Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Grand Rounds: Lucas LaFreniere, Ph.D.

10:30 AM to 12:00 PM

Rachel Upjohn Building Auditorium and webcast on Zoom

Savoring Positive Emotions Amidst Anxiety and Depression: Targeting Chronic Aversion to Unguarded Emotional Shifts”

COI: None disclosed
CME: APA, CME, Social work


Lucas La Freniere photo

Lucas La Freniere, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
Skidmore College
Saratoga Springs

Dr. LaFreniere is lead investigator of the Technological Research on Enjoyment and Anxiety Treatment (TREAT) laboratory and an assistant professor at Skidmore College. He specializes in developing and researching efficient interventions for worry, anxiety, and comorbid anxiety and depressive disorders with smartphone technologies. His research aims to design treatments targeting understudied processes of psychopathology, test their efficacy, and examine their mechanisms. Along with winning the sole Distinguished Dissertation in Clinical Psychology Award (APA Division 12) in 2019, he has published in outlets such as Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology and Depression and Anxiety. His basic research has revealed Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) deficits in learning the probabilities of future outcomes, reinforcement response under uncertainty, and extended engagement with positive emotions. In his applied research, he has developed and tested efficient interventions for correcting these problems via smartphone with worry tracking and savoring. His Worry Outcome Journal (WOJ) intervention employed an enhanced form of worry outcome monitoring. The efficacious WOJ guided users with GAD to see the high costs, low benefits, and inaccuracies of their worries in daily life via smartphone. His recent SkillJoy intervention led clients to learn and practice extended enjoyment of positive experiences, mindful appreciation of good aspects of the present moment, and exposure to being “off guard." He continues to study the application of savoring practices as a transdiagnostic intervention for comorbid GAD and depression.