The New Normal

There’s an excellent chance you know someone — yourself, even — struggling with their mental health as the pandemic continues. UC Santa Barbara Magazine, Fall-Winter 2021 Issue

Coming Together for Health Equity.

In response to the hardships of the pandemic on migrant and indigenous communities, collaborating to develop solutions. UC Santa Barbara Magazine, Fall-Winter 2021 Issue

Power of Drishti Puts Meditation on the Move

Just three minutes is all it takes to reap the calming benefits of Power of Drishti. Santa Barbara Independent, Self-Care Issue, January 27, 2022.


Tips and insights on how to sustain joy.

Keeping resolutions like these can have profound payoffs.

805 Living, Wellness Issue, Winter 2022.

Scholars: Afghan Refugees to U.S. Face Mountain of Challenges

The numbers aren’t firm, but federal officials expect roughly 50,000 Afghans will come to the U.S. as refugees following America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. Their arrival will be bittersweet — free from the threat of the Taliban, but bewildered by a strange and sometimes hostile country.

Maryam Kia-Keating — a professor in the Department of Counseling, Clinical and School Psychology in UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education — said an adjustment period is to be expected. Noozhawk, September 19, 2021.

Better Together

“The course promotes social justice and equity, and addresses structural racism, not just by virtue of the readings and amplifying the voices of minoritized communities, but through action,” said Kia-Keating, a professor of clinical psychology, who directs the campus’s Trauma & Adversity, Resilience & Prevention (TARP) research laboratory and the Center for Research and Excellence on Adversity and Resilience (CREAR), in partnership with two local youth- and family-serving agencies, the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics and CALM. “The students are involved directly with community organizations and community members, and rather than playing the part of the expert-outsider, their role is as a solution-partner.” Teams of graduate and undergraduate students, for example, developed and analyzed a community survey on attitudes toward vaccines and provided technical support to ensure language access to a virtual public forum in Spanish and Indigenous languages. The Current, September 15, 2021.

‘Dangerous, unacceptable, and it’s got to stop’: Airlines deal with record rise in passenger bad behaviour

Maryam Kia-Keating, a professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, said that a return to traveling may have been a difficult re-adjustment for many.

“There are brand new, post-Covid stressors related to travel, including having no choice but to be in close proximity to strangers after physical distancing, and wearing masks in a crowded environment for an extended period of time with no breaks,” she explained to The Independent, June 15, 2021.

How to Manage Travel Anxiety in a Crowded Airport

“When we have multiple demands on our attention and cognitive ability, it cognitively depletes you, and you start losing your energy,” Kia-Keating says. Condé Nast Traveler, May 20, 2021

Mental Health Blog: Teen Questions

We asked teens from around the United States to anonymously send us questions that they would like to be answered by a mental health professional. Below, Maryam Kia-Keating, Ph.D., a Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), thoughtfully answers many of these questions. Center for Storytellers and Scholars, May 18, 2021

The Pandemic Anniversary Is Coming. Here’s How to Cope

Self-care practices—like exercising, getting enough rest, engaging in prayer and meditation, or connecting with loved ones—are often the first to get disrupted when you feel overwhelmed, Dr. Kia-Keating explains. But they are also what assist in rejuvenating you emotionally and physically, setting you up to weather incoming stress. By Seraphina Seow, Self Magazine, February 26, 2021

Structural racism is taking a toll on children’s mental health

Racism and social inequality don’t just affect adults. Here’s why they have a profound impact on the mental health of children of color. By Kristen Rogers, CNN, November 20, 2020

How to Be Happier During Difficult Times

According to a new study, Wisconsin is the 18th happiest state in the country. We look at the many ways the COVID-19 pandemic has affected people’s lives, factors that contribute to a person’s wellbeing and ways we can increase satisfaction in life. An interview on @centraltimewpr, a daily radio show produced by Wisconsin Public Radio, with host Rob Ferrett (and Bill Martens, producer) and guest Dr. Maryam Kia-Keating. NPR WPR September 25, 2020

2020’s Happiest States in America

Happiness comes from a combination of internal and external factors. We can influence it somewhat by approaching situations positively or choosing to spend time with people we love, doing activities we enjoy. Some years, it’s harder to be happy than others, though. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted life as we know it, causing sickness, limiting social interactions and leading to widespread job losses. During these trials, which have had a strong negative impact on Americans’ mental health, WalletHub searched for the states where people can stay positive despite the circumstances. Dr. Maryam Kia-Keating answers what are the key ingredients to a happy life, how much does where you live influence your happiness, and considering the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, what will be the long-term effects on citizens’ level of happiness? What are some steps a person can take to ensure a state of psychological well-being? WalletHub September 22, 2020

COVID-19, Trauma, and Immigrant Origin Students

The Coronavirus has disrupted so many of our lives, in many ways, some more obvious than others. For educators and our students, safety precautions have led to what NPR calls “The Biggest Distance Learning Experiment in History.” As hard as it is for all of us, we recognize that not everyone is impacted equally or in the same way. In particular, immigrants, refugees, English Learners, and others with histories of interrupted formal education, come to this moment with strengths, experiences, and unique vulnerabilities. To help us understand what we might learn from our students, and how we might best support them, we turned to Dr. Maryam Kia-Keating. Reimagining Migration, April 6, 2020

Resources for helping immigrant students succeed

There is a growing number of resources that schools can use to help immigrant students with their language barriers, social issues and academic challenges. APA has been closely following the recent and ongoing threats to immigrants and refugees living in the United States. These groups are “at risk of psychological harm due to factors including the stress of starting a new life away from family and culture, as well as prejudice and discrimination.” This article series takes a look at some of the ways psychologists are working to help immigrants, the communities where they live and the resources that are available to clinicians who want to help these at risk groups. APA, November 21, 2019

Preparing for “The Big One”: A devastating earthquake is allegedly overdue

What do we need to know to prepare for natural disaster? What does emotional readiness look like? How can communities help support resilience? An interview on @1A a daily radio show produced by WAMU and distributed by NPR, with host Joshua Johnson, and guests Dr. Maryam Kia-Keating, Dr. Lucy Jones (Seismologist), and Jacob Margolis (host) and Misha Euceph (producer) of the Big One: Your Survival Guide podcast. NPR, January 14, 2019

Stress and Coping Strategies for Immigrant-Origin Students and Educators who Serve Them

The challenges educators face responding to the social and emotional and educational needs of immigrant students and their peers have rarely been more pressing. In the U.S. 26% of school-aged children are either immigrants or the children of immigrants and in light of increasing political divides over immigration, rising hate incidents in and out of schools, and increased immigration enforcement, their place in schools can feel precarious. [Includes a Self-Care Strategies for Educators downloadable flyer.]  Reimagining Migration, December 17, 2018

Coping with Wildfires: Tips for UCSB Students

Video story on coping with wildfires and other disasters for students, with UCSB’s weekly, student-run paper, The Bottom Line, December 7, 2018

2018’s Best Places to Raise a Family in California

Ratings of 254 cities in the state across four key dimensions: 1) Family Life & Fun, 2) Education, Health & Safety, 3) Affordability and 4) Socioeconomic Environment. WalletHub, September 19, 2018

‘I was not one bit surprised that it happened.’ Shock over school shootings has turned to numbness.

Daniel Gelillo glanced at his phone between taking Advanced Placement exams Friday morning when he saw that there was a shooting at a high school in Texas. His sadness quickly gave way to frustration — another school day in America, another school ­shooting. Washington Post and SFGate, May 19, 2018

Trauma and resilience in California disaster response and readiness

It’s important to pay attention to the psychological impact of disasters. Oftentimes, there is an initial, understandable focus on basic needs and stabilization in the aftermath of disasters. But neglecting psychosocial well-being is short-sighted. The Confluence, April 23, 2018

Gun Violence Takes a Brutal Psychological Toll on Kids

In a handful of communities in the United States, violence is a traumatizing part of everyday life.Three children have died from gun violence in Chicago this week, a city that has seen a record number of shootings and homicides in the last year. ABCnews and NYmag, February 16, 2017

Middle School Mental Health Program Educates, Reduces Stigma

Mental Health Matters, a middle school-based mental health program, is successfully educating students about mental illness and helping to reduce the associated stigma, according to a new study published in the Journal of School Health. PsychCentral and CHConline and the Atlantic, October 17, 2016

‘Frozen’: Why Kids can’t ‘Let it Go’

Maryam Kia-Keating: Kids can really understand the idea of their sister wanting to play with them, and sometimes not, but still having a strong family bond.Ultimately, it’s about the love between the sisters. That’s a message that many little children understand. There are also good lessons about overcoming struggles and facing life challenges. But, what’s interesting about preschoolers, in particular, is there’s this loyalty and unrelenting interest to watch this movie over and over again. CNN, August 1, 2017


KPCC 89.3 Southern California Public Radio (Radio interview) about the film “Frozen”


Violence and Disparities

Working with refugee youth on a past project, Dr. Maryam Kia-Keating observed how transformative it was for the youth to take part in a participatory
photography program.  Profiles in Education, 2014-2015

13 pearls of wisdom for the early career set

Seasoned psychologists share the time-tested lessons that put them on the path to career success.  APA Monitor, December 2011, Vol 42, No. 11

Found in Translation

With more foreign-born clients seeking psychological help, practitioners are relying on language interpreters to improve therapy. Here’s how to make these relationships successful. APA Monitor; February 2010, Vol 41, No. 2 (Print version: page 52)

Self Care 
Strategies for Educators:

What can educators do to be proactive about their own burnout and foster their own resilience?Self Care for Educators

It is important to attend to vicarious trauma when working with students who have endured traumatic events and significant adversities in their young lives.

Here are 6 tips on a free, downloadable flyer created with Reimagining Migration.

12 Ways to Support Students in Uncertain Times:

12 ways to support students in uncertain times

When disaster, pandemic, mass violence, or other community upheaval occurs, educators are on the frontlines of offering support to their students, while trying to put their own ‘oxygen masks’ on first.

Here are 12 tips on a free, downloadable flyer based on an interview with Reimagining Migration.

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