About Dr. Dahlen
I am an Associate Professor in the Counseling Psychology Program of the Department of Psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi. My research interests focus on the nature, correlates, and treatment of clinically dysfunctional anger; overt and relational aggression; and clinical traffic psychology (i.e., the contribution of driver personality to aggressive driving and other accident-related behaviors). At the graduate level, I teach courses in group therapy and the assessment and diagnosis of mental disorders. At the undergraduate level, I teach abnormal psychology and forensic psychology. I am a licensed psychologist and a certified anger management specialist. I serve as Director of the Community Counseling and Assessment Clinic, the in-house training clinic of the Counseling Psychology Program.
I received my doctorate at Colorado State University under the direction of Jerry L. Deffenbacher, Ph.D. I was fascinated by his work on cognitive-behavioral treatments for angry individuals, and I worked with him in evaluating interventions for generally angry college students and angry drivers. My dissertation, published in the Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, was a treatment study involving the application of Beck's Cognitive Therapy to generally angry students.
I carried my interest in anger to the University of Southern Mississippi. I soon decided to expand my previous work on driving anger to the subject of aggressive driving, examining a variety of other personality traits which had not received sufficient attention in the traffic psychology literature (e.g., boredom proneness, sensation seeking, impulsiveness, etc.). At the same time, I set up an anger management program through the Community Counseling and Assessment Clinic, trained therapists, and began collecting treatment data. Based on these clinical data, I realized that the treatment protocols I had previously used with college students needed to be modified for community adults. My efforts along these lines have focused on developing brief strategies for enhancing client readiness for change.
I am a Distinguished Diplomate of the National Anger Management Association and a Certified Anger Management Specialist-V, which permits me to train and supervise students interested in pursuing certification.