2017 Department Newsletter

Message from the Chair
Department Spotlights
Department Announcements
Alumni Updates/Class Notes
Donor Recognition

Message from the Chair


Professor Loring Ingraham


Loring J. Ingraham, PhD, Director, Professional Psychology Program, Professor of Clinical Psychology



Dear Colleagues, Alumni and Friends of the Professional Psychology Program,

I’m glad to report that this has been an excellent year for program productivity and growth with the addition of new faculty, post-docs and doctoral students who are contributing both scholarship and meaningful clinical service to the community.

As you’ll see in this newsletter, this year we welcomed Dr. Lara Sheehi and three new post-doctoral fellows (Drs. Max Brooks, Laura Reid and Veronica Slaght) to our core faculty. We also welcomed the return of Dr. Marmarosh from a productive sabbatical year and wished Dr. Gump the best on his retirement and attainment of Emeritus status.

This summer the annual APA convention was held in Washington, D.C., and we very much enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with alumni at an evening event, as well as the honor of hosting on campus the summer meeting of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology.

Looking ahead, later this fall we will be moving temporarily to 2100 Pennsylvania Avenue while our 102-year-old building undergoes renovation, and we look forward to returning afterwards to an upgraded facility.

I hope to see you at future alumni and department events!

With warm regards from Old Main,

Loring Ingraham

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Department Spotlights 

Dr. Lara M. Sheehi, Class of 2010, Returns as Faculty


Lara Sheehi


Lara Sheehi



Dr. Lara Sheehi, PsyD ’10, makes a welcome return to the Professional Psychology Program as a faculty member. Dr. Sheehi was the recipient of the American Psychoanalytic Association's Teacher's Academy fellowship (2014), the American Psychological Association, Div. 39 (Psychoanalysis) Minority Scholar Program award (2014) and, most recently, the American Psychoanalytic Association's Psychology Fellowship (2016). She is the co-chair of the Multicultural Concerns Committee in Div. 39. She is also an executive board member of the Section for Psychoanalysis for Social Responsibility, and serves as a clinical mentor for the Scholars Program through the division. Her research primarily involves the cross-section between psychoanalysis and sociopolitics, disavowal, identity formation, cross-cultural psychology and her own lived experience as an Arab clinician in the United States.

Dr. Sheehi's publications include a chapter in Monisha Nayar-Akhtar's Identities in Transition: The Growth and Development of a Multicultural Therapist titled, "The Unmatched Twin: Enactments of Otherness and the Autobiography of an Immigrant Clinician" (2015), as well as "Enactments of Otherness and Searching for a Third Space in the Palestine-Israel Matrix" in a special Israel/Palestine edition of the Journal of Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society (2016). She has a forthcoming publication in the Journal of Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society titled, "The Ideology of Apparitions" (2018).

Doctoral Candidate Banas Named Tillman Scholar


Aaron Banas


Aaron Banas



Aaron Banas, a former U.S. Navy corpsman who is pursuing a PsyD in psychology, is one of three GW students chosen as 2017 Tillman Scholars in recognition of their service, leadership and potential. The award was named after Pat Tillman, who put his NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals on hold after 9/11 to serve in Afghanistan. He died there in 2004. More than $1 million each year is dedicated to scholars at universities and colleges around the country to cover the cost of books, housing, tuition and other expenses related to study for active-duty members of the military, veterans and military spouses.

After serving as a U.S. Navy Corpsman, Banas said he felt lost. He knew he needed change so he spent six months in the wilderness seeking a way to live each day with mindfulness and appreciation, a journey not unlike that taken by the legendary Greek hero, Odysseus, who went to war and became lost trying to find his way home. It’s a story Banas has shared with combat veterans at retreats he coordinated to help them find a path to recovery.

Banas learned while working in the military that saving a life didn’t just mean stopping the bleeding. It also meant helping others to find meaning and to recognize that they are not alone in their suffering. He wants to apply that experience toward the doctoral degree in clinical psychology he is pursuing at GW that is now supported by a two-year, $20,000 Tillman scholarship.

“Life is about recovery after battles both physical and emotional,” Banas said. “As a psychologist, I will help others recover from life’s hardships and find their way home.” He plans to create a collaborative community that is educated to accept psychotherapy as normal and can work with mental health providers in helping veterans make the transition back into the community.

New Post-Doctorates Join Program

Max Brooks


Max Brooks



Dr. Max Brooks is returning to the GW Professional Psychology Program after attending as a student. During that time, he engaged in clinical work at the Center Clinic, UDC, Marymount University Counseling Center and also served as a clinic assistant. He completed his internship at NC State Counseling Center in Raleigh, N.C. His academic interests include relational psychoanalysis and understanding the intersubjectivity of cultural identities within the therapy relationship. He is also interested in supervisory dynamics and is currently enrolled in a training program regarding psychoanalytic supervision at the Washington School of Psychiatry. On a personal level, he loves cooking shows, making and eating pasta, ultimate frisbee, disc golf and the Boston Celtics.


Veronica Slaght


Veronica Slaght



Dr. Veronica Slaght received her PsyD from Widener University’s Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology in Chester, Penn. She has an interest in integrative relational psychodynamic therapy, substance use disorders, and social justice issues. She enjoys working with adults in individual psychotherapy and supervising beginning clinicians. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Swarthmore College’s Counseling and Psychological Services, where she did individual and group therapy with college students. Her dissertation research focused on the biases of psychologists and psychology trainees toward clients with borderline personality disorder and substance use disorder. She presented a panel discussion about relational approaches to working with addiction at the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture & Society and the Philadelphia Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology, and served as a discussant at Widener's annual psychoanalytic lecture, talking about the tension between hate speech and free speech on college campuses. She previously worked as a journalist and holds a BA in English literature from Wesleyan University. In her free time, she reads fiction, listens to music, takes hikes and hangs out with her cat Beckett.


Laura Reid


Laura Reid



Dr. Laura Reid is a recent graduate of GW's PsyD program. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Virginia’s Counseling and Psychological Services and has worked at several community mental health clinics, serving primarily the Latinx and LGBT communities. She has also worked conducting forensic and neuropsychological evaluations, most recently spending her internship summer rotation at the Institute for Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy. Before entering the field of clinical psychology, she taught Hispanic linguistics, creative writing and Spanish language at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She obtained her master’s in Hispanic linguistics from Indiana University in 2008 and her bachelor’s in psychology, Spanish and German from Middlebury College in 2005. She also writes fiction and has had several short stories, essays and a novel published in Spanish.

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Department Announcements 


Dr. Richard Ruth's chapter, “’We're (not) pregnant’: Gay men and women's reproductive rights,” is published in the book A Womb of Her Own.

Drs. Lara Sheehi and Stephen Sheehi were nominated for the 2017 Gradiva® Award for Best Article for “Enactments of otherness and searching for a third space in the Palestine-Israel matrix.”

Dr. Marshall Woods has become a contributor with the HuffPost (previously The Huffington Post) and ThriveGlobal. Her writings focus on the psychological dynamics found within characters and themes in recent cinema.



Samuel Salamon Wins Hansell Award: Congratulations to Samuel Salamon, the winner of this year’s James H. Hansell Award

This annual award honors a student who demonstrates excellence in scholarship, clinical practice, participation in committees and activities within the program, interest and engagement in the study of psychotherapy, and overall embodiment of the practitioner-scholar model that Dr. Hansell valued. In addition, the winner of the James H. Hansell Award is a person who has contributed to the betterment of the program through support of fellow students, commitment to the class and dedication to fostering an environment that is supportive, open to diversity and safe. Dr. Hansell represented excellence in his devotion to his clinical work, innovative research endeavors and, most importantly, collegiality and support of others in the program. The award winner is the student who most fully embodied the life and work of Dr. Hansell. Salamon gave a presentation as a Brown Bag Speaker for the GW Professional Psychology Program spring series titled "The Existential Psychotherapy: A Theoretical and Clinical Introduction." He is currently a fourth year student interning with Derner Internship Consortium in Garden City, N.Y.

David Heilman’s group therapy article, “The Potential Role for Group Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Internalized Homophobia in Gay Men,” was published in International Journal of Group Psychotherapy



Dr. Loring Ingraham with a colleague at the NCSPP annual meeting


Dr. Loring Ingraham (left) at the NCSPP annual meeting



The GW Professional Psychology Program was proud to host the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP) this summer for their annual meeting coinciding with the American Psychological Association National Conference at Washington, D.C.'s convention center.


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Alumni Updates/Class Notes 

Rebecca Abell, MA ’13, PsyD ’16, works as a clinical psychologist for Axis Healthcare Group at their Kensington Outpatient Clinic facilitating individual, couples and group psychotherapy.

Joan Barnett, PsyD ’01, has been serving as acting chief of behavioral health at the Pentagon for the past 18 months.

Mikaela Bernthaler, PsyD ’04, is currently residing in New York. Mikaela is a supervising psychologist at Pace University and is also in private practice. She will start analytic training in the fall.

Will Braun, PsyD ’05, is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in New York working with adults, children and adolescents. He is also on the faculty at Lenox Hill Hospital and John Jay College for Criminal Justice where he teaches psychological assessment.

Rachel Canning, MA ’17, is currently completing her postdoctoral fellowship at The Sullivan Center for Children in Fresno, Calif., where she also completed her predoctoral internship.

Jacqueline Cleland, PsyD ’03, recently returned to private psychotherapy practice after serving on the medical staff of a VA hospital where she provided outpatient mental health services to combat veterans and their families. Her office is located in downtown Leesburg, Va.

Beth (Lee) Crawford, PsyD ’01, is the proud mother of her 9-year-old son, Krishna. She is currently serving as the interim chief executive officer and clinical director for MD Family Resource, Inc., an outpatient mental health clinic in Prince George’s County.

Kate (Bristol) Croson, PsyD ’09, is a clinical psychologist working with severely mentally ill adults in an inpatient hospital in the District of Columbia. She does individual and group psychotherapy, psychological assessments and supervises psychology trainees.

Dana Grasso, PsyD ’06, is happy to report the growth of her private assessment practice in a new downtown D.C. location. She loves working alongside GW PsyD alumnae and providing psychoeducational testing for current GW students.

Bethany (Schaer) Higa, PsyD ’10, lives in Portland, Ore., and works for Providence Health and Services on faculty for their family medicine residency program and as a clinician integrated in a primary care clinic. She and Justin have two sons, Ethan (9/2015) and Silas (7/2017).

Seth Kunen, PsyD ’01, has been a research director at the LSU Emergency Medical Residency Program, director of research at LA Department Health & Hospitals (Mental Health & Addiction) and a medical psychologist (prescribing) at an LA State Mental Health Clinic.

Benjamin Landman, PsyD ’02, is in private practice in Chapel Hill, N.C. He was recently appointed a provider for UNC's Corbitt Scholarship, which funds psychoeducational evaluations for students. He has also led CE workshops on preventing therapy drop-out, and on therapy with polyamorous clients.

Andrea Liner, MA ’13, PsyD ’15, lives in Denver, Colo., where she works in private practice with the Therapist Group at Maria Droste Counseling Services. In addition, Dr. Liner serves as the early career psychologist chair on the board of the Colorado Psychological Association.

Taryn Millar, PsyD ’11, accepted the position of chief operating officer at Saint Luke Institute, a non-profit behavioral health care center in 2016. She supervises over 75 employees in three locations and continues to conduct evaluations and therapy.

Susan Munford, PsyD ’07, is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in Old Town, Alexandria. She is also a teaching analyst at the Washington Baltimore Institute for Psychoanalysis.

Randy Nolte, PsyD ’14, has transitioned to his private psychotherapy practice full-time in the past year. He is currently treating individuals and couples in the NYC-area.

Gregory Pearson, PsyD ’11, is a clinical psychologist at the House of Ruth Domestic Violence Support Center in Washington, D.C. He also presents on psychodynamic psychotherapy with victims of domestic violence, most recently at the ISSTD and ISTSS annual conferences

Adam Pletter, BA ’96, PsyD ’01, runs a full time private practice treating children, adolescents and young adults in Bethesda, Md. He also runs digital parenting workshops and founded iParent101.com

Diane Reis, PsyD ’07, established a private practice on Capitol Hill in NW D.C. near Van Ness after working at Georgetown University Counseling Center with law students. She works with adults in individual and couple's therapy, teaching and supervising.

Emily Rotbart, MS ’14, PsyD ’16, has become licensed and is working in a private group practice in Virginia since graduating.

Donna Terrell, PsyD ’13, is currently a major in the U.S. Army and is stationed at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. She is a first-year fellow in the Trauma Treatment and Healthcare Delivery Fellowship at Brooke Army Medical Center.

Alexey Tolchinsky, MS ’12, PsyD ’15, is a psychologist in private practice and the Neurology Clinic of Washington. He is most grateful for the comprehensive education and training he received at the GW Professional Psychology Program.

Angelica (Butler) Van Wagenen, MS ’15, PsyD ’17, has started a new job as a full time staff member with Counseling and Psychological Services at George Mason University and is simultaneously working on getting licensed in the state of Virginia.

Rekha Varghese, MS ’15, PsyD ’17, will be completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Penn State University Counseling and Psychiatric Services for the 2017-2018 year.

Pearl Zurich, PsyD ’15, has a clinical psychology practice in McLean, Va. She offers psychotherapy for adults, teens, couples and families as well as Neurofeedback, a cutting edge technology that mitigates depression, anxiety, ADHD and other health concerns.

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Donor Recognition


The Professional Psychology Program would like to gratefully acknowledge the following generous donors who made a gift to the department from July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017.

The Hansell Family

Dr. Loring J. Ingraham +

Benjamin Z. Landman, PsyD, PsyD ’02

Fred Pisoni, PsyD, MA ’00, PsyD ’07

Ilyse A. Zable, PsyD, PsyD ’13


+ Faculty/Staff

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