Richard Spates

Photo of Richard Spates
C. Richard Spates (Rick)
Professor Emeritus (Retired)
(269) 387-4329
2502 Wood Hall, Mail Stop 5439
Mailing address: 
Department of Psychology
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5439 USA
  • Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, University of Illinois, 1976
  • M.A., Clinical Psychology, University of Illinois, 1975
  • M.A., Behavior Analysis, Western Michigan University, 1972
  • B.S., Psychology, Western Michigan University, 1970
Research interests: 
  • Clinical psychology
  • Cross-cultural psychology
  • Professional and research ethics

Dr. C. Richard Spates is a professor emeritus in the Department of Psychology at Western Michigan University. He retired Dec. 2016.

After completing his Ph.D. degree in clinical psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana, he began his professional career as a mental health executive with the Michigan Department of Mental Health in 1976. He held several positions of increasing responsibility with Michigan DMH until 1987, whereupon he assumed the role of professor and director of clinical training in psychology at WMU.  He served as chair of the department for three years during early 1990s, and returned to the role of director of clinical training in 1993. He directs the Anxiety Disorders Laboratory.

Spates supervises ongoing clinical and research teams of graduate students. He and his students have published widely in the areas of anxiety disorders (i.e., specific fears, social anxiety), clinical depression, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. His laboratory work includes both applied (i.e., brief treatments of specific phobias, treatment of PTSD, treatment of social anxiety) and translational investigations (i.e. animal models of PTSD, role of d-cycloserine in enhancing outcomes of exposure-based therapies).

He has been especially interested in dismantling research with efficacious treatment packages, and more recently in mediation analyses. Recent work in his Anxiety Disorders Laboratory has addressed the development and testing of computer-based interventions for both anxiety and depressive disorders, and their application to specific populations of interest (i.e. postpartum depression, geriatric depression, outpatient ambulatory populations).

Recent research activity.