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 fourth 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 clinical and research interests include serious mental illness, community integration, and peer support; public and structural mental health stigma; mental wellness and help-seeking behaviors in university settings; forensic mental health; and mental health advocacy and mental illness de-stigmatization programs/campaigns. He is the co-founder and past president of John Jay’s National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) club.



Lauren O’Connor, Doctoral Student

Lauren is a third year clinical psychology PhD student at CUNY Graduate Center, housed at John Jay College. She earned her B.A. in Psychology and Economics from Tufts University in 2012. Prior to entering graduate school, Lauren worked at McLean Hospital in the Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Program on a clinical trial of cognitive remediation in schizophrenia. Her research focuses on self-stigma and stigma resistance in individuals with severe mental illness. More specifically, Lauren is interested in the experiences of those with severe mental illness who also face other forms of discrimination and internalized oppression (e.g. people of color and LGBTQ individuals). Clinically, Lauren is interested in the treatment of first episode psychosis and individuals with trauma and stressor-related disorders.


Lauren Rubenstein, Master’s Student 

Lauren is a Forensic Mental Health Counseling M. A. student at John Jay College. She is currently working with Dr. Yanos on her thesis regarding the effects of previous mental health treatment on successful completion of mental health court programs. She joined the lab due to her interest in the unique problems offenders with serious mental illness face regarding rehabilitation and reintegration. Her research interests also include victimization, domestic violence, justice involved youth, offender re-entry, and diversion programs.

Amalia Rudnik, Master’s Student

Amalia Rudnik graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in the spring of 2014. She majored in forensic psychology, with a minor in counseling. She has been in Dr.Yanos’ lab since her sophomore year at John Jay. In the spring of 2014, Amalia was admitted to the masters program in forensic mental health counseling at John Jay, which she presently attends now. She is currently working on a manuscript with her colleagues concerning the use of the “Twenty Statements Test” as a measure of self stigma within a psychiatric, forensic population, a survey on, measuring the social behaviors of the public towards sex offenders, and collecting data and recruiting participants for a current study being done by Dr. Yanos on the stigma faced by those with a serious mental illness within their communities. Eventually, Amalia hopes to go on to earn a Psy.D or Ph.D., and to focus on the rehabilitation and counseling of sex offenders, as well as focusing on individuals with serious mental illness, that are involved with the criminal justice system.

Jenna Seda, Master’s Student

Jenna Seda attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice as an undergraduate student from 2011 to 2015. During her time there she was an active member of the John Jay Honors Program and quickly became a member of both the Phi Eta Sigma and PSY CHI Honors societies. Her thesis work in predictors and stigma surrounding depression was conducted with Dr. Yanos. After presenting said thesis to her Honors program she graduated in May of 2015 with a degree in Forensic Psychology and a minor in Criminology. As of recently, Jenna found herself back at John Jay College to get her next degree. She is currently a 2nd year Masters student in the FMHC program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She has been with the MHRecovery lab since 2014.

Beth Vayshenker, Doctoral Student

Beth is a sixth year clinical psychology PhD student at CUNY Graduate Center, housed at John Jay College. In 2008, she earned a B.A. in Psychology at SUNY Binghamton. Prior to entering graduate school, Beth worked in a psychosocial program for individuals diagnosed with a serious mental illness at Brooklyn Community Services and developed an interest in mental health recovery, psychiatric rehabilitation, and community inclusion. She is continuing this line of work with Dr. Yanos at John Jay College. Broadly, her interests center around community and treatment factors related to recovery from serious mental illness, the impact of cognitive functioning on functional outcomes, and stigma experiences of mental health professionals. Beth is currently on internship at Elmhurst Hospital.

Sarah Zoubaa, Master’s Student 

Sarah is a first year master’s student in the Forensic Psychology program. She received a B.S. in Brain and Behavioral Sciences at Purdue University (May 2017). Prior to graduate school, she worked at Riverbend Hospital, an inpatient unit caring for patients with severe mental illness. Her research interests include forensic risk assessments, disorder related stigma, and rehabilitation of forensic psychiatric patients. Sarah hopes to earn a doctorate in Clinical Psychology following her master’s degree.


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