Research Members

Philip T. Yanos, Professor

Philip T. Yanos, Ph.D. is a professor in the Psychology Department at John Jay College.  He received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from St. John’s University in 1999 and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Mental Health Services Research at Rutgers University in 2001.  He has been a faculty member at John Jay since 2006 and was previously a faculty member at in the Department of Psychiatry of UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School. Professor Yanos first learned about mental health recovery in 1993, and since then, his over-riding professional goal has been to help facilitate recovery through research, direct clinical services, teaching, and mentoring/clinical supervision of professionals in training.  Currently, a major research interest is the effect of stigma on the identity of people with severe mental illness (including self- or internalized stigma) and ways to address it through professional and peer-led means.  He is the co-developer, with David Roe and Paul Lysaker of “Narrative Enhancement and Cognitive Therapy,” a group-based treatment which aims to address the effects of internalized stigma among people with severe mental illness.  He is the author of over 70 articles and book chapters, and is the principal investigator on 2 federally-funded projects: “Randomized Controlled Trial of Treatment for Internalized Stigma in Schizophrenia,” funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, and “Examining Determinants of Community Participation among Persons with Psychiatric Disabilities,” funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.


Joseph S. DeLuca, Doctoral Student

Joe is a fifth year clinical psychology PhD student at CUNY Graduate Center, housed at John Jay College. He earned a joint BA/MA degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College in 2014, completing his MA thesis under the guidance of Dr. Yanos. The focus of his thesis was “political attitudes as predictors of mental health stigma.” His dissertation topic is “adolescent mental health stigma reduction,” and his dissertation project is a collaboration with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in order to evaluate one of its youth stigma reduction programs. His clinical and research interests include the development of serious mental illness (SMI); community integration and peer support for individuals with SMI; the multidimensionality of mental health stigma; mental wellness and help-seeking behaviors in university settings; forensic mental health and trauma; and mental health advocacy and stigma reduction. He is the co-founder and a past president of John Jay’s NAMI club.


Sarah Dure, Master’s Student

Sarah is a first year master’s student in the forensic psychology program at John Jay. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Queens College. Her research interests include recidivism, self-stigma, forensic risk factors, and trauma. After graduation Sarah hopes to earn a PhD in clinical psychology.


Lauren K. O’Connor, Doctoral Student

Lauren is a fifth year clinical psychology doctoral student working with Philip Yanos, PhD. Prior to graduate school, Lauren earned her B.A. in Psychology and Economics from Tufts University (2012) and worked as a research coordinator at McLean Hospital in labs focused on psychosis and trauma. Broadly, Lauren’s research interests include psychological and interpersonal impacts and motivators of oppression. Most specifically, Lauren is interested in experiences of alienation and self-alienation and to date, has predominately explored how these experiences apply to individuals with serious mental illness (SMI). Her dissertation aims to explore how doctoral student’s attitudes toward those with SMI are informed by a lack of understanding (i.e. training factors) and/or a “fear of understanding” (i.e. individual, psychosocial factors). Clinically, Lauren is interested in relational psychodynamic theory and practice, with a particular interest in applications to trauma and work with marginalized groups.


Daniel Samost, Doctoral Student

Dan is a newly matriculating first year PhD student at John Jay College, working in the Mental Health Recovery Research lab under Dr. Philip Yanos. Dan earned his BA in English and Theater from Dartmouth College in 2014, and earned his MA in Clinical Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2017. Dan’s MA thesis focused on the phenomena of concealment and disclosure in therapeutic settings among court-involved adolescents. In conjunction with his graduate research and studies, Dan spent the past several working in various clinical roles with justice-involved populations at different non-profits throughout the Bronx. Most recently Dan worked as a Clinical Case Manager for the Bronx CIRT alternative to incarceration diversions program. His clinical research interests include forensic psychotherapy, community mental health, substance abuse disorders, trauma and emotional dysregulation, and the stigmatization of mental health and substance abuse treatment.


Junseon Hwang, Master’s Student

Junseon Hwang a second year master’s student in the Forensic Psychology program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He received B.A. in Psychology and B.S in Sociology in Law, Criminology, and Deviance from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He is interested in mental health literacy and stigma, forensic risk assessment, and forensic outpatient treatment. Junseon Hwang is in MH recovery lab since 2018, and plans to apply for PhD program in Clinical Psychology.


Brandon Dial, Bachelor’s Student

Brandon is a Macaulay Honors senior majoring in forensic psychology. As a member of the Ronald E. McNair program, he has had the opportunity to conduct his own independent research project focusing on mental health stigma and student-athletes. As a student-athlete himself, he has long been interested in the “tough culture” that surrounds sports and how it relates to mental health stigma. He hopes to continue researching student-athletes in graduate school.


Brittany Kaufman, Master’s Student

Brittany is a first year master’s student in the Forensic Mental Health Counseling program at John Jay College. Prior to graduate school, Brittany earned a BA in Film Studies and English from Brooklyn College where she focused her research on the relationship between media, culture, and politics. She plans to research how film and television shape attitudes toward mental illness and whether it exacerbates or ameliorates stigma. Additionally, Brittany is interested in the fallout of deinstitutionalization and the revolving door between hospitals and prisons that individuals with severe mental illness get caught in.


Michael White, Master’s Student

Michael is a first year master’s student in the Forensic Psychology program. He received a B.S. in Psychology from Lock Haven University in May of 2019. Michael has previously worked as an intern with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. During his undergraduate career, Michael completed research on Mental Health Stigma on Parole Decision Making. His research interests include serious mental illness within the prison population, recidivism, parolees, and mental health stigma. After completing his master’s degree, Michael plans to apply to PhD programs in Clinical Psychology.

Virakti Shah, Master’s Student

Virakti is a first year Forensic Psychology Student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She pursued her Bachelor’s from St. Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India and later earned a Post Graduate Diploma in Rehabilitation Psychology. She is a Certified Rehabilitation Psychologist registered under the Rehabilitation Council of India and has experience working with children with intellectual, behavioral, social, educational, psychological, and emotional problems. She worked with B.M. Institute of Mental Health, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India on creating mental health awareness and next she plans to devise effective methods of educating parents and families on developing a stigma-free, accepting environment. After completing her Master’s program, she plans to apply to PhD programs in Developmental Psychology.

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