Montminy-Danna, Zuccarelli to discuss biofeedback research
Dr. Mary Montminy-Danna and Dr. Lisa Zuccarelli, recent recipients of the University’s Antone Award for Academic Excellence, will discuss their research during a presentation on Monday, Oct. 31.
“An Interdisciplinary Approach to Empowering Survivors of Domestic Violence Through Stress Reduction” will be held at 4:30 p.m. in the McKillop Library’s special collections room. Montminy-Danna is an associate professor in the Department of Social Work and Zuccarelli is an associate professor in the Department of Biology and Biomedical Sciences.
Their pilot study of female survivors of intimate partner violence aimed to design an interdisciplinary model of stress reduction through the use of safe conversation, structured interviews and the use of a commercial biofeedback program. Biofeedback is used to train individuals to override the body’s stress responses, such as increased blood pressure and heart rate. Controlling these can restore parasympathetic response, bringing calm to the body.
This approach is not typical of most domestic violence services, which usually provide counseling, advocacy and shelters. The opportunity to discuss with these women the amount and source of their stresses and their current coping mechanisms created an emotionally supportive environment for performing this study.