Ted Bartholomew, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of the Department of Psychology & Affiliate of the Department of AfricanaStudies, Scripps
Dr. Bartholomew’s research lies at the intersection of culture and healing and focuses on contextual understandings of mental illness, refugee mental health, and psychological intervention. As such, he uses quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches to explore the meaning of mental illness in specific cultural groups, the factors that make psychotherapy effective, and social inequities that influence experiences of mental illness. His current projects include a community-based assessment of mental health needs and literacy among Karen and Karenni refugees in resettled in Ft. Wayne Indiana, exploration of suicidality among the Namibian Aawambo, and mental illness explanations among Chin refugees resettled in Indiana. Exploring mental illness and distress in these areas is facilitated by attention to cultural contexts and additional social factors like potential persistence of substance abuse in some of these communities. Dr. Bartholomew also explores factors like cultural comfort, positive affect, and hope in psychotherapy to better understand how mental health intervention can be an effective modality of care across cultures when cultural humility, openness, and comfort exist. In this work, he also aims to recognize that a singular prioritization of psychotherapy may not meet the healing needs of all individuals for whom different traditions and beliefs systems persist. His aim in exploring the intersection of culture and mental illness is to address areas of inequity and inadequate care provided to marginalized individuals for whom treatment is potentially inaccessible and ill-fitting to their own belief systems.