in the Bailey book controversy. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 37(3): 422-425 (for personal use only).
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Adler, J.M. & McAdams, D.P. (2007). The narrative reconstruction of psychotherapy. Narrative Inquiry, 17(2): 179-202.
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Adler, J.M. & McAdams, D.P. (2007). Telling stories about therapy: Ego development, well-being, and the therapeutic relationship in Josselson, R., McAdams, D.P., & Lieblich, A. (Eds.). , The Meaning of Others: Narrative Studies of Relationships (pp. 213-236). American Psychological Association.
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Adler, J.M., Wagner, J.W., & McAdams, D.P. (2007). Personality and the coherence of psychotherapy narratives. Journal of Research in Personality, 41(6): 1179-1198.
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Adler, J.M., Kissel, E., McAdams, D.P. (2006). Emerging from the CAVE: Attributional style and the narrative study of identity in midlife adults. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 30(1): 39-51.
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McAdams, D.P. & Adler, J.M. (2006). How does personality develop? in D. Mroczek & T. Little (Eds.), Handbook of Personality Development (pp. 469-492). Lawrence Erlbaum.
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Selected Presentations
Adler, J.M. (June, 2011). Narrative identity in Borderline Personality Disorder. (As part of the symposium: Investigating personality disorders from three levels of personality: Traits, characteristic adaptations, and narrative identity, Jonathan M. Adler & Thomas F. Oltmanns, co-chairs).  Paper presented at the bi-annual meeting of the Association for Research on Personality (ARP). Riverside, CA.

Adler, J.M. (June, 2010). Modeling both symptom-level and narrative-level changes in individual psychotherapy.. Paper presented as part of the symposium: Modeling Psychotherapeutic Change, Robert King, chair.  Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR). Asilomar, CA.

Adler, J.M. (May, 2010). Narrative change and clinical improvement in psychotherapy. . Paper presented as part of the symposium: Stories of Psychotherapy and Life Review, Ernst T. Bohlmeijer, chair.  Interdisciplinary Conference on Narrative Research, Perspectives, and Approaches across the Humanities and Social Sciences. Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Adler, J.M. (January, 2010). Talking about the talking cure: Psychotherapy narratives and mental health. Invited presentation at the Clinical Science Series, Washington University in St. Louis. St. Louis, MO.

Adler, J.M. (January, 2010). Psychotherapy and change from the patients' perspective. Invited speaker, Grand Rounds, Department of Psychiatry, Tufts Medical School. Boston, MA.

Adler, J.M. (December, 2009). Identity development over the course of psychotherapy. Invited departmental colloquium, Wellesley College. Wellesley, MA.

Adler, J.M. (July, 2009). The co-evolution of narrative identity and mental health over the course of psychotherapy: Results from a prospective, longitudinal study. Invited paper, presented as part of the symposium: Rising Stars in Personality Psychology, Association for Research in Personality (ARP). Evanston, IL.

Adler, J.M. (May, 2009). A prospective, longitudinal study of narrative identity and mental health over the course of psychotherapy. Paper presented as part of the symposium: The Relevance of Narrative Theory and Methods for Approaching Diverse Problems, Jonathan M. Adler, Chair.  Association for Psychological Science (APS). San Francisco, CA.

Adler, J.M. (February, 2009). In treatment: The healing power of agency in narratives of psychotherapy. Paper presented as part of symposium: The Incremental Validity of Narratives as Predictors of Psychological Health,  Jennifer Lodi-Smith, chair. Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP). Tampa, FL.

Adler, J.M. (January, 2009). Psychotherapy and change from the patients' perspective. Invited Grand Rounds presentation, University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Psychiatry and Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Chicago, IL.

Adler, J.M. (June, 2007). The narrative reconstruction of psychotherapy and psychological functioning. Paper presented at the Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR). Madison, WI.

Black, D., Adler, J.M., Baker, J., Uliaszek, A., & Zinbarg, R.E. (June, 2007). A qualitative analysis of partner’s non-hostile criticism of patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Paper presented as part of the symposium: Predictors of outcome of psychotherapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Richard E. Zinbarg, chair.  Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR). Madison, WI.

Adler, J.M. (January, 2007). My therapy and me: Individual differences in the narration of psychotherapy relate to well-being and ego development. Paper presented as part of symposium: The Power of Stories: How Narrative Structures Influence Social and Cognitive Processes, Kristi A Constabile & Melanie C. Green, co-chairs. Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP). Memphis, TN.

Adler, J.M. (January, 2007). Personality and the Coherence of Psychotherapy Narratives. Poster presented at the Association for Research in Personality (ARP). Memphis, TN.

Aravamudan, N. & Adler, J.M. (October, 2006). Interdisciplinary Teaching: A Model for Graduate Student Development. Paper presented at the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD). Portland, OR.

Matthews, E.A. & Adler, J.M. (October, 2006). Understanding identity: engaging non-major freshmen in neuroscience through interdisciplinary instruction. Poster presented at the Society for Neuroscience (SfN). Atlanta, GA.

Adler, J.M. & McAdams, D.P. (January, 2006). The Therapeutic Road to The Good Life. Poster presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP). Palm Springs, CA.

Adler, J.M. & McAdams, D.P. (August, 2005). Longitudinal Continuity in the Life Story: Trends and Individual Differences. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association (APA). Washington, DC.

Adler, J.M. & McAdams, D.P. (March, 2005). Therapeutic narratives of the Good Life. Paper presented at the Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR). Chicago, IL.

Adler, J.M., Kissel, E., McAdams, D.P. (May, 2004). Emerging from the CAVE: Attributional Style and the Narrative Study of Identity in Midlife Adults. Poster presented at the Association for Psychological Science (APS). Chicago, IL.

Revelle, W., Adler, J.M., Rafaeli, E. (July, 2003). Personality within individuals: estimating individual differences in endogenous and exogenous affective responses. Paper presented at the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID). Graz, Austria.

Adler, J.M. (October, 2000). Fame, narcissism, and self-complexity in fans and celebrities. Paper presented at the New England Psychological Association (NEPA). Lewiston, ME.


Research Interests

The intersection of personality psychology and clinical psychology; psychotherapy process and outcome; the narrative study of lives; adult personality development; personality and psychological well-being / ego development; teaching of psychology.



Lab Affiliations
Foley Center for the Study of Lives

Last Updated: 2014-01-16 12:42:31