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 RizviDirector: 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. Dr. Rizvi received the Spotlight on a Mentor Award from the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies in 2017.

DBT-RU Staff

The DBT-RU staff. Back row (L-R):Maria Alba, Alexandra King, Christine Laurine, Molly St. Denis, Katherine Bailey, Christopher Hughes, Kiki Fehling, Binh-an Nguyen, Gianna DiStasio. Front row (L-R): Denise Guarino, Alexandra Hittman, Shireen Rizvi, Nikki Eskenasi.


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 2017-2018

Alex Hittman is a fourth-year clinical Psy.D. student at GSAPP. She received her BA in Psychology from Johns Hopkins University in 2012. 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 experiences include working as a clinician at Rutgers Counseling, ADAP, & Psychiatric Services (CAPS), Family Medicine at Monument Square (FMMS), and at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety in Philadelphia. Her interests include DBT, BPD, mindfulness-based treatments, and evidence-based treatments for anxiety disorders.

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 and in the Behavioral Neurology program at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, while also having worked as a Psychology Intern at the United Nations. Currently in her third year, she externs at both the Metropolitan Correctional Center (NYC) and Rutgers DBT Clinic (DBT-RU); she additionally leads the Family Connections program 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 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.

Kiki Fehling is a fifth-year clinical Ph.D. 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, non-suicidal 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 fourth-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 developmental disabilities, providing individual and group therapy to veterans and civilians at an Anxiety Disorders Clinic, and providing comprehensive DBT treatment to individuals diagnosed with BPD. She also currently works as a clinician at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, conducting assessments and treatment with individuals with serious mental illness. Her interests include anxiety, trauma, and emotion regulation, as well as the implementation of evidence-based practice.

Molly St. Denis is a second-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 UCSF. Her clinical experiences include working as a therapist for students at the Rutgers Counseling, ADAP, & Psychiatric Services (CAPS), working with adults and teenagers suffering from anxiety disorders (including veterans suffering from symptoms of PTSD) at the Rutgers Anxiety Disorders Clinic, and treating adults suffering from Parkinson's Disease and depression at the Behavioral Neurology lab. Her primary interests include mindfulness-based treatments for individuals with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and/or difficulty regulation emotions.

Research Assistants

Maria Alba is a first year Clinical Psy.D. student at GSAPP. She received her B.A. from Rutgers University in Psychology and Women's & Gender Studies. She currently works with the Foster Care Counseling Project, providing individual and family therapy to children, adolescents, and families involved in the foster care system. Her interests include trauma and emotion dysregulation, as well as working with children and adolescent populations.

Kate Bailey is a first year clinical Psy.D. student at GSAPP. She received her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Vermont in 2013. Following graduation, she worked as a residential counselor and clinical educator at McLean Hospital for four years. During this time, she implemented a therapeutic curriculum and provided comprehensive DBT treatment for adults and adolescents with BPD. She currently works as a therapist at Rutgers Counseling, ADAP, & Psychiatric Services (CAPS) and the Psychological Services Clinic at GSAPP. Her interests include BPD, non-suicidal self-injury, trauma, suicidal behaviors, and incorporating mobile technology into treatment and research.

Gianna Di Stasio is a senior in the School of Arts and Sciences, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Linguistics. She is currently working on her Honors Thesis, which is examining the impacts of invalidation and sad mood on aggressive behavior. In addition to her thesis, she is also teaching a semester long FIGS course, in which she guides first year undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing careers in psychology. Previously, she has worked as a research assistant in Dr. Edward Selby's Emotion and Psychopathology Lab. Gianna hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology to research emotion dysregulation, mood and personality disorders, and to hopefully continue her research in the effects of emotional invalidation.