Areas of Study

What do we do?

The ELEVATE Research Lab studies how to integrate positive psychology principles into treatment for veterans suffering from trauma-related distress (click to expand).

Improving our understanding of prosocial emotions

  • Moral elevation: feeling inspired or uplifted after witnessing someone perform a virtuous act
  • Gratitude: acknowledging and expressing thanks for benefits experienced

Investigating prosocial emotions in experimental settings

  • Can we elicit positive, prosocial emotions in veterans with signfiicant PTSD?
  • What are the immediate and delayed effects of exposure to these emotions?

Examining natural occurrences of positive experiences/emotions

  • When are people most likely to experience moral elevation or gratitude?
  • When might this occur in veterans, specifically?
  • What are the innate, demographic, and contextual predictors of experiencing these emotions?

Treatment development

  • Can we develop interventions that incorporate these principles, which are also feasible and acceptable for veterans?
  • Can we add these principles as supplements to enhance existing interventions and treatments?

Adam McGuire is the Director of the ELEVATE Research Lab and currently holds a dual-appointment as an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Tyler and an Investigator at the VISN 17 Center of Excellence for Research (Department of Veterans Affairs). At UT Tyler, he teaches a clinical foundations course (Applied Counseling and Practice) and leads the Veterans' Mental Health Specialty Track within the Clinical Psychology PhD program. He is also a Licensed Psychologist in the state of Texas. For more details, you can download his vitae here.

  • Moral elevation, gratitude
  • PTSD, moral injury, trauma distress
  • Positive psychology and mental health treatment
  • Veterans
  • PhD in Clinical Psychology, 2017

    Seattle Pacific University

  • MS in Clinical Psychology, 2014

    Seattle Pacific University

  • BA in Psychology, 2011

    University of Michigan

Meet the Team



Adam P. McGuire

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Lab Members


Alex Garcia

3rd Year MS Student


Anna Newman

2nd Year PhD Student


Candice L. Hayden

4th Year PhD Student


Joanna Fagan

3rd Year PhD Student


Joey Brewer

1st Year MS Student


Katrina Henley

Undergraduate Student


Lindsay Lange

1st Year PhD Student


Madeline Rodenbaugh

2nd Year MS Student

Lab Alumni


Ana Clara Vieira Zaidan

Former Undergraduate Student


Annika I. Wurm

Former MS Student


Colby Elmore

Former Undergraduate Student


Eman Nabulsi

Former MS Student


Gracie Staley

Former MS Student


Rawda Tomoum

Former MS Student


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Join the Lab!

We accept undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in gaining more research experience working with veterans, PTSD or other forms of trauma-related distress, and/or integrating positive psychology with mental health treatment. We offer opportunities to learn more about these specific areas of research, participate in active projects, and gain experience disseminating research.

Dr. McGuire plans to accept a new PhD student to start in Fall 2023 under the Clinical Psychology PhD Program at the University of Texas at Tyler.

Join as a PhD Student

The Clinical Psychology PhD program at the University of Texas at Tyler is a funded doctoral program that recently started with its inaugural class in 2019. Our program offers unique opportunities to obtain specialized training in working with underserved populations including veterans, geropsychology, and rural mental health. We are in the process of becoming APA accredited after submitting our self-study to APA last summer, with hopes to secure contingent accreditation by Fall 2023. For more information, please visit the program website here.

The PhD program uses a mentorship model, so students accepted to work with Dr. McGuire will play a significant role in the lab, receive direct supervision from Dr. McGuire through weekly meetings, and are also encouraged to pursue their own line of research consistent with their individual goals and interests.

Please feel free to email Dr. McGuire with any questions about the program, lab, or any other research inquiries. Prospective applicants should also include a brief description of their research interests and CV. Also, please feel free to email current PhD students to inquire about their experiences with the program and lab in general.

Join as a UT Tyler Master’s or Undergraduate Student

Students in the Master of Science in Clinical Psychology program and undergraduate students are also welcome to join the lab. This can be a good opportunity to gain more exposure and experience with research for students who are interested in pursuing additional graduate work and are considering PhD programs in the future. All students are required to (1) volunteer at least four hours per week, (2) attend all lab meetings, (3) produce at least one scientific poster for presentation, and (4) complete at least one science communication project.

Any student who is interested should email Dr. McGuire with a brief description of your interests, your potential career/educational goals, and a CV.


The views expressed on this site are those of the PI and/or lab members, and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States Government.