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Faculty and Staff Biography
Dr. Melanie VanDyke received an Honors Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Saint Louis University (in 1994) and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (in 2002). She specialized in the assessment and treatment of Anxiety Disorders early in her graduate training by working with her mentor, Debra Hope, to open the first specialty anxiety clinic in the state of Nebraska.
During Dr. VanDyke’s postdoctoral fellowship on the intensive treatment of severe anxiety, she began facilitating the Social Anxiety Treatment Group, a group that she continues to run more than 12 years later. She trained with Alec Pollard and specializes in the treatment of social anxiety, OCD, body dysmorphic disorder, and Tourette’s. Dr. VanDyke is a Licensed Psychologist at the Center for OCD and Anxiety Related Disorders at Saint Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute and served as the Director of Postdoctoral Education until 2012.
Dr. VanDyke currently works as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at St. Louis College of Pharmacy, where she continues her treatment research on working with family caregivers to improve outcomes. For instance, she is currently investigating variables that predict family outcomes when a family member has OCD and refuses treatments. Dr. VanDyke is coauthoring a treatment manual with Dr. Pollard for therapists to provide consultation to families of treatment refusers with OCD symptoms.
Dr. VanDyke, in collaboration with Dr. Ann Steffen at the University of Missouri in St. Louis and Dr. Scott Griggs at St. Louis College of Pharmacy, is evaluating Medication Savings Behaviors. This line of research examines caregiver perspectives on how older adults collect, store, and dispose of medications, in the context of an online medication management educational program. Her research assistants are looking at factors that impact the health of older adults and their relationship to Medication Savings Behaviors.
Current Courses, Activities, and Scholarly Interest
Dr. VanDyke teaches Principles of Psychology, Case Studies in Abnormal Psychology, and Personality Theories and Case Studies. She enjoys mentoring students and includes them in her research and scholarship. Dr. VanDyke is most proud of her students who investigate their own research questions.
Dr. VanDyke has presented at local and national professional meetings, including the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and the International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation. She enjoys reviewing documentaries, training videos, and movies for PsycCritiques, and recently published “Acquiring Fear, Learning Safety, and Modeling Growth: The Croods Flourish” and “A Paradoxical Approach to the Doubting Disease: Using Exposure and Response Prevention to Address Ambivalence.” Other relevant publication topics include treatment resistant anxiety disorders, intensive treatments for individuals with OCD, and process and outcome in Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder. She recently published "Brief Consultation to the Families of Treatment Refusers with Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms: Does it Impact Family Accommodation and Quality of Life?" in the journal Psychology. Her current work also applies her knowledge of hoarding behaviors to medication management, includes assessing Medication Savings Behaviors.
Dr. VanDyke is a clinical psychologist who teaches pre-pharmacy students about psychological principles that impact patient care. She and her husband have two wonderful sons and a sweet dog. Dr. VanDyke enjoys frequent travel, art glass, and 80s music.