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 15 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. She contributes to interprofessional education by presenting evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral treatments (CBT) to students and professionals in a variety of healthcare fields. Dr. VanDyke also enjoys facilitating student groups with the Center for Interprofessional Education.
Dr. VanDyke currently works as an Associate Professor of Psychology at University of Health Sciences and 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. She and her UHSP research assistants are looking at factors that impact the health of older adults (i.e., treatment adherence and hoarding) and their relationship to Medication Savings Behaviors. Our team is also creating a self-report version of the Medication Saving Behavior scale.
Current Courses, Activities, and Scholarly Interest
Dr. VanDyke teaches Principles of Psychology, Case Studies in Abnormal Psychology, Developmental Psychology through the Lifespan, and Personality Theories and Case Studies. She enjoys introducing students to research, and she has had the pleasure of collaborating with colleagues at Trinity College Dublin. She mentors students and includes them in her research and scholarship. Dr. VanDyke is most proud of her students who investigate their own research questions to contribute to the healthcare literature.
Dr. VanDyke has presented at local and national professional meetings, including the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, the Associaltion for Psychological Science, Missouri Society for Health System Pharmacy, and Focus on Teaching and Technology. Her current work applies her knowledge of hoarding behaviors to medication management, includes assessing Medication Savings Behaviors. This work was published in the Clinical Gerontologist.
Dr. VanDyke enjoys reviewing documentaries, training videos, and movies for PsycCritiques and 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 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, providing research-based evidence for a difficult clinical issue.
Dr. VanDyke is a clinical psychologist who teaches pre-pharmacy and future healthcare students about psychological principles that impact patient care. She and her husband have two wonderful sons and two sweet dogs. Dr. VanDyke enjoys frequent travel, art glass, and 80s music.