DBT-RU is an official practicum training site for students in the GSAPP clinical and school psychology programs and for the Clinical Ph.D. program at Rutgers University. Interested students can apply by contacting Dr. Rizvi.
Back row (L-R): Christine Cho, Alex King, Kiki Fehling, Will Buerger, Emily Panza, Chris Hughes, Aditya Kulkarni, Binh-an Nguyen, Denise Guarino
Front row (L-R): Alex Hittman, Molly St. Denis, Shireen Rizvi, Nikki Eskenasi, Kailyn Rodriguez
Shireen L. Rizvi, Ph.D. ABPP, Directoris an associate professor of clinical psychology at GSAPP. She received her doctorate from the University of Washington where she was mentored by Dr. Marsha Linehan, the developer of DBT. Dr. Rizvi completed an internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the VA Boston Healthcare System. Her clinical areas of interest include borderline personality disorder, suicidal behaviors, posttraumatic stress disorder, and substance use. Her research areas include treatment development work to enhance outcomes for a greater number of individuals with severe and complex psychological problems. Dr. Rizvi is board certified in cognitive and behavioral therapy and a certified DBT clinician.
Clinicians and Research Associates
Alex Hittman is a third-year clinical Psy.D student at GSAPP. She received her BA in Psychology from Johns Hopkins University. After graduating, Alex spent two years as a residential counselor at the Sheppard & Enoch Pratt Hospital working with adolescents within a DBT framework. At GSAPP, her clinical experience includes working as a clinician at Rutgers Counseling, ADAP, & Psychiatric Services (CAPS) and at Family Medicine at Monument Square (FMMS). Her interests include DBT, BPD, mindfulness-based treatments, and other evidence-based treatments for depression and anxiety disorders.
Alexandra King is a second-year clinical Ph.D. student at Rutgers University. She received her B.A. in psychology from Cornell University in 2013. Following graduation she worked as the treatment coordinator on a study of DBT for suicidal adolescents at the University of Washington. Her current research interests include the processes of DBT, emotion dysregulation, validation and invalidation, and severe psychological disorders in a family context.
Binh-an Nguyen is a clinical psychology Psy.D candidate at GSAPP. She received her B.A. in Piano Performance from the University of California, San Diego. She has previously worked with clients as a peer specialist at the San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital and as a therapist at the Rutgers Counseling Center. She currently works at Behavioral Neurology with clients who are experiencing neurodegenerative illnesses, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. She additionally interns at the United Nations and leads the Family Connections groups at DBT-RU.
Chris Hughes is a clinical Ph.D. student at Rutgers University. He received his BS from James Madison University and his MA in psychology from American University. His clinical interests include BPD, Suicidal and Self-Injurious Behaviors, Substance Use, and behavioral medicine. His clinical experiences include: working as an individual and group therapist at DBT-RU, the program for addictions consultation and treatment (PACT), family medicine at monument square, and the psychological services clinic at Rutgers University. His research interests include: BPD, DBT, Emotion Regulation, Treatment and Assessment Development, and the incorporation of Mobile Technology into Treatment and Research.
Christine Cho is a clinical Psy.D. student at GSAPP. She received her B.A. from Loyola University Maryland. Her research and clinical interests involve mechanisms of change in evidence-based treatments for anxiety/depression, trauma, and high-risk behaviors, with a particular interest in emotion regulation and parent-child interactions.
Denise Guarino is a second-year clinical Psy.D. student at GSAPP. She received her BA in Psychology from the University of Delaware. After graduation, Denise provided case management services for adults with co-morbid medical and mental health disorders. Her clinical experience at GSAPP includes providing Cognitive Behavioral treatment to children and adolescents with a variety of anxiety and mood disorders. Her interests include implementing evidence based treatments that target anxiety, depression, and emotion dysregulation across adolescent and adult populations.
Emily Panza, M.S. is a Ph.D. candidate in Clinical Psychology at Rutgers University. She received her B.A. in Psychology from the College of the Holy Cross in 2010 and her M.S. in Psychology from Rutgers in 2015. At DBT-RU, Emily has served as the DBT Skills Group Leader as well as an individual therapist. She also works as a clinician in the Department of Family Medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, where she provides evidencee-based treatment for individuals with co-morbid psychological and medical disorders, and at the Rutgers Anxiety Disorders Clinic, which specializes in the treatment of veterans with PTSD and individuals with OCD, GAD and other anxiety disorders. Emily's research examines: 1) the causes and treatment of obesity, particularly in LGB women, and 2) the integration of primary care and behavioral health services.
Kiki Fehling is a fourth-year clinical PhD student at Rutgers University. She received her BA from Yale in 2011. Post-graduation, she worked as a research assistant in Massachusetts General Hospital's psychiatry department. Her current research focuses on emotion dysregulation, nonsuicidal self-injury, suicide, and LGBTQ mental health. She has gained clinical experience working with BPD, PTSD, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and substance use.
Nicole Eskenasi is a third-year clinical Psy.D. student at GSAPP. She received her BA in Psychology and Spanish from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her clinical experiences include working as a behavioral consultant for dually diagnosed individuals with intellectual disabilities, and as a clinician at the Rutgers Anxiety Disorders Clinic, which specializes in working with veterans and civilians with PTSD, OCD, and other anxiety disorders. Her interests include anxiety, trauma, and emotion regulation, as well as the implementation of evidence-based practice.
Will Buerger is a fourth-year clinical Psy.D. student at GSAPP. He received his B.A. from Gettysburg College in 2011. His clinical experiences include working with veterans and civilians suffering from symptoms of PTSD, OCD, and related anxiety disorders at the Rutgers Anxiety Disorders Clinic; acting as a group therapist within the Rutgers Group Psychotherapy Services Program; providing comprehensive DBT treatment to individuals diagnosed with BPD; and providing group and milieu psychotherapy to individuals suffering from a variety of forms of SMI and comorbid disorders at New York Presbyterian Hospital's Westchester Campus. His primary clinical and research interests include depression, anxiety, and trauma, as well as the treatment mechanisms involved in different cognitive-behavioral interventions.
Aditya Kulkarni is a senior in the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program, triple majoring in Cell Biology and Neuroscience, English Literature and Psychology. He is currently conducting his senior honors thesis in Psychology with Dr. Timothy A. Otto, researching the contributions of specific subcellular regions of the hippocampus to various learning paradigms. The past two summers, he participated in a summer undergraduate research fellowship (Dorothy and David Cooper Scholarship) to conduct an independent project on the contributions of dorsal hippocampus to object-place learning. Aditya has also worked with Dr. Mark A. Gluck at the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience at Rutgers-Newark, investigating the cognitive correlates of response to SSRI antidepressants in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Aditya ultimately hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology to research the neural correlates of various mood and personality disorders and to work directly with clients to mitigate their distress from their respective conditions.
Kailyn Rodriguez is an undergraduate junior at Rutgers University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Women's and Gender Studies. She has previously worked as a research assistant in the Department of Chemistry with Dr. Gregory Herzog studying meteorites. She plans to continue onto graduate school for neuropsychology.
Molly St. Denis is a first-year clinical Psy.D. student at GSAPP. She received her BA in English Literature and Political Science from Lehigh University. After graduating, she worked as a research assistant and then as Study Coordinator for a depression research study in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She has also worked with adult and children survivors of domestic violence. At GSAPP, her clinical experience includes working as a clinician at Rutgers Counseling, ADAP, & Psychiatric Services (CAPS). Her interests include difficulty regulating emotions, mood and anxiety disorders, and mindfulness-based treatments such as DBT.