Instructor, Psychology, CFA Treasurer
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
School of Social Sciences
Capilano University Faculty Association

604.986.1911 ext. 2475
Fir Building, room FR405


PhD, Psychology, Simon Fraser University, 1992

MA, Psychology, Simon Fraser University, 1983

BA, Psychology, Simon Fraser University, 1981

"Education is a key to change - in yourself, your life, & in the world - a key to innovation, to creativity, to an open mind, a deeper understanding & the great ideas we need to transform our world."


Janet Waters (PhD, Simon Fraser University, 1992) is a research psychologist, instructor, and registered clinical counsellor whose research interests are in the topics of personality, cognitive, and organizational psychology.

After working for some years in accounting, Waters completed her BA and MA in Psychology at Simon Fraser University in 1983. An educational pathway that included research, counselling psychology and teaching allowed her to unite her various interests in mental health, literature, creative writing, philosophy, history, and cognitive science, math, and computer science.

After graduating with her MA, Waters worked as a clinical counsellor in private practice and taught psychology in adult education before joining Capilano College in 1987 and beginning her PhD at Simon Fraser University. During her PhD, Waters taught at SFU and at Capilano, counselled clients in private practice, and continued to research topics in visual imagery, emotion, clinical psychology and personality.

Over 32 years at CapU, Waters taught in the Psychology department, the Commerce program, the Liberal Studies program, the Music Therapy program, and at the Art Therapy Institute. Her interests and background in clinical and research psychology led her to teach in the Art Therapy and Music Therapy programs; her work and volunteer experience in accounting and workplace psychology for a variety of large and small organizations led to teaching and administrative positions in the Commerce department and to conducting organizational research; and her interest in inter and cross-disciplinary education led her to help develop and teach in the Liberal Studies program. Her interdisciplinary teaching interests include the psychology of religion and spirituality, conservation psychology and indigenous psychology.

Janet is the past chair of the Psychology Department and of the Research Ethics Board and current treasurer of the Capilano Faculty Association. She is currently developing a BA Major in Psychology for CapU.

Over millennia, humans have tried to understand ourselves and the world. I'm interested in learning and teaching what Psychology has discovered in its short 140 years as a scientific discipline to answer those unanswered questions about how we think, feel, interact, develop, cope with adversity and meet life's challenges.

Engaged and effective teaching happens through stories that provoke our creative imagination, stick in our memories, have humour and emotional resonance, and lead to insight about ourselves and others. Stories that illustrate psychological findings can help us in our lives, relationships, and work to become thoughtful, knowledgeable, empathetic, and caring, make a better world, and have a life of meaning and purpose.

My past research studied visual imagery, emotional experience, and the role of imagery, cognition and sensation in emotional experience, personal development and creativity. My BA Honours thesis studied the relationship between ability to visualize and creativity (they were highly correlated), and my MA thesis studied the emotional and imagery responses to music. My PhD thesis was on experiences that led to profound personal transformation.

My recent research has focused on occupational stress and job satisfaction; and on organizational climate. I am currently researching student study strategies in this age of digital distractions, as tech distractions compromise our ability to deeply understand and remember what we have studied.

Waters, J. C. E. Imagery and creativity: The kind and degree of relationship between creativity and the ability to visualize. Unpublished Honours Thesis, 1980. 

Waters, J. C. E. Music and emotion: An examination of the imagery and emotion responses to music. Burnaby, BC: Simon Fraser University Press, 1983. 

Waters, J. C. E. The relation between creativity and spontaneous imagery. Paper presented at the Sixth American Imagery Conference, 1983. 

Waters, J. C. E. & Lyman, B. An examination of the imagery and emotion responses to music. Paper presented at the International Conference on the Psychology of the Arts, Wales. Bulletin of the British Psychological Society, 36, A138, 1983. 

Waters, J. C. E. & Lyman, B. Differential emotions and imagery timing, duration and order. Paper presented at the Seventh American Imagery Conference, 1983. 

Lyman, B. & Waters, J. C. E. Imagery and feeling evoked by various art forms. Paper presented at the Eighth American Imagery Conference, 1984. 

Waters, J. C. E. & Lyman, B. The relation between the degree of liking and experienced pleasantness of music and moods felt and perceived to be expressed by music. Paper presented at the Ninth International Colloquium on Empirical Aesthetics, 1985. 

Waters, J. C. E. & Lyman, B. Isomorphism of imagery and emotion occurring with music and painting stimuli. Paper presented at the Ninth International Colloquium on Empirical Aesthetics, 1985. 

Lyman, B. & Waters, J. C. E. The experiential loci and sensory qualities of various emotions. Motivation and Emotion, 10(1), 25-37, 1986. 

Lyman, B. & Waters, J. C. E. Patterns of imagery in various emotions. Journal of Mental Imagery, 13(1), 63-74. Paper presented at the Tenth American Imagery Conference, 1985. 1989. 

Waters, J. C. E. Metamorphosis: A phenomenological analysis of narrative descriptions of the experience of self-transformation. Burnaby, BC: Simon Fraser University Press, 1991. 

Waters, J. C. E. Causes and effects of workplace stress among faculty, staff and administrators at Capilano College, 2008. 

Waters, J. C. E. & Gilker, C. Findings of the 2013-2014 Climate Study of Capilano University Faculty: Final Report. Capilano Faculty Association, 2014.