Merith Cosden of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School received a Legacy Award from the Santa Barbara County Psychological Association (SBCPA) on January 25. The Legacy Awards were awards were created to mark special recognition for a wide range of contributions to the community, the association, the state, and the profession. Cosden received her award was for her contributions to training psychologists and working with community-based agencies such as Child Abuse Listening Mediation (CALM) over the past 30 years. In fact, Dr. Ana Kokotovic, retired Executive Director of CALM, presented Cosden her award. Cosden says, “I am grateful to have a job that I have enjoyed so much, and to have had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful colleagues and students.”
Merith Cosden is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Counseling, Clinical and School Psychology in the Gevirtz School. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of New Mexico in 1980 and joined the faculty at UCSB in 1988. She is a licensed psychologist and supervises students in the Hosford Clinic. Her research covers several areas. Cosden studies child abuse prevention and treatment in conjunction with a community-based agency that serves children and families exposed to violence. She also conducts evaluation research with court-based programs for adults with substance abuse or co-occurring disorders, perinatal treatment programs for women with co-occurring disorders and their children, and psychoeducational programs for college students with drinking problems. Finally, she has longstanding interest in the social and emotional functioning of individuals with learning disabilities and ADHD, focusing on differences in self-understanding and self-esteem among children and adults with these disabilities, and, more recently, the impact of having a cognitive disorder on the process of psychotherapy.