B.A., Summa Cum Laude, Wake Forest University, membership in Phi Beta Kappa and Psi Chi
M.A., Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Emory University
Clinical Externship in Pediatric Psychology, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
Clinical Internship/Residency, Duke University Medical Center
Postdoctoral Training in Forensic Psychology at the Mendota Mental Health Institute
Board Certified in Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology (ABPP)
Research and Authorship:
In addition to nearly 10 years of training in cognitive-behavioral psychology to earn my doctorate, postdoctoral certification, and licensure, my dissertation was on behavior therapy and I have completed many other research projects on the application of behavioral psychology for clinical benefits, as well as personality development, motivation, and social skills. My research is published in the top behavioral psychology journals, such as Behavior Therapy, The Behavior Analyst, and The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Combined, my studies have been cited over 1,500 times in the clinical literature. I also have published papers on social-skills assessment/treatment and the development of children's locus of control.
One unique feature of my practice is that I am a former university professor, where I taught and conducted research on the assessment and treatment of mental illness, personality development, motivation, social skills, positive psychology, and research methodology. I have published and/or presented over 75 articles on these topics and I draw upon my extensive research and teaching experience when working with my clients. I firmly believe in educating my clients about the therapy process and working collaboratively with them to treat symptoms, enhance performance, and improve quality of life.
In addition to normal clinical services, because of my 20 years of work in higher education, I often consult with college-bound clients on matters related to college applications and selection. I served on the faculty at small liberal arts colleges (e.g., Beloit College, Oglethorpe University) and larger research universities (e.g., Emory University). I was the Chairperson of the Division of Behavioral Sciences at Oglethorpe for over a decade. I regularly participated in scholarship weekends, recruitment activities, and campus life events. This experience helps me provide an insider's perspective to students and their parents as they consider their college options. I retired recently with emeritus status to focus more on my clinical practice, but remain very connected to the academy.
I have significant experience working with individuals who have complicated medical and psychological issues. I completed an externship at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, internship at Duke University Medical Center, and I was on staff at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, where I treated both children and adults. In these positions I worked closely with physicians, occupational and physical therapists, and other healthcare providers to provide comprehensive, effective treatments for many acute and chronic health conditions.
My training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) took place over the course of an entire year-long internship at Duke University Medical Center in 1995, where I completed the CBT-DBT primary rotation on the mood disorder and personality disorder inpatient and outpatient units and the health psychology-behavioral medicine secondary rotation. My mentor and supervisor was Professor Emeritus in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Dr. Clive Robins, himself a co-author with Dr. Marsha Linehan on several DBT manuscripts and a BehavioralTech Foundation DBT Master Trainer. During this year I conducted daily DBT inpatient and outpatient group therapies, as well as individual sessions. I also participated in DBT peer supervision meetings and research grant meetings. Over the next 20 years I enhanced my DBT skills and offered individual and group sessions. Currently I offer DBT only on an individual therapy basis (i.e., I do not currently offer groups).
In addition to treating mental health conditions, I conduct assessments and provide education on a variety of behavioral health issues, such as for pain management, weight loss, smoking cessation, exercise, sleep hygiene, and other issues. I received supervised training in these topics at Duke University Medical Center from Dr. James Blumenthal, Dr. Frank Keefe, and Dr. Richard Surwit.
I also consult with athletes to share with them performance enhancing strategies that are based on cognitive-behavioral psychology and health psychology, as well as my expertise in motivation and locus of control - two topics on which I have published and consulted for decades. I also draw upon my experience as a competitive swimmer (4yr All-State; 6-time conference champion and 2yr-team captain), former swim coach (YMCA plus ASCA Level 2 credentialing), and triathlete. Sports were an important part of my development. They taught me many important skills, such as mental toughness, goal-setting, time-management, team-building, and resilience, all of which I apply to other areas of my life.
My two-year postdoctoral training was in a forensic mental hospital. At this facility I learned to perform a variety of forensic psychological tasks, such as competency and insanity evaluations. I also was supervised in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I followed this training with additional research and course development, to the point where I regularly taught a Forensic Psychology course and a Psychology and Law course at my university. While this is a small component of my clinical career, I am available to provide forensic services and expert testimony if the case falls within my areas of expertise.