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David Sells, PhD

Associate Research Scientist in Psychiatry

Contact Information

David Sells, PhD

Mailing Address

  • Department of Psychiatry

    300 George St

    New Haven, CT, 06511-

    United States

Research Summary

Therapeutic relationships—broadly considered—are my passions in research. My studies have included client perception of acceptance in counseling, peer support in cancer survivorship, and mentored community reentry, and throughout each, I have felt inspired by the capacity to connect with others in ways that can ameliorate distress and galvanize meaningful action. While squarely in the realm of clinical psychology, the topic also converges with sociology, anthropology, medicine, and literature, and I am fortunate to have collaborated with authorities from all these areas. Correspondingly I feel most enthusiastic when employing mixed methods designs, integrating data from "numbers to narratives," and assessing how findings inform stories of personal and collective significance.

Coauthors

Research Interests

Psychological Phenomena

Selected Publications

  • Gender and modality differences in experiencing and emotional expressionSells D, Martin RB (2001). Gender and modality differences in experiencing and emotional expression. Canadian Journal of Counselling, 35: 176-188.
  • Generating coherence out of chaos: Examples of the utility of empathic bridges in phenomenological researchSells D, Topor A, Davidson L (2004). Generating coherence out of chaos: Examples of the utility of empathic bridges in phenomenological research. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, 35: 253-271.
  • Contexts and narratives of recoverySells D, Andrés-Hyman R, Staeheli-Lawless M, Borg M, Topor A, Mezzina R, Marin I, Davidson L (2005). Contexts and narratives of recovery. American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, 8: 203-221.
  • Arenas of recovery for persons with severe mental illnessSells D, Borg M, Marin I, Mezzina R, Topor A, Davidson L (2006). Arenas of recovery for persons with severe mental illness. American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, 9: 3-16.
  • Peer support groupsSells D, Barber C. (2013). Peer support groups. In M. Shally-Jensen (Ed.), Mental Health Care Issues in America: An Encyclopedia (pp. 510-517). Santa-Barbara: ABC-CLIO.
  • Mental health advocacySells D, Barber C, Klimczak M. (2013). Mental health advocacy. In M. Shally-Jensen (Ed.), Mental Health Care Issues in America: An Encyclopedia (pp. 439-445). Santa-Barbara: ABC-CLIO.
  • Homelessness and mental illnessSells D, Barber C. (2013). Homelessness and mental illness. In M. Shally-Jensen (Ed.), Mental Health Care Issues in America: An Encyclopedia (pp. 322-329). Santa-Barbara: ABC-CLIO.
  • Peer-mentored community reentry reduces recidivismSells, D., Curtis, A., Abdur-Raheem, J., Klimczak, M., Barber, C., Meaden, C., . . . Emigh-Guy, M. (2020). Peer-mentored community reentry reduces recidivism. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 47(4), 437-456. doi:10.1177/0093854820901562
  • Recovery movementBarber C, Sells D, Raven S. (2013). Recovery movement. In M. Shally-Jensen (Ed.), Mental Health Care Issues in America: An Encyclopedia (pp. 661-667). Santa-Barbara: ABC-CLIO.
  • Pushing, patience, and persistence: Peer providers’ perspectives on supportive relationshipsMourra S, Sledge WS, Sells D, Lawless M, Davidson L. (2014). Pushing, patience, and persistence: Peer providers’ perspectives on supportive relationships. American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, 17, 307-328.
  • Citizenship programs for persons with mental health and/or co-occurring disorders: Mechanisms of action and clinical implicationsRakfeldt, J., Rowe, M., & Sells, D. (2018). Citizenship programs for persons with mental health and/or co-occurring disorders: Mechanisms of action and clinical implications. American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, 21(1-2), 1-15.
  • Trauma and adaptation in severe mental illness: The role of self-reported abuse and exposure to community violenceShahar G, Wisher A, Chinman M, Sells D, Kloos B, Tebes JK, Davidson L (2004). Trauma and adaptation in severe mental illness: The role of self-reported abuse and exposure to community violence. Journal of Trauma and Dissociation. 2004, 5: 29-47.
  • Language, suffering, and the question of immanence: Toward a respectful phenomenological psychopathologyDavidson L, Staeheli Lawless M, Stayner D, Sells D (2004). Language, suffering, and the question of immanence: Toward a respectful phenomenological psychopathology. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, 35: 197-232.
  • What makes a house a home: The role of material resources in recovery from severe mental illnessBorg M, Sells D, Mezzina R, Marin I, Topor A, Davidson L (2005). What makes a house a home: The role of material resources in recovery from severe mental illness. American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, 8: 243-256.
  • Processes of recovery in serious mental illness: Findings from a multi-national studyDavidson L, Borg M, Marin I, Topor A, Mezzina R, Sells D (2005). Processes of recovery in serious mental illness: Findings from a multi-national study. American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, 8: 177-201.
  • The person’s role in recoveryMarin I, Mezzina R, Borg M, Topor A, Sells D, Davidson L (2005). The person’s role in recovery. American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, 8: 223-242.
  • Qualitative studies of recovery: What can we learn from the person?Davidson L, Sells D, Sangster S, O’Connell M (2005). Qualitative studies of recovery: What can we learn from the person? In R. O. Ralph & P. W. Corrigan (Eds.), Recovery and Mental Illness: Consumer Visions and Research Paradigms (pp. 147-170). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • From participation to citizenship: How to regain a role, a status, and a life in the process of recoveryMezzina R, Borg M, Marin I, Sells D, Topor A, Davidson L (2006). From participation to citizenship: How to regain a role, a status, and a life in the process of recovery. American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, 9: 39-61.
  • Citizenship, community, and recovery: A group- and peer-based intervention for persons with co-occurring disorders and criminal justice historiesRowe M, Benedict P, Sells D, Dinzeo T, Garvin C, Schwab L, Baranoski M, & Bellamy C. (2009). Citizenship, community, and recovery: A group- and peer-based intervention for persons with co-occurring disorders and criminal justice histories. Journal of Groups in Addiction & Recovery, 4: 224-244.
  • Others: The role of family, friends, and professionals in the recovery processTopor A, Borg M, Mezzina R, Sells D, Marin I, Davidson L (2006). Others: The role of family, friends, and professionals in the recovery process. American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, 9: 17-37.
  • The social nature of recovery: Discussion and implication for practiceMezzina R, Davidson L, Borg M, Marin I, Topor A, Sells D (2006). The social nature of recovery: Discussion and implication for practice. American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, 9: 63-80.
  • Using qualitative methods in clinical researchDavidson L, Wieland M, Flanagan E, Sells D (2007). Using qualitative methods in clinical research. In D. McKay (Ed.), Handbook of Research Methods in Abnormal and Clinical Psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Troubled youth in transition: An evaluation of Connecticut's special services for individuals aging out of adolescent mental health programsStyron TH, O'Connell M, Smalley W, Rau D, Shahar G, Sells D, Frey J, Davidson L (2006). Troubled youth in transition: An evaluation of Connecticut's special services for individuals aging out of adolescent mental health programs. Children and Youth Services Review, 28: 1088-1101.
  • Is there an outside to mental illness?Davidson L, O’Connell M, Sells D, Staeheli M (2003). Is there an outside to mental illness? In L. Davidson, Living Outside Mental Illness (pp. 31-60). New York: NY University Press.
  • The Connection’s approach: a model for integrating criminal justice, mental health, and other social services in the U.S. state of ConnecticutLee BX, Sells D, Hasson J., Klimczak M, & Barber C. (2019). The Connection’s approach: a model for integrating criminal justice, mental health, and other social services in the U.S. state of Connecticut. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 47, 240-244. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2019.02.001
  • Group drumming for incarcerated men may improve community reintegration: a mixed methods pilot studyRojiani, R., Junn, A., Wood, M., Gordon, K. L., & Sells, D. (2021). Group drumming for incarcerated men may improve community reintegration: a mixed methods pilot study. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 1-22. doi:10.1007/s11292-021-09460-3