Ashley Doukas, M.A.

Ashley Doukas, M.A.

Ashley's primary research interests involve the embodiment of emotion regulation among complex trauma survivors. She is especially interested in the ways that people use bodily experiences to regulate or alter their emotional states, the ways that mind and body interact to produce experience, and implications of incorporating body-based interventions into clinical contexts. Part of her research has examined positive mood induction using smiling and laughter, and her dissertation work focuses on pain as part of a self-regulatory process. Her past research has also examined the role of baseline psychophysiology as a predictor of therapeutic alliance, as well as factors contributing to intimate partner violence perpetration in India. She works as a Project Coordinator for Drs. Wendy D'Andrea and Greg Siegle's NIMH-funded study examining blunted and discordant affect as a transdiagnostic construct in psychopathology.

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Steven Freed, M.A.

Steven Freed, M.A.

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Treva Van Cleave, M.A.

Treva Van Cleave, M.A.

Treva's research focuses on trauma and the body, with an emphasis on perceptual changes as a result of interpersonal violence and complex trauma. She is inspired by psychodynamic, existential and feminist theories, examining these concepts as they relate to the lived experience of the person. Treva draws on psychophysiology and narrative to explore how trauma influences dissociation, identity, self-harm, and body experience. Additionally, Treva is involved with projects related to women's health through trauma informed pelvic exams; interoceptive awareness, childhood trauma and self-injury; dissociation as it relates to loss of time in trauma survivors; and reassessing power dynamics within traumatic family systems. Treva also teaches courses in Introductory, Abnormal and Existential Psychology, and has worked in community mental health centers, Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center, and the Brooklyn VA New York Harbor Hospital.

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Nicholas Fehertoi, M.A.

Nicholas Fehertoi, M.A.

Nick's interests lie in the body, specifically to what extent felt bodily experience (interoception) affects sense of agency, sense of self, and social cognition, as well as how these can be undermined by complex trauma. He is influenced by embodied cognition, terror management theory, humanistic-existential psychology, and the phenomenology of Husserl and Merleau-Ponty. His current research investigates whether interoceptive sensitivity can inhibit (or potentiate) startle reactivity (as measured by facial EMG), and if trauma exposure or symptoms moderate that relationship.

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Sarah Herzog, M.A.

Sarah Herzog, M.A.

Sarah's research interests include the cognitive and attentional mechanisms of trauma and their relations to dissociative processes, risk-perception, repeated traumatization, and autonomic and affective responding. Currently, she is working on a study examining the intersection between attentional biases to threat cues, lifetime trauma history and physiological indicators of arousal and inhibition. She is also working on a project involving autobiographical trauma narratives in collaboration with Stephanie Shiffler at the University of Georgia and the Psychoanalysis lab at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. Sarah is also assisting in fMRI data collection for an NIMH-funded R01 study headed by Drs. Wendy D’Andrea and Greg Siegle, investigating blunted affective responding across clinical diagnoses. Sarah is the recipient of the Prize Fellowship for the New School for Social Research.

Erin Stafford, M.A.

Erin Stafford, M.A.

Erin is a first year doctoral student. Her research focuses on psychophysiology of dissociation and effective clinical intervention strategies for managing dissociative symptoms in individuals with complex trauma. She is particularly interested in exploring mindfulness-based interventions and their impact on dissociation, anxiety, and physiology in a clinical undergraduate sample. She is also interested in exploring both the underlying neurological mechanisms as well as the interpersonal deficits and benefits of dissociation as a coping strategy through measures of social cognition, visual perception, and self-esteem. She has experience working in an inpatient setting on a Trauma Disorder's Unit specializing in the treatment of dissociative disorders. She currently serves as the laboratory manager for the Trauma and Affective Psychophysiology Lab. She is the recipient of the Prize Fellowship for the New School for Social Research.

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Nadia Nieves, M.A.

Nadia Nieves, M.A.

LABORATORY MANAGER & PROJECT COORDINATOR.

Nadia is a second year doctoral student. Her main interests include clinical neuropsychology and social-cognitive neuroscience, focusing on anterior insula activity and its role in social behavior in both trauma-exposed and non-traumatized samples. She is mainly interested in researching interoceptive awareness and its impact on the maintenance of interpersonal relationships, especially in individuals who experience dissociative symptoms. She has extensive experience in Applied Behavior Analysis working with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder. She also has experience in conducting cognitive remediation therapy with patients suffering from traumatic brain injury. Nadia is the current lab manager for the Trauma Lab and the Project Coordinator for the Emotions and Physiological Assessment Study. She is also a neuropsychology extern at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

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Vivian Khedari, M.A

Vivian Khedari, M.A

Vivian is a first year doctoral student. Her main interests include psychophysiology research focusing on differences in signal coherence between trauma-exposed and non-traumatized samples. Additionally, she is currently working on exploring the link between fantasizing and dissociative symptoms. Vivian works as the site data manager for an NIMH-funded R01 study headed by Drs. Wendy D’Andrea and Greg Siegle, investigating blunted affective responding across clinical diagnoses. She also assists in fMRI data collection and clinical interviewing for this project. Her past experience includes social impact measurements of a youth empowerment program for teenagers living in high-risk Venezuelan slums and qualitative research into school violence and bullying in Caracas. Vivian is the recipient of the Dean's Fellowship for the New School for Social Research.

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Eran Barzilai, M.A.

Eran Barzilai, M.A.

Eran's primary interest is concerned with emotion regulation, suicidal behavior and psychotherapeutic interventions for these conditions. Specifically, he is interested with how early interactions with attachment figures shape one's ability to identify, label and verbally communicate painful feelings; it's hypothesized that with increased hopelessness, suicidal behavior ensues. In his future work, Eran aims to answer two questions: 1. what are the cognitive, emotional, physiological and behavioral signatures of suicidal behaviors, and 2. whether the ability to recognize different emotional states, as well as being able to communicate them to a close other, as acquired interpersonal skills, can reduce mental pain and increase distress tolerance. In Eran's free time, he enjoys playing and watching soccer, running and reading poetry.