Fielding Graduate University News

Denise M. Frank, PhD, alumna and ISI Research Fellow from Fielding, publishes research focused on the meaning of self-esteem for individuals with psychotic disorders

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Mon, Oct 08, 2012

journ of human behv resized 600Alumna Dr. Denise M. Frank (MA, PSY '05) and research fellow with the Institute for Social Innovation (ISI) at Fielding Graduate University, recently co-authored an article published in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology with Dr. Larry Davidson of Yale University entitled Experiences of Self-Esteem in Outpatients Diagnosed with Psychosis-A Phenomenological Study

Sage Journals abstract:

Denise M. Frank, Larry Davidson
Journal of Humanistic Psychology July 2012 vol. 52 no. 3 304-320

The aim of the article is explore the meaning of self-esteem for individuals with psychotic disorders. To understand how individuals with psychosis experience self-esteem, eight participants (four females and four males) were interviewed using a semistructured open-ended format with scripted questions. Individuals with psychotic disorders maintained a sense of self by pursuing social and interpersonal activities that sustained and enhanced their self-esteem. Neither the positive symptoms nor the negative symptoms commonly associated with psychotic disorders appeared to diminish self-esteem. Also, participants did not describe their sense of self-esteem as being contingent on, or as a direct function of, having a psychotic disorder. For the individuals in this pilot study, self-esteem did not appear to be affected by having a psychotic disorder or by the stigma associated with having been given such a diagnosis. Individuals were able to engage in and maintain social and interpersonal relationships that contributed to their having a positive sense of self-worth. Further study is required to confirm and elaborate on this surprising set of findings.

Denise's publication, Experiences of Self-Esteem in Outpatients Diagnosed With Psychosis - A Phenomenological Study, has has been identified by Psychology Progress as "a journal article considered to represent the best in Psychology research."

For further information:;52/3/304

denise frank resized 600With over 21 years of teaching experience, theoretical psychologist Denise M. Frank currently serves as Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York.  She earned her Ph.D. in 2009 from Capella University and her Master’s in Clinical Psychology from Fielding Graduate University in 2005. Denise is a Research Fellow with the Institute for Social Innovation (ISI) at Fielding Graduate University. Her research interests focus on understanding the issues of self-esteem in individuals with schizophrenia. Denise has written a text for those students interested in getting into a doctoral program entitled “Frank’s Handbook for Prospective Ph.D. Students: How to Maximize Your Chances of Getting In and Staying In. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendal/Hunt Publishing Company”.


Tags: psychology, self-esteem, qualitative research, human development, research