Faculty Profile

Gyda Swaney, Ph.D.

Gyda Swaney, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology

Email: gyda.swaney@umontana.edu
Office: Skaggs Bldg 370
Office Hours:

Office hours are by appointment; please email.


  • Psych 362, Multicultural Psychology
  • Psych 534, Applied Clinical Methods
  • Psych 631, Multicultural Psychology

Personal Summary

As an American Indian psychologist working with American Indians in a rural setting, my clinical work has focused on trauma (victims and offenders of physical and sexual abuse), grief, depression, substance abuse and addiction, and crisis intervention. My clinical work orientation had been influenced primarily by holistic, cognitive-behavioral, and interpersonal approaches. My research has focused on trauma, grief, acculturation stress, behavioral health, and coping and resilience in American Indians and elderly American Indians. My research has been influenced by the methodological challenges that research with American Indians presents (e.g., traditional knowledge, indigenous methodology, tribal/community based participatory research, and ethics).

Notice to Applicants for Fall, 2019:

  • The Indians Into Psychology (InPsych) program will be accepting graduate students for 2019-2020 for the clinical Ph.D. program.  Both myself and incoming InPsych Program Director, Dr. Darren Calhoun, will be reviewing applications.  For more information on Dr. Calhoun.


PhD, The University of Montana, 1997

Minor, Forensic Psychology

Clinical Internship, Boston City Hospital/Boston University School of Medicine, 1986-1987

Emphasis: Multicultural Training

MA, The University of Montana, 1986

BA, The University of Montana, 1981

Double Major: Sociology and Psychology

Research Interests

MSU Subaward #G189-1-WR131 (Harmson, PI, P20 RR-16455-09) NIH-NCRR
P. Holkup, G. Swaney, J. Salois, & E. Salois, PIs.  09/30/2009 – 09/23/2011
Historical trauma and unresolved grief: A culturally anchored intervention for American Indians.
The major goals of this project are to: a) describe the experience of current grief among American Indian adults, b) explore the relationship of current grief to historical trauma, and c) pilot and evaluate a culturally anchored grief recovery intervention.


Field of Study

Multicultural and Cross-cultural psychology, Trauma, Grief, Resilience and Coping, and Acculturattion Stress. Expertise in American Indian mental health.


Morsette, A., van den Pol, R., Schuldberg, D., Swaney, G., & Stolle, D. (2012). Cognitive behavioral treatment for trauma symptoms in American Indian youth: Preliminary findings and issues in evidence-based practice and reservation culture. Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, DOI:10.1080/1754730X.2012.664865

Belcourt, A., Swaney, G., & Belcourt, G. (2011). Tribal health: Confronting health disparities and the boundaries of accessible care in Montana. Northwest Public Health, Spring/Summer.

Striegel-Moore, R., Rosselli, F., Holtzman, N., Dierker, L., Becker, A., & Swaney, G. (2011). Behavioral symptoms of eating disorders in Native Americans: Results from the Add Health Survey Wave III. International Journal of Eating Disorders, June.

Morsette, A., Swaney, G., Stolle, D., Schuldberg, D., van den Pol, R., & Neff-Young, M. (2009). Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS): School-based treatment on a rural Native American Indian reservation. Journal of Behavior therapy and Experimental Psychiatry,40(1), 169-178. doi: 10.1016/j.jbtep.2008.07.006

Angstman, S. Harris, K. J., Golbeck, A. L., Swaney, G. (2009). Cultural identification and smoking among American Indian adults in an urban setting. Ethnicity and Health, 14(3), 289-302.

Niemeier, J. P., Arango-Lasprilla, J. C., Kaholokula, J. K., Swaney, G. & Utsey, S. O. (2007, Spring). A multicultural examination of acculturation: Implications for medical and mental health professionals. Synopsis of a presentation at the American Psychological Association Convention, New Orleans, LA, August 18, 2006. Division 22 Newsletter, 34(3), 12-13.

Swaney, G. & Haddad, N. (2002, April). Effective partnering with tribal colleges in Montana to establish a mental health career pipeline. [Abstract]. Proceedings of the Bureau of Health Professions, Division of Health Careers Diversity & Development, Annual Project Directors Meeting. Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Silver Spring, MD.

Haddad, N., & Swaney, G.  (2001). The challenge of establishing a mental health career pipeline for Montana’s rural reservations. [Abstract.] Proceedings of the Bureau of Health Professions,Division of Health Careers Diversity & Development, Annual Project Directors Meeting. Health Resources & Service Administration Meeting, Washington, DC.

Azure, K., Buck, C., Fleming, C., Mahkuk, A., McClure, C., Saddler, S., & Swaney, G. (Producers/Writers), & Tyro, F. (Director). (1988). I can hear the birds sing. [video]. (Available from Indian Health Service, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Washington, DC.)


Belcourt, A., Swaney, G., & Kelley, A. (Accepted for publication). Indigenous methodologies in research: Social justice and sovereignty as the foundations of community based research. Evjen, B. & Shanley, K. (Eds.). “Mapping” Indigenous presence: Perspectives from Sámi and Native American Studies.

Wallace, K., & Swaney, G. (Accepted for publication). Protective factors and sources of strength in a sample of Native American older adults. International Journal of Aging and Human Development.


Klemann, D., Schuldberg, D., Ryan, P., Bruguier Zimmerman, M., & Swaney, G. (2009). CBITS Addendum for classroom application (4 session and 2 session versions).

Harris, K., Swaney, G., Reddies, K., Big Left Hand, R., Miller, S., Marcus, B., Maxon, J., Angstman, S. (2004). Missoula Indian Center Adult Tobacco Use and General Health Survey Report. Missoula, MT: Author.


The Nancy Borgmann Diversity Award. (2012). The University of Montana, Missoula, MT.

The 2012 Award for Outstanding Achievement to the Montana Psychological Association (Diversity Coordinator and Member, Board of Directors) by the American Psychological Association.

Racial Justice Award. (2009). YWCA, Missoula, MT.

Outstanding Mentor Award. (2008). Bridges to the Baccalaureate, NSF Grant, The University of Montana – Missoula (PI: Penny Kukuk).

AIG Dept/College

College of Health and Biomedical Sciences, Public and Community Health Sciences


  • Montana Psychological Association
  • Society of Indian Psychologists
  • American Psychological Association