Renée El-Gabalawy

Department and Program: Psychology, M.A. (Clinical Psychology)

Research Focus:

Throughout my studies in Psychology, my primary goal has been to develop an understanding of how to improve individual health and enhance the well-being of society as a whole. With this goal in mind, I am currently involved in several research projects. My master’s research, supervised by Drs. Katherine Starzyk and Corey Mackenzie, investigates how difficult or traumatic life experiences can have positive consequences, such as empathic behaviour, community involvement, resiliency and growth. The knowledge that past trauma can have positive consequences for individuals and society as a whole may be empowering to those who have had the misfortune of experiencing significant negative events. In a secondary project, I am examining the role of subtyping social anxiety disorder. Specifically, I am differentiating generalized (i.e., more severe) and non-generalized (i.e., less severe) subtypes by examining associated depression, anxiety, and suicidality. This research aims to identify the clinical relevance of subtyping social anxiety disorder as recommended by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM; 4th Ed.). This may have implications for future editions of the DSM. Finally, I am conducting research examining the link between personality disorders and medical conditions.

Community involvement is an important aspect of my life as well. I am actively involved in many community endeavours and currently work for Artbeat Studio, a non-profit mental health organization that promotes recovery, resiliency and self-sufficiency through social support and mentorship. My long-term goal is to complete a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and devote my career to conducting meaningful and socially relevant research and clinical practice in the field.  

Advisors:
Dr. Katherine Starzyk and Dr. Corey Mackenzie

Funding Sources:
SSHRC: Joseph Armand Bombardier Master’s Scholarship
Employee’s Scholarship
University of Manitoba Graduate Fellowship
Manitoba Graduate Fellowship