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Dr. Levy Gives Talk in Copenhagen

On May 28th, Dr. Levy traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark, to present a talk on treatment for borderline personality disorder, titled “Psychotherapy for Borderline Personality Disorder: Ethical, Clinical, and Empirical Considerations.” He was invited by the University of Copenhagen, where he also had the opportunity to serve on Hannah Katznelson’s Ph.D. dissertation committee.

2015 Congratulations and Graduation Announcements


Several members of the lab are leaving us this year. Some have graduated and others are going on to graduate programs in the fall. We would like to congratulate them all on where they are headed and for some of their achievements during their last year at Penn State.


Lauren Lipner

Congratulations to former lab manager Lauren Lipner for accepting her invitation to Adelphi University’s Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology. Lauren will be working with Dr. J. Christopher Muran, who studies ruptures and repairs in the therapeutic alliance in psychotherapy.


Colin Carey

Congrats as well to former lab manager Colin Carey who will be attending the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at The California School of Professional Psychology in San Diego (part of the Alliant University system). Their program is very strong among other professional school programs and he will be working with researchers such as Dr. Irwin Rosenfarb and Dr. Veronica Perez. We hope he enjoys his time on the West Coast!


Brittani Hollern

We are also excited to announce that former lab manager Brittani Hollern will be attending Eastern Michigan University’s Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program where she will be working with Dr. Alissa Huth-Bocks who’s research focuses include early developmental psychopathology, parenting, and attachment relationships.

There are a handful of other lab members we would like to congratulate on graduating and thank for their hard work over the past few years. We wish you the best of luck on your future endeavors: Ana-Sophia Ross, Julie Meinert, Alyssa Spaw, Sydney Risley, and Jessica Berry.

We would like to further congratulate former lab manager Ana-Sophia Ross who won third place in the social science category at the Undergraduate Exhibition where she presented her honors thesis. Ana also received the department's Mona Shibley Bird Award given every year to an outstanding graduating senior!

Congrats also to former Training Coordinator Julie Meinert who received an honorable mention for the University Libraries Award for Information Literacy at the Undergraduate Exhibition for her thesis research.

New 2015-2016 Lab Managers and Coordinators

We are proud to announce that Joanna Pantelides, Caroline Gooch, and Megan Parker have been selected to be our 2015-2016 lab managers. Their notable dedication to the lab has proved them worthy of their new roles and we cannot wait to see all that they will accomplish.

We would also like to congratulate all of our new coordinators, Carrie Rein, Elisabeth Swanson and Jackie Proszynski, who will be assisting the lab managers throughout the year with a variety of lab responsibilities.

Christina Temes Matches at Mass General for Pre-Doctoral Internship

Congratulations to Christina Temes, M.S, M,Phil., who matched at Massachusetts General Hospital's (MGH) prestigious pre-doctoral clinical psychology internship site at Harvard Medical School. MGH is one of the most sought-after and competitive internships in the country and offers state of the art training and scholarship opportunities in psychotherapy and assessment.

Christina joins a long line of successful internship applicants from the Levy Lab. Lori Scott and Joe Beeney both matched at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Both Rachel Wasserman and Bill Ellison matched at Harvard Medical School internship sites, Rachel at Cambridge Hospital and Bill at Massachusetts Mental Health.

Nationally there is an internship crisis in psychology with 20-25% (800-1,000 students) not matching. All of the graduate students from our lab have matched and typically at their first or second choice institution!

Congratulations, Christina!

Kevin Meehan Recently Interviewed by The Atlantic

In January, Kevin Meehan, Ph.D., a former graduate alumni and current associate professor at Long Island University, was interviewed and quoted in The Atlantic for his knowledge of the Rorschach Inkblot test. The Rorschach is one of the most frequently used projective tests in Japan, as it gives the patient the ability to answer questions in a very open manner, leading away from methods that utilize right or wrong answers. It is a tool that mental health specialists are trained to use consistently in therapy. Japanese use of the Rorschach has a long history which dates back to 1925, and the acceptance of the Rorschach test among the Japanese is so popular that 52 percent of the International Rorschach Society is Japanese. However, in the United States, the test has been criticized and viewed as unreliable by many mental health professionals. Meehan provides some explanation of the Rorschach: “The reason patients would be given the Rorschach, as part of a larger assessment battery, is if it’s not clear why they’re struggling.” Patients typically use emotional self-evaluations in therapy, Meehan explains: “With the Rorschach, you have no idea if you’re giving a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ response. I could imagine that that test would be more appealing in a culture where there’s a greater need for social desirability.” Social desirability is important when trying to have a patient express his/her true feelings. Japan's cultural behavior emphasizes less emotional expression, making the Rorschach a good test for reading a patient's emotions. There is some speculation about the Rorschach's validity due to cross-cultural differences in perception. Even with cross-cultural perspectives, the Rorschach is not necessarily about what you see, but how you see it. Meehan explains: “It’s not really what they say; it’s more about how they pull together the image. And the how is very cross-culturally stable.”




The full article can be found at:

You can view Kevin Meehan's graduate profile here:

Dr. Kenneth Levy Recently Interviewed in the Carlat Psychiatry Report


In the November/December Carlat Psychiatry Report, Dr. Kenneth Levy was interviewed extensively on the subject of Transference-Focused Psychotherapy (TFP) for borderline personality disorder. Dr. Levy discussed what (TFP) is and how it is used to help Borderline Personality Disorder patients. He explains: "TFP is a face-to-face individual therapy that takes place twice weekly in 45 to 50 minute sessions. The focus is on reducing symptomatology that is associated with personality disorders (PD), particularly parasuicidality, suicidality, and self-destructive behaviors."

Dr. Levy was also asked questions about setting treatment frames, "When a patient starts psychotherapy, the therapist usually begins by setting a treatment frame that lays out how often you meet, when you meet, etc. -basic things." If therapy starts to work, "we see improvements in affect regulation. Patients start to be aware of disparities between what they might be saying or doing in one moment versus another—especially in the present relationship between them and the therapist" When long term treatments and therapy start to work real changes can be seen: "I have seen people recapture really good lives—lives that are consistent with their interests and their abilities."


Dr. Levy also offers additional information during this interview on (TFP) learning resources. These including the following sites:

The American Psychological Association, Borderline Disorder Institute, The International Society of Transference-Focused Psychotherapy

Click here to read the November/December issue (Dr. Levy's interview can be found on page 6).

To learn more about Dr. Kenneth Levy, click here.

Dr. Kenneth Levy presented keynote in Australia


On November, 7th Dr. Kenneth Levy presented the keynote for the 8th Annual Treatment  of Personality Disorders Conference down under! This conference took place at the University of Wollongong, Australia. He also presented full day workshops on Transference Focused Psychotherapy for Borderline and Narcissistic Personality Disorder on Wednesday, November 5th in Melbourne and Saturday November 8th at the University of Wollongong. The conference is organized by Project Air: A Strategy for Personality Disorders, who noted that Transference Focused Psychotherapy is one of the most important evidence-based psychotherapies for personality disorders evaluated in a number of RCTs in recent years. Pictured below from left to right: Heidi Jarman, Rachel Bailey, Brin Grenyer, Kenneth Levy, Marianne Bourke, Liesl Radloff; Row 2: Annalise Hunt, Alexandra McCarthy, Caitlin Miller.

-Project Air Strategy for Personality Disorders website:

-Project Air Strategy for Personality Disorders conferences and events page:

New Levy Lab Managers

Management Crew


We are happy to reveal that Brittany HollernColin Carey, Ana-Sophia Ross, Jacqueline Proszynski, & Lauren Lipner have been chosen to be our 2014-2015 Levy Lab management crew. All five members are past lab research assistants and project coordinators. Their exemplary performance in lab as research assistants has proved them worthy of their new positions, and we trust they will exceed our expectations.

Congratulations & Good Luck!

Farewell Levy Lab Graduating Seniors

Congratulations Graduates

The Levy research lab would like to congratulate all of our seniors graduating this semester

Neil Meyer ♦ Matthew Perlman ♦ Allison Clark ♦ Jennifer Fox ♦ Kevin Medved

Jhanev Allen ♦ Lauren Lipner ♦ Sam Riley ♦ Shirley Rojas Acosta ♦ Laura Frey


Your hard working attitudes and enthusiastic personalities will be greatly missed, thank you for being such key components to our lab. We wish you the very best in the future and can't wait to see the amazing things you will surely accomplish from here on.

-Happy Graduation!-

Lab Alum Awarded APA Public Policy Internship


Levy Lab Alum Clara Fajardo, was recently awarded the APA Public Policy Internship .The APA Public Policy Internship has as its main purpose to provide graduate students in psychology with the opportunity to learn firsthand how psychological research can impact public policy and how them as psychologists can play a role in its formulation and implementation. As internship position recipient, Clara will be spending a year at APA's Central office in Washington, D.C. working on public interest issues as part of the APA's Public Interest Government Relation's Office staff. Kudos on your accomplishments Clara!

To view the Levy lab alumni profiles page please click here


Sharon Nelson recognized in EMU newsletter!


Former Levy Lab alum and 2nd year doctoral student Sharon Nelson was recently recognized in the May issue of the Eastern Michigan University, Psychology Department Newsletter for her presentation at the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration conference (SEPI). Sharon attended (SEPI) as an undergraduate student and took a lot away from this experience. When commenting on this she stated "One of the things that stuck with me the most was the need to be courageous in session and in therapy, which means everything from being brave and bringing up your errors or mistakes in supervision, discussing your fears with your supervisor, and not avoiding those scary therapy moments."  Sharon greatly encourages both Graduate and Undergraduate students to attend next years conference in Baltimore, Maryland.

Sharon Nelson is currently a Ph.D. student at Eastern Michigan University studying under the mentorship of Dr. Steven Huprich.

Sharon Nelson Presents at SEPI 2014


Levy lab alum Sharon Marie Nelson recently took part in the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration(SEPI)'s 30th annual meeting. The event was held in Montreal, Canada from April 10th -13th with the theme of Psychotherapy Integration in the Trenches: How Psychotherapy Integration is put into Practice. Sharon's talk was titled Integrating the Cognitive Affective Processing System (CAPS) into Psychotherapeutic Assessment and Technique. Dr. Kenneth Levy was also a plenarie speaker at the event discussing Psychotherapy Integration and different modes of treating the Borderline Personality. Sharon Nelson is currently  a Ph.D. student at Eastern Michigan University, studying under the mentorship of Dr. Steven Huprich.

-Pictured left: Dr. Kenneth Levy  presenting on recent empirical findings on Borderline Personality Disorder and their implications for integrated treatment.


Levy Lab Alumni accepted into Graduate Programs


The Levy Lab team is proud to announce the following lab alumni who have been accepted into various graduate programs. We would like to congratulate the following alumni on their exciting achievements and future plans!

Congratulations and Good Luck!


Ashton Roach

The Levy Lab team would like to congratulate 2010 alum Ashton Roach for being accepted into the masters of science program in clinical mental health counseling at Northern Kentucky University.


Neil Meyer

The Levy Lab team would like to congratulate senior research assistant and lab manager Neil Meyer on formally accepting his invitation to join Oklahoma State University's Ph.D. Clinical Psychology Program. Neil will be attending the program on a full-ride scholarship as well as under the mentorship of assistant professor Stephanie Mullins-Sweatt. Dr. Sweatt's research interests are focused on the conceptualization of personality disorders using general personality models and on the clinical applications of personality models within the personality disorder nomenclature.




Matthew Perlman

The Levy Lab team is beyond thrilled to announce that research assistant and lab manager Matthew Perlman recently received and accepted an invitation to join Ohio University's Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program. Matt will be studying under the mentorship of Dr. Timothy Anderson, an associate professor at the university who specializes in psychotherapy research. Dr. Anderson’s primary research interest is on the influence of interpersonal processes on psychosocial treatment.



Kate Benson

We are proud to announce that Kate Benson, a former Levy lab post-baccalaureate, recently accepted an offer to become a PhD candidate at Texas A&M. She will be working under the mentorship of Dr. Les Morey.Dr. Morey's research interests include assessment, diagnosis and classification of personality and psychopathology, personality disorders, and alcoholism.Congratulations Kate! We wish you lots of success and look forward to hearing about your future accomplishments as a graduate student.


Samuel Riley

Levy lab senior research assistant Samuel Riley has been offered admittance into two different medical field programs. The first one, The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), is situated in northwest Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the second one, The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine at Bradenton (LECOM-B), is located in Bradenton, Florida.The medical training for Osteopathic medicine and (D.O.)s is basically identical to that of an M.D. program. The difference lies in the fact that D.O. programs train their students to look at patients more holistically. These programs also provide additional training in Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy which involves chiropractic techniques.Samuel has decided to accept PCOM's invitation and will be graduating with a Doctor in Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree in the year 2018. He is also considering a specialization in a branch of internal medicine (Cardiology, Pulmonology, Gastroenterology, etc...) or possibly family medicine.


Jennifer Fox

We are proud to announce that Levy lab senior research assistant and cortisol coordinator Jennifer Fox was recently invited to join Teach for America (TFA). TFA is a well renowned program that focuses on reaching unprivileged areas and populations all across the country, with the purpose of achieving the highest level of educational equality. Some of the qualities they look for in their prospective teachers are high levels of commitment, leadership skills, superior interpersonal skills, strong academic achievement, great critical thinking skills, and respect for diversity in background and personal experiences. Jennifer has been assigned to serve as a middle school sciences teacher in Chicago, Illinois. Congratulations Jennifer!

Sydney Risley Awarded Costello Family Scholarship


Congratulations are in order for our research assistant Sydney Risley, one of two recipients of the Costello Family Scholarship in Psychology. She was nominated by Cognition, Affect, and Temperament research lab's primary investigator Dr. Koraly Perez-Edgar who wished to recognize Sydney for her outstanding work in lab as well as high GPA. Dr. Perez Edgar goes on to describe Sydney as one of her most accomplished research assistants.Sydney was awarded the scholarship in early February of this year.


Welcome Spring 2014 RAs

We would like to extend a warm welcome to all of our new Levy Lab Research Assistants for Spring 2014:

- Alyssah Aldinger

We hope your time in lab serves as a valuable and enriching academic experience!

Caroline Curran

Deborah Lipson

- Elisabeth Swanson

Jacqueline Proszynski

- Maxwell Sheintoch

- Megan Parker


To learn more about our new research assistants please click on their names to access their profiles

Doctoral Alum Named Faculty at The University of Pittsburgh


Levy Lab doctoral alumna Lori Scott was recently named assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Scott earned both her masters and doctoral degrees at Penn State University under the mentorship of Dr. Kenneth Levy, she then went on to complete her internship at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC as well as the Clinical Research Training Program for Psychologists at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Scott's research interests include emotion dysregulation, aggression, and borderline personality disorder.

To read the full story on Dr. Scott's new faculty position please click here

To view the Levy lab alumni profiles page please click here

Levy Lab RAs Awarded Chaiken Family Trustee Scholarship


Jhanev Allen, Matthew Perlman and Shirley Rojas Acosta, all levy lab research assistants, were recently awarded with the Chaiken Family Trustee Scholarship. The Chaiken Family Trustee Scholarship is the largest scholarship ever received by the college of liberal arts. The donors, Gene and Roz Chaiken, instituted this in an effort to help qualified students be able to focus on their studies by reducing their financial burdens.

Both Matthew and Shirley were chosen to share their personal stories at the Chaiken Scholarship event held at Penn State's Moore building last October. Matthew spoke about how receiving the scholarship had provided him with the opportunity to spend more time volunteering and helping out in the community, as well as taking more responsibilities in his research lab. He also spoke about his graduate school plans and expressed his gratitude to the donors. Shirley spoke about how the scholarship had impacted not only her, but her family in the Dominican Republic who carry the burden of supporting two college students in America. She also shared her graduate school plans and expressed her appreciation for her donors' selfless aid.

Congratulations to all three of you!

Dr. Kenneth Levy Named APA Fellow


Congratulations are in order for Dr. Kenneth Levy who was elected as an American Psychological Association (APA) fellow for division 29: Psychopathology at the 2013 APA convention.

Fellow status is a grand honor specially reserved for APA members who have done exceptional and groundbreaking work that has had great impact in the field of psychology beyond a local, state or regional level. Nominations are offered by the different APA Divisions, and the final decision is made by the association's Board of Directors and the Council of Representatives after careful review of nominees' contributions.

Levy Lab Members Participate in NASPR


The North American Society for Psychotherapy Research (NASPR) recently celebrated its 2013 conference in beautiful Memphis, Tennessee, with the theme of "Beyond the Brand: What Makes Psychotherapy Work?". Among the conference participants were Levy lab director Dr. Kenneth Levy as well as graduate students Tracy L. Clouthier, Wes Scala, Christina M. Temes, and post-doctoral fellow Johannes C. Ehrenthal.

NASPR is the north american branch of the international association that is the Society for Psychotherapy Research. The main purposes of this multidisciplinary organization includes the encouragement of psychotherapy research, the sharing of new findings, and ultimately the enhancement of psychotherapy effectiveness.

Dr. Kenneth Levy Takes Part in the Kennedy Forum


The Kennedy Forum celebrated on October 23rd and 24th in Boston, MA and held in occasion of the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's Community Health Act brought together a number of individuals such as former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Vice President Joe Biden, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Chelsea Clinton and our very own Dr. Kenneth Levy to discuss and advocate in favor of the forum's main goals of uniting the mental health community, pushing for further breakthroughs in policies having an impact on those living with mental illnesses, disabilities and addictions, removing the stigma surrounding mental illness, and achieving parity by treating the brain with the same importance with which we treat the body.

In regards to working with Congressman Kennedy, Dr. Levy commented that he "looks forward to future collaboration with Congressman Patrick Kennedy in working to establish parity guidelines that will assure those suffering from psychological difficulties receive the quality mental health care that they both need and deserve."

To read the full story featured in the Penn State News Page you may follow this link

To learn more about The Kennedy Forum you may follow this link

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