Ronald Chau

Graduate Student, Clinical Psychology
Faculty Advisors: David Sbarra & Jeff Greenberg
Headshot - Ronald Chau

Psychology 422

Prior to graduate school, I was a public policy analyst at the Australian Department of the Treasury and Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Research Interests: 

My research interests lie at the intersection of existential, clinical, and positive psychology. I am broadly interested in how people cope with and potentially grow from adverse life experiences. I am particularly interested in how people create meaning from their suffering, and my current research focuses on evaluating the feasibility and acceptability of a novel existential narrative therapy for adults recently separated from their ex-partners.

Selected Publications:

  • Existential psychotherapy helped my students cope with chaos
  • Interview with Ernest Becker Foundation
  • Interview with International Society for the Science of Existential PsychologyMindful Death Awareness and Values
  • Helm, P. J., Chau, R. F., & Greenberg, J. (2022). Existential isolation: Theory, empirical findings, and clinical considerations. In R. G. Menzies, R. E. Menzies, & G. A. Dingle (Eds.), Existential concerns and cognitive-behavioral procedures: An integrative approach to mental health. New York: Springer. 
  • Chau, R. F., Sawyer, W. N., Greenberg, J., Mehl, M. R., & Sbarra, D. A. (2021). Emotional recovery following divorce: Will the real self-compassion please stand up? Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
  • Lawrence, A. V., Alkozei, A., Irgens, M. S., Acevedo-Molina, M. C., Brener, S. A., Chandler, A. B., Chau, R. F., Doyle, C. Y., McKinney, A. L., Price, S. N., Shanholtz, C. E., Van Etten, E. J., Ver Hoeve, E. S., Sbarra, D. A., & O’Connor, MF. (2020). Think again: Adaptive repetitive thought as a transdiagnostic treatment for individuals predisposed to repetitive thinking styles. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration
  • Helm, P. J., Lifshin, U., Chau, R. F., & Greenberg, J. (2019). Existential isolation and death thought accessibility. Journal of Research in Personality, 82, 103845. 

Dissertation Title:

  • Tragedy and Redemption: A Feasibility and Acceptability Study of an Existential Narrative Therapy for Adults Following Marital Separation

Courses Taught: 

  • PSY 352 - Introduction to Personality Psychology (2022)
  • PSY 360 - Social Psychology (2022)
  • PSY 368 - Psychology of Terrorism (2020-2021)

*Year listed indicates when this individual last taught the specified course.

Updated: 05/09/24


  • B.A. & B.Ec. Philosophy/Political Science and International Relations/Economics/Quantitative Economics, University of Western Australia
  • Graduate Diploma in Psychology, Australian National University
  • B.A. (Honours) Psychology, University of Melbourne
  • M.A. Psychology, University of Arizona