LORNA SMITH BENJAMIN

Curriculum Vitae

LORNA SMITH BENJAMIN portrait
  • Adjunct Professor, Psychiatry, University of Utah
  • Professor Emerita, Psychology Department, University of Utah

Research

Research Statement

In 1968, I began development of  Structural Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB) for modeling patterns of social interactions with self and others in terms of the underlying dimensions of focus (on other, on self, focus on other turned inward on the self), affiliation (love/ hate), interdependence (enmeshment = control/submit to differentiation = emancipate/separate). Reviews of some research studies appeared in: Benjamin, L.S. (1996). Introduction to the special section on Structural Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB). Journal of  Consulting and Clinical Psychology.,64,1203-1212. Benjamin, L. S. , Rothweiler, J.R., & Critchfield, K. L. (2006). Use of Structural Analysis of Social Behavior as an Assessment Tool. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 2.]  My honorary degree from the University of Umea, Sweden (1998) was for the creation and development of  SASB. Clinicial and research uses of the SASB technology led to the conclusion that there are direct connections between patterns of adult personality and earlier patterns practiced in relation to caregivers and other loved ones. From working with patients, and research uses of SASB,  Interpersonal Reconstructive  Therapy (IRT) emerged. It is based on a case formulation that systematically describes connections between present day personlity and ealier interactive patterns in terms of copy processes usually identified via SASB codes and predictive principles (be like him or her; act as if he or she is still there and in control; treat yourself as you were treated).  Current personality patterns also are related to current psychiatric symptoms. For example, resentful submission (helplessness), self criticism, and perceived abandonment support chronic depression. Extreme self control accompanied by constant mobilization in service of perfectionism  support  chronic anxiety while trying  to cope, and is likely to degrade to depression when the quest for perfection seems impossible and the person gives up in despair.    In 2003, the IRT treatment model and methods were published [Benjamin, L.S. (2003). Interpersonal Reconstructive Therapy: promoting change in Nonresponders. New York:  Guilford Press.]  My third book, now  in draft [Interpersonal Reconstructive Therapy for Anger, Anxiety and Depression; American Psychological Association] centers on (a) my proposed natural biological theory of psychopathology and (b) use understanding of the natural biology of psychopathology and  the IRT case formulation method.  The perspective allows the clinician  to select optimal  ways of engaging the will to progress through Prochaska’s five transtheoretical stages of change. My research, with collaborator Ken Critchfield, shows that therapists who adhere more closely to the IRT  therapy model have better outcomes, while nonadherent therapists have less favorable outcomes..

Research Keywords

  • Treatment Resistance, Interest Level: 5
  • Structural Analysis of Social Behavior, Interest Level: 5
  • Personality Disorders, Interest Level: 5
  • Interpersonal Reconstructive Therapy, Interest Level: 5

Grants, Contracts & Research Gifts

  • Adherence, Effectiveness and Therapy Process in Interpersonal Reconstructive Therapy. PI: Kenneth L. Critchfield. Co-PI(s): Lorna Smith Benjamin. No external funds, 07/01/2004 - present. Total project budget to date: $0.00

Research/Scholarship Projects

  • Clinical and Research assessments using data on 10000 patients in a psychiatric clinic. PI: Kenneth L. Critchfield, Ph.D. Co-PI(s): Lorna Smith Benjamin, Ph.D>. 03/01/2012 - 03/01/2022.

Software Titles

  • SASB Questionnair Software; SASB coding software. I brought this with me from the University of Wisconsin and gave it to Univeristy of Utah in 1995 to avoid conflict of interest. I continue to update is in response to user requests if i can find the time to do it. Release Date: 01/01/2011. Inventors: Lorna Smith Benjamin. Distribution List: Very small, but world wide. Licenses with UU exist for translations in Sweden, Germany, Italy.
  • SASB coding software. Software updated in 2010. Purpose is to analysis objective coding of interpersonal interactions in psychotherapy or other relevant settings (e.g. parent child). Uses and references are illustrated by the "Known publications.." file on the SASB page in UU department of psychology. Release Date: 12/01/2010. Inventors: Lorna Smith Benjamin. Distribution List: unsolicited. Requests come via mention in research literature. We have licensed distribution in foreign languages in Sweden, Germany, Italy and Norway.
  • SASB software for Questionnaires. In 1980- 82 at the University of Wisconsin, I developed questionnaires and software to allow self ratings and objective observer ratings of social interactions in terms of my Structural Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB). I obtaned releases from Univ Wisconsin,and from NIMH, and in 1995 donated the technology to University of Utah. Refinements, and updates continue as needed, and as required to keep up with Microsoft updates of its operating systems (major changes required in 2000). i also provide limited support to purchasers. There was an update in December of 2009. Release Date: 12/01/2009. Inventors: Self. Distribution List: qualified uses as described on the Univesity SASB web site.
  • SASB coding system software. Yields the same parameters as SASB intrex questionnaire software, but applies to objective observer coding rather than to self ratings on questionnaire. Release Date: 12/01/2009. Inventors: self update in December 2009. Distribution List: Qualified users as described on my web site.
  • SASB Coding Software. SASB Coding Software. CD-Rom with programs for analyzing data generated by SASB coding system. Given to the University of Utah 1995. Update to Vista in 2007 . Release Date: 2007. Inventors: Lorna Smith Benjamin. Distribution List: Qualified professionals.
  • SASB Intrex Software. Update of SASB Intrex Software. CD-Rom with programs for analyzing questionnaire software. Given to the University of Utah 1995. Updated to Vista, 2007. Release Date: 2007. Inventors: Lorna Smith Benjamin. Distribution List: Qualified professionals.
  • Structural Analysis of Social Behaviior coding software. processes coding of videotapes of interpersonal process in families, psychotherapy or any other interactions of interest. Software,models, technology gifted to UofU in1995. Overseen by UU Commercialization of Technology office. In 2010, i updated this software to make it easier to enter output into standard data bases like SPSS. Release Date: 01/01/1980. Inventors: Lorna Smith Benjamin. Distribution List: Mental health researchers who write to me or to SASBIntrex, posted on the Department of Psychology web site.