James Overholser

Professor | Depression & Suicide


Mather Memorial Building 149

Other Information

Specialty: Psychology

Research Interests

Dr. Overholser’s areas of interest and specialization include anxiety, depression, suicide, and the personality disorders. He has published empirical studies, theoretical papers, and treatment guidelines for these problems. His approach to treatment primarily relies on cognitive-behavioral strategies with a special emphasis on the Socratic method. He is actively involved in research on risk factors for and treatment of depression and suicide. His research tries to identify cognitive and social factors that are related to depression onset, recovery, and treatment. Much of his research strives to improve our understanding of suicide risk and suicide prevention.

In addition to my work on campus, I consult with a local mental health clinic, providing psychotherapy services to adults who are struggling with emotional problems and an assortment of stressful life events. My style of therapy relies heavily on cognitive-behavioral therapy with an emphasis on the Socratic method.

Current Projects

My research examines the assessment of depression and suicide risk. We have studies currently underway, evaluating depression in adult psychiatric outpatients, Day Hospital patients, and individuals who have died by suicide. In each of these projects, we conduct a thorough assessment, usually combining structured interviews with self-report questionnaires, trying to improve our understanding of the cognitive and emotional factors that underlie severe depression and suicidal tendencies. More specifically, I am interested in the positive and negative attitudes that underlie, and potentially cause, significant emotional reactions.


Graduate Student Research Team

Stephanie Gomez
Silvia Rodriguez
Eleanor Beale
Chris McGovern
Christi Silva


Undergraduate Student Research Assistants

Kenzie Fox
Ellie Rapp


Additional Researchers

Craig Stockmeier, Ph.D.
Josephine Ridley, Ph.D.
Maria Dawson, M.A.

**Prospective Graduate Students**

I am NOT planning to accept a new graduate student during the upcoming academic year.

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