Research spotlight: Jeffrey Means

March 1, 2010 —

J. Jeffrey Means, M.Div., Ph.D. is associate professor and chair of the behavioral medicine department. In addition to his role at the University, Means serves as the director of the Institute for the Practice of Ministry at Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center where he also has a part-time psychotherapy practice. Means’s academic journey has taken him from undergraduate and graduate degrees in biological sciences and counseling education from Purdue University, respectively, through seminary at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, and eventually to doctoral work at Northwestern University.

Throughout his career in teaching and psychotherapy, he has had a strong interest in the nature of professional education and the professional formation process, and historically has had a number of articles published in this area. His clinical work has focused on the treatment of dissociative disorders in persons with a chronic history of childhood abuse. This work led to the writing of Trauma & Evil: Healing the Wounded Soul which was published by Fortress Press in 2000.

His recent research interest has been in the area of end of life issues. A collaborative study in association with Hospice of Central Iowa and the Iowa CareGivers Association entitled, “Spiritual and Relational Quality of Life through the End of Life” has been funded by the Mid Iowa Health Foundation, and is in the final writing and reporting phase.