Marty Sapp

Educational Psychology

Courses Typically Taught

Practicum, Research in Counseling Psychology

Research Areas

My primary areas of interest are cognitive-behavioral theories of counseling, adapting counseling theories to African Americans and Latinos, multicultural counseling, psychological hypnosis, and research methods. I have completed several studies that standardized hypnotizability measures with African American college students. In terms of research methods, I have interests in psychological measurement, effect sizes, confidence intervals and research designs.

Current Research/Projects

My current team, consisting of 5 students ranging from first through 4th year doctoral students. We have one major study that investigates obesity with African American women. Another interest of the research team is hypnosis to reduce weight and to help in the treatment of type II diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the prevalence of type II diabetes has increased, and when adults with type II diabetes do not control their illnesses, cardiovascular disease tend to shorten their lives. The literature suggests that combining hypnosis with the standard educational management of type II diabetes may be helpful. African Americans, American Indians, and Latinos are especially prone to type II diabetes, and we are interested in adapting hypnosis to these populations.

A third interest of the research team is the use of hypnosis to improve academic self-concept. The literature suggests that academic performance is positively correlated with academic self-concept. The qualitative literature suggests that hypnosis is effective with increasing ego-strength; therefore, my research team would like to conduct randomized trials to evaluate the effects of hypnosis on academic self-concept and related constructs. Finally, the research team is interested in adapting hypnosis and cognitive-behavioral strategies to African American , Latinos and other minority groups.

Professional Service (Editorial Boards, Offices)

  • Executive Associate Editor - Multicultural Learning and Teaching.
  • Editorial Board - The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis.
  • I served as an Ad Hoc Reviewer for the following journals - Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Journal of Counseling and Development, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, and The International Journal of Higher Education and Educational Planning.


  • Past-President-Division 30, The Society of Psychological Hypnosis, American Psychological Association.
  • School of Education Faculty Research Award, 2005.
  • Best Applied Paper, Division 30 of the American Psychological Association, 2005.
  • Distinguished Alumnus, University of Cincinnati, College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services, 2004.

Selected Publications

Recent Books

Sapp, M. (2015) Hypnosis, dissociation, and absorption: Theories, assessment, and treatment (2nd ed.). Charles C. Thomas Publisher.

This second edition adds information on the history of Division 30 (The Society of Psychological Hypnosis) of the American Psychological Association. In addition, this second edition presents sociophenomenological, regression, relaxation, and other contemporary theories of hypnosis. Applications of eye-movement techniques and hypnosis for children are included within the second edition. This book discusses hypnosis, dissociation, and absorption from a theoretical, assessment, and clinical perspective. Moreover, this text discusses the clinical implications of applying hypnosis to several overlapping psychological disorders such as dissociative identity disorder, borderline personality disorder, somatoform disorder, acute stress disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder.

This second edition also presents applications of hypnosis to type II diabetes. A new section on multicultural applications of hypnosis is presented in the second addition. Also, applications of hypnosis for African American and Latino patients are described. In addition, the uses of hypnosis for pain control, anxiety and stress, ego-strengthening, unipolar depression, smoking cessation, weight loss, and rehabilitation are described. This text provides treatment transcripts including, but not limited to, the following theoretical approaches: cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, Adlerian, and Ericksonian. This text clearly brings together assessment, research, dissociative disorders, and hypnotic treatment in one place. The presentation of verbatim transcripts allows a clinician to employ quality transcripts within a self-teaching format. Finally, a chapter on reliability, validity, effect sizes, and confidence intervals in hypnosis is presented.

Sapp, M. (2013). Test Anxiety: Applied research, assessment, and treatment interventions (3rd ed.). University Press of America.
This book was written to give students and researchers the confidence to understand, assess, and treat test anxiety.

Sapp, M. (2009). Psychodynamic, Affective, and Behavior Theories to Psychotherapy. Charles C. Thomas Publisher.

Psychodynamic, Affective, and Behavioral Theories to Psychotherapy is designed for clinicians who are interested in the three major approaches to psychotherapy: psychodynamic, affective and behavioral. In addition, graduate students in counseling psychology, clinical psychology, and related areas will find that these chapters with experiential exercises bring these theories to life. To facilitate the assimilation of material, key terms are in boldface, and many chapters have glossaries. Moreover, examination questions are provided at the end of each chapter. Moreover, the DSM-IV-TR is covered. Theories of psychotherapy are defined as specific skills that a clinician or student can master. Specifically, theories of psychotherapy are broken down into three phases or levels: beginning (Level I); intermediate (Level II), and action (Level III). Theories that are Level I are appropriate for establishing a counseling relationship. Level II counseling skills further enhance this initial counseling relationship. Level III theories are action-oriented theories of psychotherapy that are designed to move a client toward change. Since theories of psychotherapy are categorized into three phases and along three dimensions, psychodynamic, affective, and behavioral.

Theoretical eclecticism, haphazardly drawing from opposing theories, can lead to confusion and epistemological incompatibility. Technical eclecticism is the focus of this text, and this suggests that using procedures and techniques from many theories without endorsing the individual theories. This writer believes that it is possible to be eclectic within a broad theoretical framework without randomly trying to integrate diametrically opposite theories. Many books on psychotherapy do not address
counseling research, but this book provides a basis for why various forms of psychotherapy are effective.

Sapp, M. (2006). Basic Psychological Measurement, Research Design, and Statistics Without Out Math. Charles C. Thomas Publisher.

Basic Psychological Measurement, Research Designs, and Statistics Without Out Math is designed for students who are taking an introductory statistics class within the social sciences or a research methods, research design course, or measurement course.

Sapp, M. (2004). Cognitive-behavioral theories of counseling: Traditional and nontraditional approaches. Charles C. Thomas Publisher.

Cognitive-Behavioral Theories of Counseling: Traditional and Nontraditional Approaches is designed for clinicians who are interested in traditional and nontraditional cognitive-behavioral approaches to psychotherapy. Some readers may be aware of traditional behavioral approaches such as neobehaviorism, applied behavior analysis, cognitive-behavioral theory, social learning theory, personal constructs psychotherapy, and multimodal theory; however, there are several nontraditional cognitive-behavioral approaches to psychotherapy theory, such as the following: Adlerian theory, transactional analysis, and reality therapy. Nontraditional cognitive-behavioral personality theories did not develop from academic schools of behavior thought, nor are they associated with the largest behavioral organization—the American Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy.

Cognitive-behavioral theories are the strongest paradigm within the fields of psychotherapy and psychology. Even though many academic writers emphasize theoretical eclecticism, many theories of psychotherapy are epistemologically incompatible; nevertheless, a clinician can be eclectic with a general paradigm or classification of theories, such as cognitive-behavioral. Therefore, this book emphasizes to the clinician to be eclectic within the broad cognitive-behavioral umbrella, without haphazardly attempting to integrate opposing theories. In summary, books that present clinicians an in-depth discussion of both traditional and nontraditional cognitive-behavioral approaches to theories of psychotherapy have not been heretofore available. Finally, this book will emphasize the current framework of psychotherapy and psychology-cognitive-behavioral theories.

Chapters in Books

Sapp, M. (In Press). Obesity and Weight Loss. In G. Elkins (Ed.), Clinician’s Guide to Medical and Psychological Hypnosis: Foundations, Systems, Applications, and Professional Issues. Springer Publishing Company.

Obi, S., & Beachum, F., McCray, C., Omiteru, E., & Sapp, M. (2015). Using technology to prepare teachers and leaders in early childhood special education. In. F. Obiakor (Ed.), Critical Issues in Preparing Effective Early Childhood Special Education Teachers for the 21st Century Classroom: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, pages 141-154.

Obi, S., & Sapp, M. (2013). Diagnostic assessment: One of the effect ways of assessing learning. In A. Holliman (Ed.), Educational psychology: An international perspective. London, England: Routledge.

Sapp, M. (2010). Diagnosis and classification. International Encyclopedia of Education 3rd Edition. Edited by Eva Baker, Penelope Peterson, and Barry McGaw. United Kingdom, Elsevier.

Sapp. M. (2009). Counseling African American Adolescents in Milwaukee: The Alfred Adler Approach. The State of Education of Urban Learners and Possible Solutions: The Milwaukee Experience. Edited by Gray Williams and Festus E. Obiakor. Kendall, Hunt Publishing Company.

Journal Articles

Quant, M., Schilder,S., Sapp, M., Zhang, B., Baskin, T., & Rouse, L. (In Press). Group hypnotizability of inpatient adolescents. The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. The Official Journal of the Society of Psychological Hypnosis.

Sapp, M. (2014). Adlerian counseling and hypnosis: Strategies for African American adolescents. The Australian Journal of Clinical Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis, 36(1), 37-46.

Byom T. K. & Sapp, M. (2013). Comparison of effect sizes of three group treatments for weight loss. Sleep and Hypnosis, 15(1-2), 1-10.

Banks, T., Sapp, M., & Obiakor, F. (2013). Understanding B.F. Skinner: Building emotional competence in students with diverse learning needs. Multicultural Learning and Teaching.

Hunt, J., Aloma, A., Lira, E., Wohlers, H., Lopez, M., & Sapp, M. (2013). Attitudes towards patients with a mental illness: A comparative analysis of stigma in counseling students and nursing home care providers. The Wisconsin Counseling Journal, 27, 37-51.

Ling-Lun C., & Sapp, M. (2012). Classical test theory and item response theory for Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility with African American college students. Sleep and Hypnosis, 14(1-2), 13-19.

Sapp, M. (2012). Reliability, validity, effect sizes, and confidence intervals in multicultural teaching and learning research and scholarship. Multicultural Learning and Teaching, 7(2), 1-19, Article 8.

Sapp, M. (2010). School counseling for African American adolescents: The Alfred Adler approach. Multicultural Learning and Teaching, 5(2), 60-72.

Sapp, M. (2008). The effect sizes r and d in hypnosis research. European Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 8(1), 41-59.

Vesely, R.S., Crampton, F. E., Obiakor, F. E., & Sapp, M. (2008). The role of states in funding education to achieve social justice. Journal of Education Finance, 34(1), 56-74.

Sapp, M. , Obiakor, F. E., Scholze, S. & Gregas, A. J. (2007). Confidence intervals and hypnosis in the treatment of obesity. The Australian Journal of Clinical Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis, 28(2), 125-33.

Sapp, M., Obiakor, F.,E., Gregas, A., & Scholze, S. (2007). Mahalanobis Distance: A multivariate measure of effect in hypnosis research. Sleep and Hypnosis 9(2), 67-70.

Obiakor, F.E., Smith, D.J., & Sapp, M. (2007). Understanding the power of words in multicultural education. Multicultural Perspectives, 9(2), 36-42.

Marty Sapp Curriculum Vitae (PDF)