DBT-RU Staff

DBT-RU is an official practicum training site for students in the GSAPP school psychology programs and for the Clinical Ph.D. program at Rutgers University. Interested students can apply by contacting Dr. Rizvi.

Shireen Rizvi


Director: Shireen L. Rizvi, PhD, ABPP, is Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University where she also holds affiliate appointments in the psychology department and the Department of Psychiatry. She completed her internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the VA Boston/National Center for PTSD. Her research interests include improving outcomes, training, and dissemination of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for the treatment of complex and severe populations. Dr. Rizvi has received funding from the National Insitute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) for her research. Her work has resulted in over 60 peer-reviewed articles and chapters. Dr. Rizvi is board certified in Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology and in Dialectical Behavior Therapy. She is President of the Board of ISITDBT and was its conference program chair for 2 years. She has trained hundreds of practitioners in DBT from around the world and received the Spotlight on a Mentor Award from the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies in 2017.


dbt staff photo

Standing L-R: Eitan Schur, Alex King, Michael Marks, Melissa Kearney, Kate Bailey, Liza Pincus, Maria Alba, Jessica Weatherford, Christine Cho, Skye Fitzpatrick, Chris Hughes
Sitting L-R: Denise Guarino, Molly St. Denis, Shireen Rizvi, April Yeager, An Nyugen


Students with Shireen Rizvi
Dr. Shireen Rizvi received the “Spotlight on a Mentor” award from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) in 2017. Rizvi was nominated for the honor by her students, and she is pictured here (front row, center) with some of her current and past students.



Clinicians and Research Associates 2018-2019

Alexandra King is a clinical Ph.D. student at Rutgers University. She received her B.A. in psychology from Cornell University. Following graduation she worked as the treatment coordinator on a study of DBT for suicidal adolescents at the University of Washington. She has had clinical experience working with BPD, depression, anxiety, and treatment in an integrated care setting. Her research interests include the treatment processes in DBT, emotion dysregulation, validation and invalidation, and severe psychological disorders in a family context.

Binh-an Nguyen is a clinical Psy.D. candidate at GSAPP who received her B.A. in Piano Performance from the University of California, San Diego. Prior to graduate school, she worked as a peer specialist at the San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital. Since arriving to GSAPP, she has externed as a therapist at the Rutgers College Counseling Center, Behavioral Neurology program at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, and Metropolitan Correctional Center (NYC), while also having worked as a Psychology Intern at the United Nations. Additionally, she established the Family Connections program at the Rutgers DBT Clinic (DBT-RU). Currently in her fourth year, she externs at both the Manhattan Psychiatric Center (NYC) and DBT-RU. 

Chris Hughes is a 5th year 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, emotion dysregulation, substance use, and behavioral medicine. His clinical experiences include: working as an individual and group therapist at DBT-RU, Trinitas regional medical center's child and adolescent outpatient unit, 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, experiential avoidance, repetitive negative thinking, treatment and assessment development, and the incorporation of mobile technology into treatment and research.

Christine Cho Laurine is a clinical Psy.D. student at GSAPP. She received her B.A. from Loyola University Maryland. Her clinical experiences include working as a clinician at the Rutgers Youth Anxiety and Depression Clinic (YAD-C). She also provides cognitive behavioral therapies for PTSD across the developmental spectrum, including children and adolescents who have experienced sexual abuse at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and adults with a range of trauma histories at the Rutgers Psychological Services Clinic. At DBT-RU, she provides individual therapy, in addition to leading/co-leading DBT skills and Family Connections groups. Her research and clinical interests involve mechanisms of change in evidence-based interventions for anxiety disorders, OCD, and PTSD for youth and adult populations.

Denise Guarino is a third-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.

Kate Bailey is a second year clinical Psy.D. student at GSAPP. She received her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Vermont in 2013. Following graduation, she spent four years at McLean Hospital where she helped provide DBT treatment for adults and adolescents with BPD and/or associated difficulties. Additional clinical experiences include providing cognitive behavioral treatment as a therapist at Rutgers Counseling, ADAP, & Psychiatric Services (CAPS) and the Psychological Services Clinic at GSAPP. Currently, she provides comprehensive DBT treatment to adults and adolescents at DBT-RU. She also works as a therapist at the Foster Care Counseling Project (FCCP) where she applies evidence-based childhood trauma models to help alleviate suffering from traumatic stress, abuse, and neglect. Her primary interests include BPD, non-suicidal self-injury, trauma, suicidal behaviors, and LGBTQ mental health.

Liza Pincus is a third-year clinical Psy.D. student at GSAPP. She received her B.A. in History and Literature from Harvard University in 2012. Her clinical experiences outside of her work in the DBT-RU clinic include working with children and adolescents in foster care, working with veterans and civilians with anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder, and working in integrated behavioral healthcare. Her primary interests include treating individuals with emotion regulation difficulties and anxiety disorders, as well as increasing treatment access through the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based treatments. 

Maria Alba is a second year Clinical Psy.D. student at GSAPP. She received her B.A. from Rutgers University in Psychology and Women's & Gender Studies. Her clinical experiences include providing individual and family evidence-based trauma treatment to children, adolescents, and families involved in the resource care system; treating adults at the Center for Psychological Services at GSAPP; and co-leading a Family Connections group at DBT-RU. She previously was a research assistant for DBT-RU, and this is her first year on team. Her research and clinical interests include trauma, emotion dysregulation, DBT, BPD, and children and adolescent populations.

Michael Marks is a third-year clinical Psy.D. student at GSAPP. He received his B.A. in Psychology and Human Development from the University of Maryland in 2012. He then worked in Philadelphia, PA as a Diagnostic Vocational Evaluator and Job Coach for Goodwill Industries where he assisted people with disabilities and disadvantages in securing and maintaining competitive employment. Michael has gained clinical experience as a psychotherapist treating a range of populations and psychosocial issues including college students at the Rutgers Counseling, ADAP, & Psychiatric Services (CAPS), community adults at the Rutgers Center for Psychological Services, community adults, adolescents, families and veterans at the Rutgers Anxiety Disorders Clinic, and couples at The New Jersey Couples Clinic. His primary interests include cognitive-behavioral acceptance-based treatment of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and emotion dysregulation, and emotionally-focused therapy for couples experiencing relational discord.

Molly St. Denis is a third-year clinical Psy.D. student at GSAPP. She received her B.A. in English and Political Science from Lehigh University in 2012. Following graduation, she moved to San Francisco and worked as the Study Coordinator for a depression research study at the University of California, San Francisco. Her clinical experiences include working as a clinician at the Rutgers University counseling center, working with adults and teenagers at the Rutgers Anxiety Disorders Clinic, treating adults with Parkinson's Disease and depression at the Behavioral Neurology lab at RWJMS, and working as an individual and group therapist at DBT-RU. Her primary interests include mindfulness-based treatments for individuals with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and other issues related to emotional dysregulation.

Skye Fitzpatrick is a postdoctoral fellow in the DBT-RU lab and the Center of Alcohol Studies. She received her B.A. from Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS) and completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Ryerson University (Toronto, ON) under Dr. Janice Kuo’s mentorship in 2018. Dr. Fitzpatrick also completed her predoctoral internship in clinical psychology in 2018 at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, WA. Clinically, she is focused on the treatment of borderline personality disorder (BPD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with a specific focus on dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). As a researcher, Dr. Fitzpatrick is interested in studying emotion regulation and dysregulation processes in the treatment of these disorders, and identifying ways to streamline and refine concurrent treatments for individuals with BPD and PTSD. 

Research Assistants 2018-2019

April Yeager is a post-baccalaureate research assistant at DBT-RU. She graduated from Rutgers University with a bachelors degree in Psychology, minoring in Cognitive Science and Sociology. Previously, she has interned on the Adult Inpatient Psychiatric Unit at Rutgers University Behavioral Healthcare and worked as a research assistant for the Institute for Research on Youth Depression and Prevention. In addition to working at DBT-RU she currently works as a research assistant for the Division of Addiction Psychiatry for Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Her clinical interests include suicidality, mood disorders, substance use, and BPD. In the future, April plans to pursue a PsyD in Clinical Psychology.

Eitan Scher is a senior at Rutgers University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Religion. He is currently working on his Honors Thesis examining how mindfulness meditation effects time perception with Dr. David Wilder. In addition to his thesis, he is working as a research assistant in Dr. Laurie Rodman’s Social Cognition Lab and with Scarlet Listeners, a Rutgers University peer-counseling service. Eitan hopes to continue research by pursuing a PhD in Clinical or Cognitive Psychology studying mindfulness, meditation, religious experiences and perception. 

Jessica Weatherford is a first year Clinical Psy.D. student at GSAPP. She received her B.S. from California Polytechnic State University, her M.B.A. from St. Mary's College of California and her M.S. from Chapman University. She was previously the Director of Organizational Development and Learning at the Girl Scouts of Northern California. She currently works as a clinician at University Behavioral Health Care with the Substance Abuse Treatment Services program, providing group therapy to women recovering from substance abuse in addition to the Rutgers Center for Psychological Services. Her interests include borderline personality disorder, trauma, emotional dysregulation and the role of mindfulness in various treatment modalities.

Melissa Kearney is a Fifth year in the School of Arts and Sciences + SEBS, Double majoring in Psychology and Dietetics (Nutritional Science) with an expressed interest in psychopharmacology and neurobiology. In the lab, she is working on running a current study that examines the impact of invalidation and sad mood on aggressive behavior. Melissa hopes to pursue a Ph.D in clinical psychology to research mood, personality, & eating dysregulation disorders, further study to improve future treatments, and to become a registered nutrition expert (RDN).