Meet Our Team
Shinye Kim, Ph.D.
I am an Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a licensed psychologist. I completed my doctoral training in Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (APA-accredited) with a minor in Educational Statistics and Measurement in 2016 and an APA-accredited internship at NYC Health + Hospitals|Kings County, part of the largest public health care system in the United States. In addition, I previously completed a Master’s Degree in Prevention Science and Practice at Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor’s Degree in Education at Busan National University of Education in South Korea.
My primary focus of my research examines cultural, psychological and social aspects of chronic pain and opioid use. As a scientist-practitioner, I developed a research interest in pain during my advanced health psychology clinical training (pain management & consultation-liaison psychiatry) where I witnessed how chronic pain patients are marginalized, ignored, and blamed for their pain conditions. Many pain patients are marginalized by health care professionals, as well as their own social circles. My view on pain is grounded in two key values: 1) it is strength-based. I examine the influence of chronic pain on both absence of illness and the presence of human thriving (Kim et al., 2019); and 2) it is context-driven. Using social cognitive theory as a conceptual underpinning contributes to the current biopsychosocial understanding of chronic pain, which often fails to consider the importance of contextual factors such as cultural orientation, language barriers and work-family management. To date, my research has demonstrated chronic pain’s influence on eudaimonic and subjective wellbeing (Kim, et al., 2020), the roles of various types of social support (e.g., family, friends, coworkers, and supervisor) on chronic pain comorbidities (Kim, Lee, & Boone, 2022) and work-family enrichment as a protective factor in pain outcome (Kim et al., under review). I have also examined the relations among pain specific social supports on pain experience and opioid use in the context of cultural orientation of individualism and collectivism (Kim, et al., 2022). My research embraces an ecological systems perspective, where family--as a key microsystem--is considered a critical factor in exacerbating (Boone & Kim, 2019) or buffering (Nguyen, Kim et al., 2020) the stress associated with having chronic pain.
Using my recent NSF grant, my research team interviewed more than one hundred health care providers and chronic pain patients in order to examine the cultural and socio-cognitive factors influencing how members of ethnic and linguistic minority groups experiencing chronic pain communicate with their healthcare providers (as well as the experience of healthcare providers working with these populations). I am using the results from these interviews to develop a digital health technology for chronic pain patients with ethnic and linguistic minority backgrounds; the purpose of which is to substantially improve pain communication with their healthcare providers by incorporating cultural and linguistic norms and patterns that affect the pain experience. The ultimate goal of my research is to better analyze and form policies that will improve not only our understanding, but also improve equity in the delivery of pain health care.
My clinical work has focused on serving underserved and underrepresented individuals with histories of severe mental health issues as well as chronic pain conditions through a psychodynamic orientation. My doctoral clinical training was completed at academic medical centers, public and community hospitals in three different cities in Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Madison and Racine. My master’s clinical training was at an urban high school in Boston. Additional work fundamental to my identity as a clinician is the four years of psychoanalytic training at the Wisconsin and Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute during my doctoral training. I am excited to bring the depth and breadth of my clinical experience to the next generations of psychologists.
Beyond my work as an instructor, mentoring students has become extremely important to me. I run an active research team consisting of several doctoral and undergraduate students, who have broad aspirations, including becoming psychologists, pathologists, oncologists, psychiatrists, pharmacists, dentists and health care researchers. I am proud to say that this is one of the most fulfilling aspects of my job. I feel strongly about the importance of collaborating with students as well as scholars in diverse disciplines. I involve graduate students in research early in their training using both the “apprentice model” and “junior colleague model” based on their developmental level. I have received excellent mentorship, understand its importance, and I am committed to “paying it forward.”
Outside of Academia, I love being in nature, from small adventures exploring local parks to longer voyages to state and national parks. Recently, I have gotten back into playing piano and enjoy listening to the works of Chopin and Rachmaninoff, whose work impresses me every time I hear it. The intersection of quantum physics, psychotherapy and Buddhism is also an subject of my musings, and I hope to write a piece on this subject when I get closer to retirement. I practice Seon Meditation and love reading and discussing anything about it.
~ Graduate Team Members ~
I am a first-year doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Counseling Psychology. I pursued my master’s in clinical rehabilitation and mental health counseling and my master’s in health and rehabilitation sciences with a concentration in neuromuscular physical therapy from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. I pursued my undergraduate degree in Physical Therapy in India.
I have a unique combination of clinical experience and academic interests in the field of mental health counseling and physical therapy. My clinical experiences have shaped my career trajectories and influenced my research interests. My research interests lie in investigating the impact of chronic pain on well-being. I specifically focus my research through the lens of contextual factors, including culture, education, and social support. My research interests also lie in cognitive functioning, cognitive health, and their impact on well-being and quality of life. My goals include establishing international research collaborations in the realm of health psychology while also extending my expertise in the field teaching and instruction.
Beyond academics, I like to explore vegan baking recipes and indulge in arts and crafts activities, embroidery, painting tee-shirts, and tote-bag. Having my roots in physical therapy, I like to unwind by engaging in physical activities and working out.
~ Alumni ~
Ashley grew up in Dallas, TX and received her B.S. in Psychology/Child Learning & Development from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2015. She also received her M.S. in Psychology from Texas Tech University in 2017. Her research interests include ethnic minority health, particularly with regards to risk and protective factors, health psychology, depression, and coping processes. In her free time, she enjoys baking, sketching, painting, listening to music, and spending time with family and friends.
Babetta grew up in Houston, TX and earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Texas A&M University. Broadly, her research and clinical interests include youth symptoms (e.g., depression, anxiety), physical activity, and pediatric health behaviors/problems. She also has an interest in child/adolescent trauma populations, including those who have experienced medical traumas. Due to overlapping interests with health-related and cultural variables, Babetta began working with Dr. Kim on projects related to chronic pain, health disparities, cultural orientation, and opioid use. In her free time, Babetta enjoys hearing good corny jokes/puns, working out, and finding new places to eat and explore.