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 Institute 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 70 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters as well as a book entitled Chain Analysis in Dialectical Behavior Therapy [LINK TO AMAZON or GUILFORD?]. Dr. Rizvi is board certified in Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology and in Dialectical Behavior Therapy. She is currently on the Board of the Association of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT; www.abct.org) and is a Past President of the Board of ISITDBT. 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
Top Row, left to right: Maria Alba, Jeremy Grove, Jeganee Srijeyanthan, Melissa Kearney, Liza Pincus, Shireen Rizvi, Molly St. Denis, April Yeager, Jesse Finkelstein, Jessica Weatherford, Kate Bailey
Bottom Row, left to right: Alexandra King, Molly Stern, Qing Yin, Michael Marks, Zoe Verrico 


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 2019-2020

Alexandra King is a fifth-year clinical Ph.D. student at Rutgers University. She received her B.A. in psychology from Cornell University, following which she worked as the treatment coordinator at the University of Washington on a study of DBT for suicidal adolescents. She has had clinical experience with DBT for adults and adolescents, varied mental and physical disorders in a behavioral health setting, and exercise anxiety in a cardiac rehab center. Her research interests include the treatment processes and mechanisms in DBT, emotion dysregulation more broadly, and dissemination and implementation of behavioral interventions.

Qing Yin is a first-year clinical psychology Ph.D. student at Rutgers University. She received her B.S. in psychology from University of Washington, following which she assisted a study on computerized DBT skills training. She was then trained in the philosophy and principles of behavior analysis and received her M.S. in clinical behavioral psychology at Eastern Michigan University. Her interest centers around translating science to clinical practice to improve behavioral interventions for emotion dysregulation and suicide. Her research interests include emotion dysregulation, suicide ideation and behavior, process of change in DBT, repeated measure designs, and novel approaches of DBT implementation.

Jessica Weatherford is a second 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 in the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program at Rutgers University and has worked as a clinician at University Behavioral Health Care with the Substance Abuse Treatment Services program. Her interests include borderline personality disorder, trauma, emotional dysregulation and the role of mindfulness in various treatment modalities.

Molly St. Denis is a fourth-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 an individual and group therapist clinician at the Rutgers University counseling center, Rutgers Anxiety Disorders Clinic, Center for the Treatment of Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania, and DBT-RU. Her primary interests include mindfulness-based treatments for individuals with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and other issues related to emotional dysregulation.

Michael Marks is a fourth-year clinical Psy.D. student at GSAPP. He received his B.A. in Psychology and Human Development from the University of Maryland and then worked in Philadelphia, PA as a Diagnostic Vocational Evaluator and Job Coach for Goodwill. Michael gained clinical experience as an individual and group therapist at DBT-RU, Family Medicine at Monument Square, Rutgers Anxiety Disorders Clinic, and Rutgers Counseling, ADAP, & Psychiatric Services (CAPS). He also gained experience as a couples therapist at The New Jersey Couples Clinic. Michael's primary interests involve cognitive-behavioral, acceptance-based treatment of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and emotion dysregulation, as well as emotionally-focused therapy for couples experiencing relational discord.

Jeremy Grove is a postdoctoral research associate working primarily with Dr. Evan Kleiman (Psychology Dept., School of Arts & Sciences). Dr. Grove completed his pre-doctoral internship at Duke University Medical Center, and received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from University of Utah in 2019. From both a clinical and research perspective, Dr. Grove’s focus is on suicide prevention. In his clinical work, Dr. Grove has experience with contemporary cognitive-behavioral therapies with an emerging specialty in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Dr. Grove’s research utilizes advanced technology (e.g., ecological momentary assessment) to better understand when and why people decide to harm themselves, with the ultimate goal of improving accuracy in suicide risk assessment, prevention, and treatment. Dr. Grove is excited to work with adolescent and adult clients at DBT-RU!

Liza Pincus is a fourth-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 third year Clinical Psy.D. student at GSAPP. She received her B.A. from Rutgers University in Psychology and Women's & Gender Studies. Maria has gained clinical experience in providing comprehensive DBT to adolescents and adults at DBT-RU; 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 currently volunteers with the Rutgers Community Partners in Youth Mental Health. Her research and clinical interests include trauma, parental involvement in child treatment, DBT, BPD, and children and adolescent populations.

Kate Bailey is a third 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. She has also applied evidence-based childhood trauma models to help alleviate suffering from traumatic stress, abuse, and neglect. Currently, she provides comprehensive DBT treatment to adults and adolescents at DBT-RU. She also conducts cognitive behavioral treatment at an integrated health care center. Her primary interests include BPD, trauma, non-suicidal self-injury, suicidal behaviors, and LGBTQ mental health.

Jesse Finkelstein is a 2nd-year clinical Psy.D. student at Rutgers University. He received his BA from Brown University in Political Science and Art Semiotics. His clinical interests include BPD, emotion dysregulation, sexual minorities, and the impact of technology and social media on mental health. His clinical experiences include working as an individual and group therapist at the Rutgers CAPS, and the psychological services clinic at Rutgers University. His research interests include BPD, DBT, emotion regulation, sexual minority status, imagination and curiosity behavior, and the incorporation of digital technology into treatment and research.


Research Assistants 2019-2020

Melissa Kearney is a Sixth year in SEBS, double majoring in Psychology and Dietetics (Nutritional Science) with an expressed interest in psychopharmacology and neurobiology. In the lab, she is assisting in Christopher Hughes’ dissertation that examines the impact of skills training on rumination that’s currently active in the New Brunswick community. Melissa hopes to continue studying both food science and psychology to study eating regulation and mood regulation together, continue to partake in research to improve future treatments, and become a registered nutrition expert (RDN).

April Yeager is a post-baccalaureate research assistant at DBT-RU. She graduated from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, minoring in Cognitive Science and Sociology. Previously, she worked as a research assistant for the Institute for Research on Youth Depression and Prevention and 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.

Jeganee Srijeyanthan is a senior at Rutgers University, double majoring in Psychology and Cognitive Science and minoring in Business Administration. Previously, she has worked as an addiction and co-occurring disorder group counselor intern and as a lab assistant. She is currently a member of an on-campus peer-counseling organization, Scarlet Listeners. Jeganee has an interest in working with mood disorders and BPD, and she plans to pursue a PsyD in Clinical Psychology.

Zoe Verrico is an undergraduate senior majoring in Psychology and double minoring in Criminology and Sociology. Aside from being a research assistant in Dr. Rizvi’s DBT lab, she was previously a research assistant in Dr. Selby’s Emotion & Psychopathology Lab and is currently helping Dr. Riley at GSAPP with upcoming projects and papers in her Behavioral Medicine D&I Lab. Zoe is a trained paraprofessional in Scarlet Listeners, a Rutgers University peer-counseling service. She also volunteered at the Children’s Specialized Hospital this summer, assisting two psychologists with group therapy sessions for children with various behavioral issues. Her interests are: anxiety disorders with a focus on OCD, Borderline Personality Disorder, suicide ideation, rumination, mindfulness, and making mental health services more accessible for underserved populations. She plans to earn her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology.

Molly Stern is a first year clinical Psy.D. student at GSAPP. Upon receiving her B.A. in Sociology and Economics from Wesleyan University in 2014, she moved out to San Francisco where she worked for a non-profit foundation before going back to school to study psychology at U.C. Berkeley. Her clinical experiences include working at the Crisis Support Services of Alameda County as a Crisis Counselor and Shift Supervisor. Molly is interested in psychological impacts of health crises, emotional dysregulation, anxiety disorders, and how mindfulness-based treatments affect outcomes. She is very excited to be doing research with DBT-RU!