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Southern Arizona VA Health Care System

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Southern Arizona VA Health Care Psychology Team



University: Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary

Assignment: Psychological Assessment; Director of Psychology Training

Theoretical Orientation: Dr. Cole’s theoretical orientation is primarily cognitive-behavioral, utilizing a variety of techniques. These include the narrative approach of Meichenbaum, distorted thinking styles, development of coping skills, mindfulness based cognitive-behavioral intervention, Cognitive Processing Therapy and exposure based treatments.

Professional Interests/Research: Assessment, PTSD treatment, spirituality and coping skills, ethnic minority mental health

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David Beil-Adaskin, Psy.D.

University: Wheaton College

Assignment: Lead Psychologist; Mental Health Clinic Supervisor

Theoretical Orientation: Dr. Beil-Adaskin’s primary orientation is cognitive-behavioral with a specialization in evidence-based therapies (EBT) for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Interventions focus on Cognitive-Processing Therapy (CPT) and Prolonged Exposure (PE) Therapy.  Dr. Beil-Adaskin is a former military Psychologist whose duties included training and supervision of military clinicians in the administration of EBT’s.  Dr. Beil-Adaskin assumed the duties of Lead Psychologist and Mental Health Clinic Supervisor April, 2017.

Professional Interests/Research: Evidence-based therapies, PTSD and co-occurring disorders, and outcome studies for the PTSD program. Dr. Beil-Adaskin also has extensive training in incorporating spirituality with psychotherapy. He was previously the PTSD Team Lead and facilitator and head of the Group Supervision Seminar.



University: The Catholic University of America

Assignment: Acute Psychiatry Inpatient Unit (1W)

Theoretical Orientation: Dr. Brazaitis’ theoretical orientation is integrative.  She predominately relies on dynamic and interpersonal/relational theories when conceptualizing client’s functioning and needs.  She has been largely influenced by the work of Nancy McWilliams, Irvin Yalom, Robert Karen, and Pema Chodron.  Whenever possible she utilizes the here and now and the therapeutic relationship to facilitate corrective emotional experiences.  In her work on 1W, she emphasizes a Veteran-centered, compassionate, skills-based approach to recovery and utilizes Wellness Recovery Action Plan, Cognitive Behavior Therapy,  Dialectal Behavior Therapy, and the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicide in both groups and individually.  

Professional Interests/Research: Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicide and the Suicide Status Form; program development/evaluation; supervision and training


University: University of Texas at Austin

Assignment: Mental Health Clinic

Theoretical Orientation: Dr. Brister’s theoretical orientation is primarily cognitive-behavioral with a focus on evidence-based therapies (EBT). She also draws from different theoretical approaches to tailor treatments to the individual client, with a special focus on helping clients develop the skills needed to successfully complete exposure-based treatments. Dr. Brister is particularly interested in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation/Narrative Story Telling (STAIR/NST) to address both difficulties arising from borderline personality disorder and childhood abuse, respectively.

Professional Interests/Research: Personality Disorders, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Emotion/Interpersonal Dysregulation as common factors underlying psychopathology, Program Evaluation and Development.

University: New Mexico State University

Assignment: Mental Health Clinic

Theoretical Orientation:  Dr. Dorsey’s primary theoretical orientation is interpersonal/relational. Her style of relating with clients has been heavily impacted by Yalom’s interpersonal and existential approaches, Teyber’s Interpersonal Process Therapy, and Briere’s Trauma therapy conceptualization (safety, affect regulation, cognitive interventions, emotional processing, relational functioning, and identity work). As a supervisor, I use a collaborative, developmental approach which focuses on identifying and reinforcing supervisees’ current strengths, while also integrating new skills and refining existing ones.

Professional Interests: Treating interpersonal trauma, treating cumulative trauma, providing culturally relevant therapy, and clinical supervision.

University: Texas Tech

Assignment: Southwest Blind Rehabilitation Center

Theoretical Orientation: Dr. Ewing's theoretical orientation toward individual therapy is primarily cognitive behavioral, although she has training and experience with ACT-based interventions also. While she emphasizes the important role that cognitions play in behavior, she also stresses the importance of the therapeutic relationship. Behavioral change is effected through both cognitive behavioral intervention and through the patient's realization that he/she is reenacting dysfunctional behavioral patterns with the therapist. In addition to a CBT focus, her approach to group therapy reflects the process orientation advocated by Irvin Yalom, and the Dialectical Behavior Therapy approach by Marsha Linehan.

Professional Interests: Psychotherapy, Obesity, Smoking Cessation


University: University of Arizona

Assignment: Co-occurring PTSD and Substance Use Disorders

Theoretical Orientation: Dr. Gallagher’s theoretical orientation is primarily cognitive-behavioral, utilizing Motivational Interviewing for early stages of change and CBT-based interventions and behavioral strategies for action stages of change. She has many years of experience in program evaluation, evidence-based practice implementation and professional supervision and training.

Professional Interests/Research: Co-occurring disorders, Motivational Interviewing, health psychology, program evaluation and supervision/training



University: University of Arizona

Assignment: Mental Health Clinic

Theoretical Orientation: Dr. Hitt’s theoretical orientation is primarily cognitive-behavioral, and she also draws from different theoretical approaches to tailor treatment to the individual client. She is particularly interested in 3rd wave therapies and a mind-body approach to helping clients.  She incorporates elements of mindfulness meditation into cognitive therapy when appropriate, e.g. for emotion regulation, and managing stress and anxiety. She participated in special training for acceptance and commitment therapy and is certified through the VA to provide ACT. She also incorporates motivational enhancement therapy when clients are not in the action stage.  Paying attention to emotional issues can help the client to make sense out of them and facilitate personal psychological development and behavior change. The therapeutic relationship is considered the foundation for change, and a client-centered approach is emphasized.

Professional Interests/Research: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, mindfulness



University: Illinois Institute of Technology

Assignment: Chronic Pain Management Clinic

Theoretical Orientation: Dr. Jones’ theoretical orientation is primarily ACT-based, and he has a strong interest in group therapeutic interventions.  With respect to individual intervention, he also understands the importance of taking a motivational interviewing approach to effect change in one’s approach to management of chronic illness.  Beyond initial evaluation and assessment of motivation and stage of change, he prefers group-based interventions, as he finds the interaction between patients can significantly improve one’s self-efficacy.  Groups include ACT-based therapy, insomnia management, and psycho-educational interventions.  He is also trained in and practices biofeedback therapy for pain management.  His background in terms of training and experience is almost exclusively in health psychology, having worked in cardiac rehabilitation, pain management, spinal cord injury, and dialysis.

Professional/Research Interests: Dr. Jones’ primary interests are in chronic pain management as well as adaptation to and coping with chronic illness.  He also has a strong interest in the interaction between sleep disorders, stress, and one’s perception of pain.


University: Illinois School of Professional Psychology

Assignment: Military Sexual Trauma Coordinator, Member of PTSD Clinical Team and Dialectical Behavior Therapy Team

Theoretical Orientation: Dr. Young’s theoretical orientation underpinning her approach to treatment is psychodynamic, relational, and trauma-informed. She incorporates evidence based treatment modalities including Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE), Dialectical Behavior Therapy(DBT), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Dr. Young has many years of experience providing trauma-informed training, treatment, and supervision.

Professional Interests/Research: Sexual Trauma, Complex trauma, Mindfulness, LGBTQ issues.


University: Ohio University

Assignment: Neuropsychological Assessment

Theoretical Orientation: Dr. Tsanadis’ approach focuses on standardized objective assessment with supplementary information provided by behavioral observation, background information, and process analysis. He believes neuropsychological assessment should be grounded in empirically supported assessment procedures rather than those that are just theoretically supported. Neuropsychology requires the integration of several different domains of knowledge including neuroanatomy, neurology, psychiatry, pharmacology, as well as psychometrics. Dr. Tsanadis advocates keeping the “psychology” in neuropsychology by being cognizant of how psychological factors (i.e., personality, mental health problems, expectations, reinforcement etc…) affect symptom presentation, tests results, and functionality. Since neuropsychological measures are tests of behavior, performance is influenced by a variety of factors in addition to brain function.

Professional Interests/Research: Symptom validity testing, traumatic brain injury outcomes, geriatric neuropsychological assessment, ecological validity of neuropsychological tests, executive functions, MMPI, professional development and training in neuropsychology.


University: The University of Southern California

Assignment: Mental Health Residential Rehabilitation and Treatment Program (MH RRTP) – PTSD Track

Theoretical Orientation: Dr. Rodriguez’s primary orientations are cognitive-behavioral and interpersonal/ systemic with a focus on evidence-based principled practice, which may find expression in manualized EBT protocols such as PE or CPT as well as rigorously developed individualized applications of empirically-supported principles (e.g., inhibitory learning approaches to guide exposure, positive emotion savoring exercises derived from basic research on the role of memory in maintenance of depression, building discrepancy between beliefs and behavior with targeted behavioral homework assignments). Dr. Rodriguez also emphasizes the use of client-generated data (behavioral observation or self-report) to guide treatment planning, and assessment and intervention at the levels of client, social system, and client-system interactions.    

Professional Interests/Research: Clinical – Empirically-supported treatment of PTSD and trauma-related disorders, Program development and evaluation; Research -- Family Systems, Role of relational context in individual adaptation to stress/trauma, Stress physiology

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University: Indiana University

Assignment: Consultation/Supervision/Education   

Theoretical Orientation: Dr. Wiggins’ theoretical orientation is best described as multi-modal integrated.  While drawing on Rogerian principles for building the therapeutic relationship he conceptualizes clinical issues primarily from a psychosocial developmental perspective. Therapeutic change is facilitated through the utilization of a variety of cognitive-behavioral, cognitive-emotional, solution focused, and insight oriented intervention strategies as determined by the client’s expressed needs in the therapeutic relationship.

Professional/Research Interests: Individual, Couples, and Group Psychotherapy, Multicultural Counseling and Development, Organizational Consultation, Teaching and Training.

Pennsylvania State University

Assignment: Home Based Primary Care (HBPC)

Theoretical Orientation: Dr. Baehr’s orientation is constructivist/experiential. This orientation focuses on the role of personally constructed, culturally mediated meanings in shaping experience and maintaining suffering or allowing personal development. Mental health is defined as the capacity to generate fitting responses to environmental demands that are also an authentic expression of individual values and style. Treatment involves a close understanding of the patient’s constructed world in order to discover acceptable exits from self-defeating cycles of thought and behavior, followed by experiences (including the therapy relationship itself) that allow new meanings and actions to be experienced safely.

Professional Interests/Research: Integration of empirically supported therapies, personal development throughout the lifespan, countertransference management, and personal meaning in relation to loss, illness and death

   Sara M. Howard, PhD., ABPP - RP University:  Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, Palo Alto, California

Assignment: Community Living Center (CLC) Interim Care, Sub-acute Rehabilitation, Palliative Care and Hospice Care

Theoretical Orientation: Dr. Howard’s orientation is humanist. She encourages self-awareness and mindfulness that helps the person change their state of mind and behavior from one set of reactions to those with increased self-awareness that results in a more desired thoughtful and productive response. This approach allows the merging of mindfulness and behavioral therapy with positive social support. Dr. Howard's theoretical orientation is heavily influenced by Beatrice Wright’s Value-Laden Beliefs for Rehabilitation Psychology which emphasizes meeting the person where they are and tailoring treatment to each person's current abilities; physically, cognitively, and emotionally, specifically for those who have experienced a disability as well as those in a setting of medically complex care, palliative care, or at the end-of-life.

Professional Interests: rehabilitation psychology, stigma, biofeedback, and disability education.