Dennis C. Wendt
Associate Professor, Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology
Chercheur boursier, Junior 1, Fonds de recherche du Québec: Santé (FRQS)
Associate Member, Department of Psychiatry
Dennis C. Wendt is an Associate Professor with the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology at McGill University, and the Director of the Cultural and Indigenous Research in Counselling Psychology (CIRC) lab. He also is an Associate Member of the Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University.
For the past 12 years, Prof. Wendt has collaborated with Indigenous communities in Canada and the United States in exploring, developing, and evaluating culturally relevant interventions pertaining to mental health, substance use, and community wellness. The author of over 35 peer-reviewed publications, Prof. Wendt is the recipient of the 2021 Distinguished Early Career Contributions in Qualitative Inquiry Award and the 2016 Distinguished Dissertation Award in Qualitative Inquiry, both from the American Psychological Association (APA) Division of Quantitative and Qualitative Methods. He also is the 2017 Sigmund Koch Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology from the Society for Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology. His current research is funded by the the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Quebec-Atlantic Node of the Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM), and the McGill Faculty of Education. He collaborates with researchers from Harvard University, University of Washington, University of New Mexico, Université de Montréal, University of Calgary, Dalhousie University, Concordia University, University of New Brunswick, and Lakehead University, as well as with nine First Nations or Indigenous organizations in Canada and two American Indian Tribes.
Prof. Wendt is affiliated with the Cultural and Mental Health Research Unit at the Jewish General Hospital, the Indigenous Working Group of the Quebec-Atlantic Node of CRISM, the Network for Aboriginal Mental Health Research (NAMHR), the American Indian/Alaska Native Special Interest Group of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network, and the Task Force on Indigenous Psychology of the Society for Humanistic Psychology. He is also the leader and co-founder of the Clinical/Counseling Psychology Special Interest Group for the Society for Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology. He is on the Editorial Board of The Counseling Psychologist and the Canadian Journal of School Psychology.
Prof. Wendt completed his PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Michigan in 2015, including an APA-accredited internship at the Southwest Consortium in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This was followed by a postdoctoral research fellowship with the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute at the University of Washington in Seattle. Prof. Wendt is originally from southeast Idaho in the USA, near Grand Teton National Park. A newly-minted permanent resident of Canada, he lives in the Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood of Montreal with his wife and two French-speaking children.
For the 2024-2025 year I may accept new MA or PhD students to the Counselling Psychology program, depending on a number of factors including the quality of applicants. Please understand that many strong applicants are not considered because they are not the best fit in terms of their research experiences and interests. In addition to academic achievements and general research experience, applicants who are strong in one or more of the following factors will be prioritized in my recommendations for admission under my supervision: (a) having substantive experience living in or partnering with Indigenous Nations or communities, (b) having a strong working relationship with an Indigenous Nation or organization (especially in Quebec or Atlantic Canada) that has potential for a research partnership, (c) having experience in substance use research with racialized and marginalized communities, and (d) having a unique and compelling research interest pertaining to substance use recovery connected to one's lived experience. Note that I am not able to meet with prospective applicants in advance of their application. It is conceivable that an outstanding applicant would be an excellent fit with a different research topic that is broadly within my research expertise, so all interested applicants are encouraged to apply. Those who are interested in working with me should list me as a potential supervisor in their application (I recommend listing 1-2 other faculty members as a potential supervisor). Please clearly indicate in your application letter any pending funding applications, as well as any funding that has been committed to you (including funding from Indigenous Nations).
Indigenous applicants are strongly encouraged to apply, especially Inuit and Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk) applicants. Applicants who fluently speak French or an Indigenous language (especially from within Quebec or Atlantic Canada) are especially encouraged to apply, as are those with a strong interest in an academic career.
Because I am unable to guarantee funding for students, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for Tri-Council and FRQ fellowships. This requires submitting fellowship applications well in advance of the Program application deadline. See https://www.mcgill.ca/edu-ecp/students/finances/external-funding (Note that students in the MA Project program are not eligible for FRQ fellowships.)
PhD, University of Michigan: Clinical Psychology
MS, University of Michigan: Clinical Psychology
BS, Brigham Young University: Psychology (Philosophy minor)
- Indigenous mental health and substance use
- Substance use disorder treatment
- Evidence-based practice implementation
- Group psychotherapy
- Culture and spirituality
- Qualitative research methods
Current research projects include (a) the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on substance use disorder treatment for Indigenous communities, (b) Indigenous perspectives on medications for opioid use disorder, (c) social belonging and cultural identity among Indigenous university students, and (d) cultural safety and social justice considerations for clinical and counselling psychology. He is also interested in evidence-based practice considerations for substance use disorders, as well as philosophical aspects of clinical psychology and research methods.
(2021) Distinguished Early Career Contributions in Qualitative Inquiry, Division of Quantitative and Qualitative Methods, American Psychological Association
(2017) Sigmund Koch Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology, Society for Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, American Psychological Association
(2016) Outstanding Paper Award, The Counseling Psychologist, Sage Publications
(2016) Distinguished Dissertation in Qualitative Inquiry, Division of Quantitative and Qualitative Methods, American Psychological Association
Salary Awards and Fellowships
(2022-2026) Chercheurs-boursiers Junior 1, Fonds de recherche du Québec: Santé (FRQS): Culturally-relevant substance use treatment innovations in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: Supporting a community-based Indigenous research network
(2015-2017) T-32 Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH): Psychology training in alcohol research
(2012-2014) T-32 Predoctoral Research Fellowship, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH): Substance use interdisciplinary training program
Active Grants (Principal Applicant)
(2022-2028) (Co-PI / Indigenous theme lead) Team Grant: Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM) Phase II: Regional Nodes. Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) (PI: Julie Bruneau, Univ. de Montréal): The CRISM Quebec Node: Building evidence for preventing, treating and reducing drug related harms.
(2022-2026) Chercheurs-boursiers Junior 1. Fonds de recherche du Québec: Santé (FRQS): Soutenir un réseau de recherche autochtone communautaire pour le développement et l’implantation de traitements des troubles d’usage novateurs, adaptés à la réalité culturelle des peuples autochtones, dans le contexte de la pandémie de COVID-19 [Culturally-relevant substance use treatment innovations in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: Supporting a community-based Indigenous research network].
(2022-2024) Operating Grant: Addressing the Wider Health Impacts of COVID-19. CIHR (and New Brunswick Health Research Foundation): Identifying effective interventions for addressing social issues and disparities faced by Indigenous individuals with substance use problems in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
(2021-2023) Indigenous Peoples and COVID-19 Knowledge Synthesis Rapid Research Opportunity. CIHR: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth substance use problems and services: Knowledge synthesis with Indigenous Nations and organizations.
(2020-2023) Operating Grant: COVID-19 Mental Health & Substance Use Service Needs and Delivery. CIHR (and New Brunswick Health Research Foundation): Substance use disorder treatment transformations due to the COVID-19 pandemic: Impact on Indigenous patients and communities.
(2020-2023) Research Development Program. Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM), Quebec-Atlantic Node: Development of research protocol to understand best practices for treating opioid-agonist patients in a First Nation in Nova Scotia.
(2020-2022) Social Innovation Fund Award. Faculty of Education, McGill University: Development of a Faculty of Education network to facilitate Indigenous research sponsorship.
Active Grants (Co-Applicant)
(2020-2025) Network Catalyst Grant. Canadian Institutes of Health Research (PI: Jai Shah): Towards a pan-Canadian network for integrating research-evaluation and knowledge translation in youth mental health services.
(2021-2024) Feminist Response and Recovery Fund. Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE) (PI: Claudia Mitchell): Pathways2Equity: Youth-led, Indigenous-focused, gender-transformative, arts-based approaches to challenging gender norms in addressing GBV.
(2020-2023) Insight Grant. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (PI: Nathan Hall): Motivation, emotion regulation, and well-being in post-secondary faculty.
(2022-2023) Élaboration de projets inédits en sciences de l’éducation. Ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur du Québec (MEES) [Quebec Ministry of Higher Education] (PI: Mindy Carter): Responsabilités et pratique de réconciliation : Répondre aux appels à l’action de la Commission vérité et réconciliation en matière d’éducation dans le domaine de la formation des enseignants au Québec [Responsibilities and reconciliatory praxis: Taking up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Educational Calls to Action in Teacher Education in Quebec.
(2018-2023) Project Grant. CIHR (PI: Roisin O'Connor & Christopher Mushquash): Developing a culture-specific model of resilience against substance use among on-reserve Indigenous youth in Canada.
(2021-2022) Award for Research Initiative. Faculty of Education, McGill University (PI: Joseph Levitan): Indigenous research ethics committee: Building community capacity for sustainable, collaborative research evaluation.
Counselling Psychology; can also supervise students from other areas who are interested in conducting research with Indigenous communities.
Prospective students: See above (beneath by biography) for more information.
INDIGENOUS SUBSTANCE USE
Pride, T., Lam, A., Swansburg, J., Seno, M., Lowe, M. B., Bomfim, E., Toombs, E., Marsan, S., LoRusso, J., Roy, J., Gurr, E., LaFontaine, J., Paul, J., Burack, J. A., Mushquash, C., Stewart, S. H., & Wendt, D. C. (2021). Trauma-informed approaches to substance use interventions with Indigenous Peoples: A scoping review. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 53(5), 460–473. https://doi.org/10.1080/02791072.2021.1992047
Wendt, D. C., Marsan, S., Parker, D., Lizzy, K. E., Roper, J., Mushquash, C., Venner, K. L., Lam, A., Swansburg, J., Worth, N., *Sorlagas, N., Quach, T., Manoukian, K., Bernett, P., & Radin, S. M. (2021). Commentary on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on opioid use disorder treatment among Indigenous communities in the United States and Canada. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 121, 108165. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsat.2020.108165
Wendt, D. C. (2019, December). “Careful the tale you tell”: Indigenous Peoples and alcohol use problems. Psynopsis (Magazine of the Canadian Psychological Association), 41(3), pp. 11, 13. https://cpa.ca/docs/File/Psynopsis/2019/Psynopsis_Vol41-3.pdf
Wendt, D. C., Hartmann, W. E., Allen, J. A., Burack, J. A., Charles, B., D’Amico, E., Dell, C. A., Dickerson, D. L., Donovan, D. M., Gone, J. P., O’Connor, R. M., Radin, S. M., Rasmus, S. R., Venner, K. L., & Walls, M. L. (2019). Substance use research with Indigenous communities: Exploring and extending foundational principles of community psychology. American Journal of Community Psychology, 64(1–2), 146–158. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajcp.12363
Venner, K. L., Donovan, D. M., Campbell, A. N. C., Wendt, D. C., Rieckmann, T., Radin, S., Momper, S. L., & Rosa, C. L. (2018). Future directions for medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorder with American Indians/Alaska Natives. Addictive Behaviors, 86, 111–117. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2018.05.017
Wendt, D. C., Collins, S. E., Nelson, L. A., Serafini, K., Clifasefi, S. L., & Donovan, D. M. (2017). Religious and spiritual practices among homeless urban American Indians and Alaska Natives with severe alcohol problems. American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research, 24(3), 39–62. https://doi.org/10.5820/aian.2403.2017.39
INDIGENOUS MENTAL HEALTH
Gurr, E., Namdari, R., Lai, J., Parker, D., Wendt, D. C., & Burack, J. A. (2020). Perspective on shyness as adaptive from Indigenous Peoples of North America. In L. A. Schmidt & K. L. Poole (Eds.), Adaptive shyness: Multiple perspectives on behavior and development (pp. 239-249). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-38877-5_13
Gone, J. P., Hartmann, W. E., Pomerville, A., Wendt, D. C., Klem, S. H., & Burrage, R. L. (2019). The impact of historical trauma on health outcomes for Indigenous populations in the USA and Canada: A systematic review. American Psychologist, 74(1), 20–35. https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000338
Hartmann, W. E., Wendt, D. C., Burrage, R. L., Pomerville, A., & Gone, J. P. (2019). American Indian historical trauma: Anticolonial prescriptions for healing, resilience, and survivance. American Psychologist, 74(1), 6–19. https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000326
Serafini, K., Donovan, D. M., Wendt, D. C., Matsumiya, B., & McCarty, C. A. (2017). A comparison of early adolescent behavioral health risks among urban American Indians/Alaska Natives and their peers. American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research, 24(2), 1–17. https://doi.org/10.5820/aian.2402.2017.1
Wendt, D. C., & Gone. J. P. (2016). Integrating professional and Indigenous therapies: An urban American Indian narrative clinical case study. The Counseling Psychologist, 44(5), 695–729. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011000016638741
Hartmann, W. E., Wendt, D. C., Saftner, M. A., Marcus, J., & Momper, S. L. (2014). Advancing community-based research with urban American Indian populations: Multidisciplinary perspectives. American Journal of Community Psychology, 54(1–2), 72–80. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10464-014-9643-5
Wendt, D. C. (2016, November 23). Standing for Native American health care equity [Invited blog post]. Public Health Post (Boston University School of Public Health). http://www.publichealthpost.org/research/standing-native-american-health-care-equity/
Wendt, D. C., & Gone, J. P. (2012). Decolonizing psychological inquiry in American Indian communities: The promise of qualitative methods. In D. K. Nagata, L. Kohn-Wood, & L. Suzuki (Eds.), Qualitative strategies for ethnocultural research (pp. 161-178). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/13742-009
Wendt, D. C., & Gone, J. P. (2012). Urban-indigenous therapeutic landscapes: A case study of an urban American Indian health organization. Health and Place, 18(5), 1025–1033. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2012.06.004
SUBSTANCE USE TREATMENT AND RECOVERY
Zolopa, C., Burack, J. A., O’Connor, R. M., Corran, C., Lai, J., Bomfim, E., DeGrace, S., Dumont, J., Larney, S., & Wendt, D. C. (2022). Changes in youth mental health, psychological wellbeing, and substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic: A rapid review. Adolescent Research Review. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40894-022-00185-6
Corace, K., Weinrib, A., Abbott, P., Craig, K., Eaton, E., Fulton, H., McKee, S., McWilliams, L., Mushquash, C., Rush, B., Stewart, S., Taylor, S., Wendt, D. C., & Wilson, K. (2019). Recommendations for addressing the opioid crisis in Canada. Canadian Psychological Association. https://cpa.ca/docs/File/Task_Forces/OpioidTaskforceReport_June2019.pdf
Wendt, D. C., & Gone. J. P. (2018). Complexities with group therapy facilitation in substance use disorder specialty treatment settings. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 88, 9–17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsat.2018.02.002
Wendt, D. C., & Gone. J. P. (2018). Group psychotherapy in specialty clinics for substance use disorder treatment: The challenge of ethnoracially diverse clients. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 68(4), 608–628. https://doi.org/10.1080/00207284.2018.1442225
Serafini, K., Stewart, D. G., Wendt, D. C., & Donovan, D. M. (2018). Perceived parental support and adolescent motivation for substance use change: A preliminary investigation. Addiction Research and Theory, 26(3), 187–192. https://doi.org/10.1080/16066359.2017.1342819
Wendt, D. C., & Gone. J. P. (2017). Group therapy for substance use disorders: A survey of clinician practices. Journal of Groups in Addiction and Recovery, 12(4), 243–259. https://doi.org/10.1080/1556035X.2017.1348280
Wendt, D. C., Hallgren, K. A., Daley, D. C., & Donovan, D. M. (2017). Predictors and outcomes of twelve-step sponsorship of stimulant users: Secondary analyses of a multisite randomized clinical trial. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 78(2), 287–295. https://doi.org/10.15288/jsad.2017.78.287
Wendt, D. C. (2015). A mixed-methods exploration of group therapy for substance use disorders: Prospects for evidence-based treatment (Doctoral dissertation). University of Michigan. https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/handle/2027.42/113429
CULTURE AND EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE
Wendt, D. C., & Teo, T. (2022). Subjectivity and the critical imagination in neoliberal capitalism: Conversation with Thomas Teo. In H. Macdonald, S. Carabbio-Thopsey, & D. M. Goodman (Eds.), Neoliberalism, ethics, and the social responsibility of psychology: Dialogues at the edge (pp. 44–83). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003280033-3
Teo, T., & Wendt, D. C. (2020). Some clarifications on critical and Indigenous psychologies. Theory and Psychology, 30(3), 371–376. https://doi.org/10.1177/0959354320920944
Wendt, D. C., Gone, J. P., & Nagata, D. K. (2015). Potentially harmful therapy and multicultural counseling: Bridging two disciplinary discourses. The Counseling Psychologist, 43(3), 334–358. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011000014548280
Wendt, D. C., Gone, J. P., & Nagata, D. K. (2015). Potentially harmful therapy and multicultural counseling: Extending the conversation. The Counseling Psychologist, 43(3), 393–403. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011000015576801
Christopher, J. C., Wendt, D. C., Marecek, J., & Goodman, D. M. (2014). Critical cultural awareness: Contributions to a globalizing psychology. American Psychologist, 69(7), 645–655. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0036851
Wendt, D. C., & Gone, J. P. (2012). Rethinking cultural competence: Insights from indigenous community treatment settings. Transcultural Psychiatry, 49(2), 206–222. https://doi.org/10.1177/1363461511425622
Wendt, D. C., & Slife, B. D. (2007). Is evidence-based practice diverse enough? Philosophy of science considerations. American Psychologist, 62(6), 613–614. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X62.6.613
Wendt, D. C. (2021). Motivational interviewing workshop [Invited workshop]. School and Applied Psychology Student Association, Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada.
Wendt, D. C. (2021, January). From a “color blind” to an anti-racist psychology [Invited presentation; remote]. Counselling Psychology Research Colloquium, Department of Educational & Counselling Psychology and Special Education, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Wendt, D. C. (2019, June). Indigenous knowledges and qualitative inquiry: Opportunities and challenges [Symposium]. Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology, Boston, MA, United States.
Wendt, D. C. (2019, April). Substance use research with Indigenous Peoples: Contemporary issues and complexities [Symposium]. Collaborative Perspectives on Addiction, Providence, RI, United States.
Wendt, D. C., Radin, S. M., Venner, K. L., Gurr, E. N., & Donovan, D. M. (2018, November). Medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder among Indigenous communities [Invited address]. Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM) Atlantic Symposium, Moncton, NB, Canada.
Wendt, D. C., Radin, S. M., Venner, K. L., Austin, L., Gurr, E. N., & Donovan, D. M. (2018, October). Medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder among Indigenous communities: Implementation facilitators and barriers. In J. P. Gone (Chair), Indigenous community mental health in the USA and Canada: Engagements with cultural psychiatry (Part II) [Symposium]. World Congress of Cultural Psychiatry, New York, NY, United States.
Wendt, D. C., & Gone, J. P. (2018, August). The interface between Indigenous knowledge and Western psychology: Education, research, and practice [Symposium]. American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA, United States.
Wendt, D. C., & Gurr, E. N. (2018, June). The challenge of culturally-relevant mental health interventions for urban-dwelling Indigenous individuals. In L. Ford (Chair), School and educational psychology practice with Indigenous populations in light of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission [Symposium]. International Congress of Applied Psychology, Montreal, QC, Canada.
Wendt, D. C. (2017, November). Community-based culturally relevant interventions for Indigenous populations [Invited presentation; remote]. Postdoctoral Fellowship Seminar, South Texas Research Organizational Network Guiding Studies on Trauma and Resilience (STRONG STAR) Research Consortium, San Antonio, TX, United States.
Wendt, D. C. (2017). The tension between critical cultural awareness and evidence-based treatments [Invited workshop]. Postdoctoral Psychology Residency Seminar, Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA, United States.
Wendt, D. C., Collins, S. E., Nelson, L. A., Clifasefi, S. L., Serafini, K., & Donovan, D. M. (2016, October). Housing First for chronically homeless urban American Indians and Alaska Natives with severe alcohol problems [Paper presentation]. Addiction Health Services Research, Seattle, WA, United States.
Wendt, D. C. (2016, September). Critical cultural awareness: Contributions to a globalizing psychology [Invited presentation; remote]. Postdoctoral Fellowship Seminar, Columbia University Research Fellowship in Global Mental Health, New York, NY, United States.
Wendt, D. C., & Schiff, B. (2016, August). Beyond the “replication crisis”: Diverse considerations for psychology’s future [Collaborative Programming symposium]. American Psychological Association, Denver, CO, United States.
Wendt, D. C. (2016, August). Mixed methods exploration of group therapy for substance use disorders: Prospects for evidence-based practice [Invited address]. American Psychological Association, Denver, CO, United States.
Wendt, D. C. (2016, March). Community-based culturally-adapted substance use disorder interventions for American Indians and Alaska Natives [Plenary symposium]. Collaborative Perspectives on Addiction, San Diego, CA, United States.
Wendt, D. C. (2016, March). The challenge of evidence-based group therapy for substance use disorders [Invited address; remote]. National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network 2016 Web Seminar Series, Bethesda, MD, United States.
Wendt, D. C., Kim, J. H. J., Hartmann, W. E., Nguyen, T. U., Kim, E. S., Nagata, D. K., & Gone, J. P. (2013, January). Publication trends in ethnic minority and cross-cultural psychology from 2003-2009 [Conference session]. National Multicultural Conference and Summit, Houston, TX, United States.
Wendt, D. C., & Hartmann, W. E. (2012, March). Research methods 2.0: Rebooting research methods texts in psychology [Conference session]. Society for Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, Austin, TX, United States.
Wendt, D. C. (2011, May). The rise of evidence-based practice in psychology: Blessing in disguise for qualitative inquiry? [Paper presentation]. International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, Urbana-Champaign, IL, United States.